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Zachary
Zachary, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 4011
Experience:  Lead trial/International commercial attorney licensed 11 yrs
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Would like to know State of Ohio line of sight laws pertaining

Resolved Question:

Would like to know State of Ohio line of sight laws pertaining to hail and wind damage repairs to homes
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Zachary replied 11 months ago.
Hi,

My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will be assisting you with your legal question.

I have handled hundreds of hail and windstorm damage lawsuits and will be happy to assist you.

Can you explain what you mean by "line of sight laws"? Can you also tell me how this question came up for you in your claim?

Kind regards,
Zachary
Customer: replied 11 months ago.


Our log home was damaged by a hail storm In June 2013. Our insurance adjuster came and inspected the damage to our roof and to the logs of the house. She determined we need a new roof and we have damage to the logs on the west and north side of our home. The hail was large and actually pitted the logs. We had a company come out that specializes in staining log homes and he said the logs need sand blasted (not the exact terminalogy but you get the idea) to smooth out the pitting and then the logs need restained. Our home is ten years old and has been stained twice since the initial staining when it was first built. Each time it is restaind, the color gets darker. The stain we used before is also no longer on the market. Our insurance company only wants to pay to have the two sides that were damaged sand blasted and restained. It would absolutly not match the other two sides or even be close. Our home is worth $600,000.00 and we intend to retire in a few years and sell the home. The cost of the sandblasting and restaining for all four sides is $44,000.00 (Ouch! I know!) The insurance company only wants to give us $22,000.00 for the two sides. There is no way we could come up with the other $22,000.00 to do the other two sides. We live in the country with lots of other homes on our road and every house has had to have a new roof and new siding because of the severity of the storm we had. It was not just hail but high winds also. I thought there was some law in Ohio that was called "line of sight rule" that if a home was damaged by a weather related incindent that the home had to be restored so that all sides matched. We would never be able to sell our home with two sides that don't match. When you come up our driveway you see the north side of our home, which would be restained, and the front side which faces east and was not damaged by the storm and so would not be restained. Does our insurance have to abide by a line of sight rule????

Expert:  Zachary replied 11 months ago.
Thanks for your response.

This terminology is not actually used in any of the law. Essentially, it is talking about your situation, the need for the insurance company to make sure that when they repair, the repairs match the rest of the building.

This is the law in Ohio.In American Storage Centers, Inc. v. Safeco Insurance Company of America the court held as follows;2. Reasonably Comparable Appearance
The Court analyzed the Ohio Administrative Code’s “reasonably comparable
appearance” requirements and the insurance policy’s provision regarding “wear and tear,” and ruled that any conflict between the “wear and tear” provision of the policy and the “reasonably comparable appearance” standard of Ohio Administrative Code Section 3901-1-54I (1)(b) must be resolved in favor of application of the “reasonably comparable appearance” standard, if in fact the item to be replaced has also suffered from “wear and tear”. As a consequence, the two appraisers and umpire will be required to make a judgment call, following a visual inspection building by building, siding by siding, as they evaluate the extent to which replacement is required to result in a reasonable comparable appearance. In that context, the fact that the “item” has also suffered from wear and tear will not negate the necessity for replacement where replacement is necessary for a “reasonably comparable appearance.”http://codes.ohio.gov/oac/3901-1-543901-1-54 Unfair property/casualty claims settlement practices.
A) Authority
This rule is issued pursuant to the authority vested in the superintendent under sections 3901.19 to 3901.26 of the Revised Code.
(B) Purpose
The purpose of this rule is to set forth uniform minimum standards for the investigation and disposition of property and casualty claims arising under insurance contracts or certificates issued to residents of Ohio. It is not intended to cover claims involving workers’ compensation, or fidelity, suretyship, and boiler and machinery insurance. The provisions of this rule are intended to define procedures and practices which constitute unfair claims practices. Nothing in this rule shall be construed to create or imply a private cause of action for violation of this rule.

In your case, it is a bit difficult. The wood siding will have to be stained, and this will cause it to be darker than the other sides. The darker color is not because the other sides have wear and tear and have faded, but only because the damaged sides are actually being stained again. Thus, arguably, the Ohio rule does not require that the other sides also be painted to match the newly painted sides.

Thus, your argument for the additional work to be done may depend entirely on what your insurance policy says regarding this matter. If the policy states that there must be additional coverage to make material match the existing non-damaged parts of the structure, then you do have coverage.

I think you would be best served by having a local attorney examine your policy and give you a coverage opinion on this matter. The attorneys in Ohio which specialize in this are: http://www.ohio-insurance-lawyer.com/Fire-Property-Loss/Property-Loss-Claims.shtml


Please let me know if you have any further questions. Please also kindly consider rating my answer positively so that I am credited by the website for my work on your question. Rating positively does not cause an additional charge and does not prevent us from further discussing your questions.

Kind regards,
Zachary
Zachary, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 4011
Experience: Lead trial/International commercial attorney licensed 11 yrs
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