If there is anything on your property that is partially damaged, the Line of Sight rule will come into play during the insurance claim process. “Line of sight” or “clear line of sight” is a standard applicable to most property losses. The standard is used in conjunction with “a reasonably uniform surface”.
California insurance code Section 2695.9(a)(2) states:
When a loss requires replacement of items and the replaced items do
not match in quality, color or size, the insurer shall replace all items in
the damaged area so as to conform to a reasonably uniform appearance
Following an insured loss, the insurer is required to repair an item so the completed result will be a reasonably identical appearance or surface. If the end result is not uniform or deviates from the original appearance, the insurer is required to replace the item.
An easy example is damage to one wall in a room. The insurance adjuster, in our experience, always paints all four walls under the clear line of sight principle—if only one wall is painted, it will deviate in color from the other three walls.
Even if an adjuster could convince the homeowner that today’s computer color matching can be matched perfectly, the completed wall will most likely wear differently than the other three walls. Over time, the freshly painted wall will match less and less to the other walls. One does not need to settle for a “momentary” uniform surface.
Repairs typically associated with the clear line of sight rule are:
- Wood floors
- Trim, molding
Another example is broken tile. Some homeowners maintain extra tiles in case of loss and offer the tile to maintain a reasonably uniform surface. Be careful. Sometimes the grout between tiles cannot be duplicated and the tile repair sticks out like a sore thumb. Beware, too, a small tile repair can compromise the water barrier behind the tile. (This example invokes the “pre-loss condition” rule.)