Matching remains the most contentious and the most talked about issue in property insurance. Typically, home insurance features a provision that obligates the insurer to repair or replace a damaged property using “material of like kind and quality” or “similar material” when damage occurs. When an unexpected or sudden catastrophe or incident strikes, it may result in part or portion of your house being destroyed.
If you have an insurance cover on your property, you expect that the insurance company will swing into action and pay for the repair and replacement of damaged portions. But what happens if the materials used to repair the damaged parts don’t match the undamaged details of your property? Will the partial repair or replacement of the damaged part lead to a home losing its aesthetic appeal and value? This brings us to your issue!
Should the Insurance Pay for Repair of all the 4 Sides of the Siding or Just the Two Sides?
The question of whether the insurer is supposed to repair or replace the entire property’s siding or just the damaged part brings into play several insurance laws and state regulations. On one side, some individuals argue that the insurance policy’s terms require the insurer to replace or repair all the siding to bring the property to its original state. On the other hand, opponents (often insurance companies) argue that cover under the insurance policy should only cover the damaged parts.
Besides retaining the property’s original aesthetics, there are engineering requirements and state codes that require that any repairs or replacements on a structure should not lead to any mismatch. Property owners need to ensure that the materials used to repair a damaged part maintain uniformity throughout the building. Failure to adhere to the engineering and state codes may attract hefty fines. Additionally, matching issues arise if the materials used during the construction of the insured structure are no longer in the market.
Considering all these factors, the truth on whether an insurance company should repair or replace all siding to achieve uniformity lies somewhere in between the clauses in your insurance policy and the state laws. So, whether the insurance should pay for the extra sidings or not will depend on the state you’re in and the terms of your insurance policies.
Examples of Matching Cases in Various Jurisdiction Across the US
The US Court of Appeals Ruling on the Matching Issue
After a United States District Court ruled on a motion to compel the carrier to appraise the policyholder on the Windridge of Naperville Condominium Ass’n v. Philadelphia Indem case, the insurance holder decided to take the matter to the court of appeal. The court of appeal ruling favored the property owners, asking the insurer to replace siding in all elevations.
Lower Court in Connecticut Ruling on the Matching Issue
In the matter of Kamansky v. Liberty Mut. Ins. Co., the insured property was rammed on its front by a car. The carrier agreed to repair the damaged siding and reiterated that they had found a material that would match the color of the entire structure. The policyholder wanted the insurer to replace the siding on all elevations siting a lack of uniformity due to fading. The court ruled that only the damaged sides and the adjacent mismatched siding were to be repaired and replaced and not on all elevations.
Lower Court in Massachusetts Ruling on the Matching Issue
in the Edelman v. Certain Underwriters at Lloyds, London, the insured property sustained that they would cover costs for replacing siding and shingles on the damaged slopes. However, the policyholder wanted the insurance company to be compelled to cover all slopes to achieve uniformity. On its part, the insurance company felt that its only obligation as per the policy standards was to replace the damaged shingles and siding on the damaged slope. In its ruling, the court found that policy afforded the property coverage to replace all the four elevations’ siding and shingles.
Despite the contention between insurers and the insured on the matching policy, only a handful of jurisdictions have come out to address the issues by enacting a regulation statute. Conversely, some insurance companies have also come out strongly to address the problem by ensuring that they have various standard terms in their policies. Therefore, the question of whether you can compel the insurance to cover the extra sides of siding will depend on your area of jurisdiction and the standard terms and conditions in your policy.