Can an old roof keep you from getting insurance? The answer is yes and no. It largely depends on what type of homeowners insurance you are trying to obtain and how much money you are willing to spend to protect your home. In worst-case scenarios, an insurance company may reject any request for coverage or even drop you, citing that your roof is too old.
But how old is too old? Furthermore, how do you keep your roof insured? Let’s take a closer look below.
How Do You Know When Your Roof is Too Old?
Roofs last a long time. The expected lifespan of asphalt shingles can reach up to 25 years. Metal roofs can last up to 50 years. Tile and slate roofs can outlast your house. However, insurance companies may begin to question the integrity of your roof after only 15 years.
Why is this? Because roof covering – asphalt, metal, tile, or slate – does not make up the entire roof. There are other components such as the framework, hips, ridges, valleys, underlayments, chimneys, vents, flashing, gutters, and, of course, the decking. Some of these components can wear out before you need to replace the roof covering.
In addition, there are symptoms of an old roof that you may notice over time such as:
- Loose, cracked, or missing covering
- Sagging or holes in the roof
- Mold or rotting wood
- Water damage, leakage or spots
- High cooling or heating bills
- Frequent repairs that do not seem to fix the problems
How to Prevent the Insurance Company from Dropping Your Coverage
If you want your roof to stay insured, you can either find an insurance company that will provide insurance at ridiculously high rates, or you can do one of the following:
- Maintain Your Roof
The #1 way to avoid high premiums, coverage cancellation, and expensive repairs is to maintain your roof, according to manufacturer and roofer specifications. Preventative maintenance also keeps your roof secure and preserves its appearance. Talk with your local roofing contractor about scheduling routine care for your roof.
Preventative maintenance often includes a roof inspection, cleaning, small repairs, or partial replacement. Preventative maintenance is cost-effective and helps you avoid large problems, further down the road.
- Take Care of Repairs Immediately
Repairs do not go away; they only get worse. The longer you take to address your damaged roof, the more likely you are to spend more on the repair. Additionally, the damage may lead to other problems, which will also have to be addressed. If you notice an issue, contact your roofing contractor to schedule an inspection.
Common roof repairs include leaks, lifted shingles, missing tiles, standing water, holes, poor ventilation, or damaged gutters. You may also notice damage from small animals or tree branches. Whatever the case, do not allow your roof damage to linger. This can raise a red flag with an insurance company which could cause problems if you are trying to obtain or maintain your insurance coverage.
- Replace Your Roof
It is fair to say that replacing a roof is costly and time-consuming. However, there are several upsides to a roof replacement. First, it drastically improves your home’s curb appeal. Second, it can increase your home’s value by up to $12,000 with an ROI of nearly 70% at resale. Third, your insurance company would prefer to insure a new roof over an old roof, as this reduces the risk of damage resulting in an insurance claim.
Other Steps You Can Take to Keep Your Insurance
Chances are, if your roof has lasted longer than two decades, you may find that you cannot get or keep homeowners’ insurance because of the roof. However, if you are proactive, there are some steps that you can take to make a case that your roof is still insurable.
For instance, if you have been committed to scheduled preventative maintenance throughout the years, then keep careful records of the maintenance. Keep all invoices, receipts, or other documents. You may be able to present these as proof that your roof is still in excellent condition.
Something else that may work in your favor is to contact the insurance company and request a roof inspection. The company may send out an adjuster to inspect the roof. If you complete this every few years, the company may not be able to refute your claim that your roof is in excellent condition. You may even be able to choose your own roofing company to perform the inspection.
Last, ensure that you adhere to the conditions of your home or roof warranty. Failure to do so may demonstrate that you have not taken care of your roof. Furthermore, it may show that you have not used certified/licensed roofers to perform the necessary maintenance or repairs.
Contact Us for Roofing Service in Florida
Quality Roofing offers premier roofing services for homeowners in Florida. To find out more about our roofing solutions, call us at (850) 204-0443 or fill out the quick form on our contact page.