Insurance companies view roofs as one of the most important parts of a home because they protect homes from the elements. If you have a damaged roof, you’re likely going to have problems within your home that will lead to more claims.
Wanting to limit the number of claims that can come from a leaky roof, many insurers are becoming more restrictive with roof coverage.
Can my home be insured with an older roof?
Some insurers have refused to renew existing homeowner insurance policies on houses with roofs older than 20 years without passing an inspection. Those who fail inspection will not be renewed without a roof replacement.
Other insurers don’t write new policies for homes with roofs over 20 years old and they will only pay actual cash value for roof replacement for older roofs when they’re damaged. This means they don’t pay to fully replace the roof, but only reimburse for what an old roof is worth after 20-plus years.
If you have a roof that has lasted 20 years, then you’ve probably exceeded the roofing membrane life expectancy. Chances are that at that point, there are issues within the roofing system that cannot be seen (such as moisture within the system), which could potentially deteriorate the deck and that it would be worth your money to replace the roof.
How to protect your roof
Here are five tips to protect your roof:
- Take photos of your roof so you have them on file in case of any damage. If your roof is damaged, then take a set of “after” photos so you can document the damage and submit it to your insurance company.
- If your roof is more than 10 years old, you may want to hire a roof inspector who can check for any damage and areas that need repair.
- Replace any broken or worn shingles or tiles. A broken shingle might seem minor, but it’s not protecting your home and can result in damage. An insurance inspector may perform a check of your property from the street. Insurance companies can cancel your policy if the home is considered to be in disrepair and that can include a leaky roof and broken or displaced shingles.
- Cut back any trees hanging over your house and remove any dead trees.
- If your roof is damaged, contact your insurance company and ask them to send an inspector to review the damage.
Insurance companies cover roofs differently and your state can play a big part as to whether or how much you’re reimbursed. It’s best to speak with your insurance provider if you have concerns about whether or not roof damage will be covered by insurance.