DOES YOUR PROPERTY POLICY COVER “MATCHING”?
You have a covered claim that damages part of YOUR house and you start the claims process under the assumption the WHOLE area (Damaged) plus some (Undamaged) will be repaired.
“I have damage from last night’s storm. It blew off the siding on one-side. The siding on the whole house has to be replaced since it is 15 years old. Otherwise, it will not match the new siding. Plus, that color is no longer manufactured.”
Will your insurance policy cover to “MATCH” the damaged area(s) with the undamaged on your property?
Maybe ----- most likely NOT.
Que in the name calling, shouting and threats.
The “Matching” exclusion has existed on Property Insurance Contracts for years.
Here is an example of the Exclusion:
WE do not insure, however, loss for:
MISMATCH OF COLOR BETWEEN UNDAMAGED MATERIAL AND NEW MATERIAL USED TO REPLACE OLD, WEATHERED, OR OXIDIZED DAMAGED MATERIAL; OR
MISMATCH BETWEEN UNDAMAGED MATERIAL AND NEW MATERIAL USED TO REPAIR OR REPLACED DAMAGED MATERIAL DUE TO OUTDATED, OBSOLETE OR DISCONTINUED PRODUCTS.
Like it or not - many Insurance Carriers have some form of this exclusion and will stand firm in declining to MATCH the damaged areas with the undamaged. The policy jacket (aka -contract) specifically states they – the insurance company- are RESPONSIBLE to repair with same, like, kind material the area(s) DAMAGED by a covered claim.
Let’s be real, no one really reads the “Policy Jacket” when it arrives at renewal (to see if there are changes or what is or isn’t covered).
Typically, this complaint crops up when an area suffers partial damage such as the roof, siding, kitchens, and bathrooms. Another example: your dishwasher leaks causing water to soak into your floor & bottom cabinet(s). Will your carrier replace the top cabinets to match the new ones? Depends on your EXCLUSIONS.
What can you do to prevent any confusion?
First, review your home policy to see if you have the exclusion - to prepare you if you have a covered loss (aka Claim).
Secondly, if you do have the exclusion, call your independent insurance agent to see if you can “BUY BACK” the coverage. They can provide insight into your policy. Should your carrier not offer a “BUY BACK” option maybe they can recommend another insurance carrier that is a better fit for you & your family.
For example, Travelers Insurance has the “MATCHING” exclusion however, you can “BUY BACK” coverage specifically for YOUR roof and siding. (Note: Some carriers offer a buy back option and others simply do not.)
Lastly, this is where your relationship with your Independent Insurance Agent and LONGEVITY with the insurance carrier matters. Leverage the long-term relationship and lack of claims to see if there is a possibility of “MATCHING”. What is the worst that can happen? The claims adjuster says NO.
Claims can be stressful so stay educated, review your renewal policies and ALWAYS call your Independent Insurance Agent with questions.