How Your Roof Impacts Your Homeowners Insurance

How Your Roof Impacts Your Homeowners Insurance 1

Your roof is a vital factor in the cost of your homeowner’s insurance. Properly installing and maintaining a roof with the right materials can keep your policy price reasonable.

A roof is one of the most important parts of a house. It’s the first line of defense against inclement weather and a leaky roof spells big trouble for the rest of the house.

Because of this, insurance companies place a big importance on the roof when accessing a home. It’s one of the first factors an insurer analyzes. Your roof’s quality and condition play a big role in how much you pay for homeowners insurance.

This post will cover different roof types, how they impact homeowners insurance premiums, and how to save money by properly maintaining and updating your roof.

Why Your Roof Matters for Home Insurance Companies

It’s relatively simple. When bad weather hits – be it rain, snow, hail, or wind – your roof takes the brunt of it. If your roof isn’t up to the task, that bad weather can make its way into the house. If that happens, your home can suffer severe damage and the result may mean that you will have to file a claim.

When you file a claim, you cost your home insurance company money. Insurance companies go to great lengths to assess the risk level of the people they cover. People or homes with high-risk levels are more likely to file a claim. Insurance companies, in turn, charge higher rates to cover them.

In other words, if your roof is faulty, cheap, or old, your insurance company believes you are more likely to need to file a claim in the future. That’s why they will charge you more for homeowners insurance.

Five Most Common Roof Material Types

There are several different common roof types. Each has varying costs, lifespans, and pros and cons. Some roof materials are ideal for specific climates and regions. These are the five most common roofing materials:

Asphalt Shingle: this is the most common roof material. When you picture an ‘average house,’ it probably has an asphalt shingle roof. It’s popular for a few reasons:

  • It is the most affordable roof material
  • It has a life expectancy between 15 to 25 years
  • Asphalt shingles are fire-resistant

Asphalt shingles may suffer in extremely windy conditions. FEMA recommends that homeowners in high-wind areas use specific installation methods for asphalt shingle roofs.

Additionally, asphalt shingles aren’t great in extremely hot places. That’s because asphalt shingles can reach temperatures that are 50 to 60 degrees higher than the ambient temperature. High heat exposure will age the shingles faster than anticipated.

Your insurance rates probably won’t suffer from an asphalt shingle roof. Unless, of course, that roof is old or in bad condition.

Tile: available in either clay or concrete, tile is a common roofing material. Both clay and concrete tiles offer their own benefits and drawbacks.

Both tile types are extremely durable and require low maintenance. Their durability and longevity come in part because of their heavyweight. Clay roofs last for about a century, while concrete tiles have a 50-year lifespan. Both tile types can withstand fire, heat, small hail, and dangerous wind speeds. But neither is ideal for cold weather climates, as they can freeze and crack.

Concrete and clay tiles are often chosen for their aesthetic appearance. They’re the ideal option for an adobe, Italian, or Spanish style house.

Clay and concrete tiles can raise your home’s insurance rates. Since they are expensive, your home’s replacement cost will need to reflect it. Due to ot the significant weight of these tiles, having a structurally sound home is crucial.

Cedar Wood shakes: cedar wood shakes are popular due to their unique appearance. They add a classic look to any house.

However, cedar wood shakes are a huge liability for insurance companies. They’re extremely flammable unless treated with proper chemicals. Also, they’re more susceptible to wind damage than other roof types. Finally, wood is more susceptible to mold.

Due to their delicate nature, wood shakes require frequent maintenance. With a 15 to 20 year lifespan, they don’t last long either.

If your house has a cedar wood shake roof, you’re going to pay more for insurance. In some cases, insurers may refuse to cover a house with wood shakes. Your chances of finding coverage improve if your roof has a fire retardant coating, but that requires regular touchups.

Slate: Slate roofs are like tile roofs in that they are both expensive and heavy. It cannot be added to a home that isn’t built specifically for slate.

Though slate is extremely expensive, a slate roof can last for a lifetime and it won’t require much maintenance, either.

Due to the high price, slate roofs can bump your home insurance’s replacement cost. In addition, the added weight requires a well-built home.

Metal: Metal roofs have several benefits. They’re light-weight and durable. Plus, they are both fire and rot-resistant. Metal roofs can handle a variety of inclement weather including heavy rain, wind, hail, and snow.

Insurers know that metal roofs are safe and durable, so don’t expect to pay more for your policy. Installing a metal roof is a complex process with a lot of room for error, so proper installation is a must. A properly installed roof can last a lifetime.

If you’re looking to save energy, metal roofs are excellent in that regard. Metal reflects sunlight, shrinking your air conditioning costs.

Does Insurance Cover Roof Damage?

Maintaining a high-quality roof is a must. It’s a preventative step that can save homeowners from expensive headaches down the road. If your roof isn’t well maintained, your insurance company may deny claims for roof damage. Our Gold and Platinum “RAMP” Repair and Maintenance Plans cost less than most roof repair calls and gutter cleaning services.

Assuming your roof isn’t in shambles, a standard insurance policy covers the following roof damages:

  • Wind
  • Hail
  • Vandalism
  • Falling objects
  • Fire
  • Hurricanes
  • Tornadoes

But, the extent to which insurance covers these damages depends on a few factors:

Age: if you have an asphalt shingle roof that is over 10 years old, for example, the likelihood of claim denial goes up. Or they may offer a claim settlement that is lower than you hoped. Your insurance company can argue that roof damages were exacerbated by the roof’s age.

Imagine that your roof leaks after a heavy rainstorm. Your insurance company, knowing that your roof is 10 years old, may argue that the leak was due to the roof’s age rather than unusually strong rains. Depending on your insurance policy type, they may also only pay for the roof’s depreciated value.

Condition: your roof’s condition goes hand-in-hand with its age. But improper installations can hurt your chances of a successful claim.

After you file a claim, your insurance company will likely send a professional to assess the damage. If they find signs of inadequate construction or maintenance, they can deny the claim. Most policies include exclusionary language regarding fault roof installations and can extend to improper maintenance as well.

To avoid this, make sure all roofing work is done by an experienced roofing contractor (Affluent Exteriors). Also, stay up to date with annual roof maintenance.

Your policy: as we mentioned, policy includes exclusions for what is and isn’t covered. A policy may exclude wood shake shingles, improper installations, roofs over 20 years old, cosmetic damages, and more.

A vital part of your policy is whether claims are paid out based on actual cash value or replacement cost value. With actual cash value (ACV), your roof’s age and condition are accounted for. Depreciation is subtracted from your payout. With a replacement cost value (RCV) policy, it’s simply the cost to fully replace the roof to its original state.

Where you live: home insurance companies tailor their coverage to the surrounding area. You may need coverage add-ons to address your area’s biggest risks.

Some insurance companies will offer one-size-fits-all policies in areas with specific risks. In Oklahoma, for example, many insurance companies only offer actual cash value policies. That’s due to the high risk in covering roof damage in tornado alley.

5 Ways Your Roof Can Lower the Cost of Insurance

Your roof is one of the most important parts of your home, and it’s a big factor in the price of your insurance policy. Having a proper roof will save you considerable money on home insurance.

Why? A properly installed and well-maintained roof with ideal materials will decrease your chances of filing a claim. A house with a good roof is a lower risk for insurers.

These are the five most important steps to a great deal on insurance:

Choose the right roof materials: pick a roof that is appropriate for your home and your region. What does that mean? Don’t install a roof with wood shakes in an area that is dry or fire-prone. Don’t install tiles in a place with freezing cold winters.

Experienced roofing companies (Affluent Exteriors) know what roof materials do and don’t work in your area. We can help you pick the right roof for your home. The price of your insurance policy will reflect your choice.

That’s part of the reason why asphalt shingles are so popular. On top of their affordable price, they are a one size fits all in the sense that they can handle most types of bad weather. Installing a high-quality asphalt shingle roof won’t raise your rates.

Proper installation: as mentioned earlier, an improperly installed roof is a big liability. It has a shorter lifespan and is more susceptible to damage. If your improperly installed roof is damaged, there’s a good chance your insurance will deny an insurance claim. They will argue that the damage is due to the roofer’s poor installation.

You can avoid this by simply hiring an experienced roofing company (Affluent Exteriors) to do any repairs.

Maintenance: simple maintenance goes a long way and increase’s your roof’s lifespan. Here are simple steps to keep your roof well maintained (these are included in our Gold and Platinum “RAMP” Repair and Maintenance Plans):

  • Get your roof inspected annually
  • Remove any debris from the roof like branches and leaves
  • Keep the gutters clean
  • Branch trimming for any light limbs that are touching the roof
  • Resecure any loose metals and flashings
  • Reseal cracked or missed caulk joints
  • Check for any pests

Keep photos and paperwork: insurance companies love a good paper trail. It makes their job easier. For any roof inspections and in our Gold and Platinum “RAMP” Repair and Maintenance Plans, we take plenty of photos and provide inspection reports that are stored in your Affluent Exteriors online client portal. This helps tremendously in the event of a claim.

Pick the right insurance company: as previously mentioned, each insurance company has its own policy requirements. That includes extensions. It’s possible you find yourself unsatisfied with your insurer’s exclusions and prices. If that’s the case, you can combat that by shopping around and comparing quotes from other insurance companies. You may find that two insurance companies offer considerably different prices for the same coverage.

Conclusion

We hope the information above helps you better understand how your roof impacts your homeowner’s insurance and the steps you can take to properly maintain your roof. If you have any questions about our Gold and Platinum “RAMP” Repair and Maintenance Plans or would like to schedule a complimentary roof inspection to understand the status of your roof, you can use our online scheduling calendar or complete the form below.

    First Name
    Street Address
    State
    Phone Number
    How Can We Help?

    Company Name Management Company Property Name


    This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Privacy Policy and Terms of Use apply.

    Related Posts