Insurance Coverage to Replace Decking on Hail Damaged Roof?


My insurance company (Wellington) is paying my claim for a new roof due to hail damage. The roofing company advises me that the decking is only 3/8" and the city code now requires 5/8" decking. They submitted a supplement to the insurance company requesting coverage for the new decking. My policy allows for code upgrades as long as it is a city code - which in this case it is. The adjustor is denying the claim, stating that they will only pay for the upgrade of the decking to city code if it was damaged in the hail storm. But, the fact that the roof was damaged and a total loss and the shingles removed, makes me believe that the decking is part of the roof. How can they separate that out? And aren’t they obligated to bring it up to city code since the roof is being repaired now? To me, it’s the same as when a plumber came out to replace my hot water heater. He told me that now all hot water heaters be raised 12" from the floor so he had to upgrade everything to follow code. Why wouldn’t the decking situation be the same?
Has anyone encountered this? And been successful in fighting the insurance company?
thanks in advance for your help!


Also, the roofing company believes there is probably some damage to the decking but of course won’t know for sure until the shingles are removed. At that point, it’s difficult to stop the job and wait for insurance approval to replace it. Wellington sent out another adjustor which was useless - the guy just said he couldn’t see the decking so he couldn’t tell the thickness or if it was damaged. The roofing company cut a small hole in the roof, and sent photos to the insurance company verifying thickness.


With your ordinance of law option, the decking being damaged by the hail storm has absolutely nothing to do with them paying for it. We’ve encountered this multiple times, in different forms related to decking not to code, and rarely had problems getting it approved.

Call your Agent. Tell him you expect his support and since you are paying for the ordinance of law option, you expect the insurance company to honor it. Call the insurance company and ask to speak to the Adjuster’s Manager. If your Contractor is worth squat, they should have someone there with you that is knowledgeable of the code requirements and ordinance of law. They can provide the technical support for your discussion.

This is very frustrating. Insurance companies include these options, and charge for them, then it’s like pulling teeth to get them to pay for the coverage. Unreal what they’re allowed to get by with.

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Thank you very much Authentic Dad. The roofing company has been helping me and provided me with information about the city code and points to make with the insurance company. I like your other suggestions and will involve my agent and the adjuster’s manager. I am glad to know that most of the time these types of charges are approved.

Appreciate the input.


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Just an interesting update. The City Code states 5/8" decking is required. However, upon speaking with City officials (I’m in San Antonio Texas by the way), they are interpreting and enforcing that section very oddly I think. They say that only if the decking has to be replaced because of damage, then it has to be brought up to code. But, if the decking is fine, then they can put the shingles on the existing 3/8" decking. No need to bring it up to code. I can’t say I quite understand the rationale because if the roof is damaged and needs to be replaced, it seems like they would need to bring the deck up to code. But according to the City of San Antonio, they don’t. And of course, since the City is not enforcing the code, they aren’t paying for it.
Very frustrating but it seems my hands are tied.


I’m not surprised. And how stupid is that? This is a fairly common theme in other areas I work in. Local building departments seem to expend most of their energy on commercial concerns and new construction. Trying to tie them down to make a statement that can benefit their local homeowners is near impossible. However, there is a flip side. Imagine the guy who is replacing his roof out of pocket, no insurance. If the City enforces that code, they are forcing that guy to spend another $100 plus per square because he has to replace all his decking. I think that is the reason they don’t enforce it.

One thing you can try is to demand that local official to give you a written waiver stating what he told you. I’d tell him even though you’re essentially getting screwed by their ruling, you’re okay with it. However, you need to have something in writing so there is no chance it can come back and bite you in the future. I’ve had this conversation with these guys before. “Mr. Building Inspector, if you are saying you aren’t going to put something in writing so I can get my insurance company to pay for it, then I need you to put that in writing so you can’t come back on me during or after the work is done.” “You can’t have it both ways pal, either you’re for it or against it, but when your written statement requires it, I need a written statement that you’re not going to require it for me.” See what he says then. If he won’t do it, talk to his boss. Take it to the Mayor if you need to. These spineless, lazy bureaucrats need to be painted into a corner sometimes before they’ll do their jobs.

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I see your point about the extra money having to be spent my some poor homeowner who is having to replace roof without insurance money. I like your idea though to get it in writing.



Doesn’t insurance company cover new roof decking During roof replacement What about if the old roof decking is Plum board And there is bigger gaps then 1/8" usually the recommendation is to cover with 1/2" Plywood or 7/16" OSB board What do you recommend Because The manner facture won’t cover leaks Or how does this work ? Does anyone know ?


Doing a job on a flat roof and the plywood is starting to dry rot is it standard to just replace it Or can you overlaid with new plywood would it be a problem Personally using 7/16" OSB board to go over the top As long as there is no sagging will that work ?