Homeowners insurance is a vital component of a smart strategy to safeguard a house and your investment in it. But it may be more difficult to find the coverage you need at the price you want if your roof is old.
Insurers are wary of homes with old roofs because of the harm that could occur if your property is not adequately protected.
According to Loretta Worters, vice president of media relations for the Insurance Information Institute, if the roof is old, many companies might not even want to insure you until the roof is replaced.
Why is it important to have a strong roof?
The strongest defense against the weather for the remainder of your house is a roof. The interior of your home is no longer protected with a broken roof and becomes vulnerable to natural and weather events like hail, rain, snowfall and storms.
Your home is more prone to leaks, the development of mold and mildew, and other issues if your roof is in poor shape. As a result, Worters claims that an old roof frequently poses “too much of a danger that most insurers won’t want to take on.”
How does an aging roof increase your homeowners insurance costs?
Insurance companies could decide to go above and beyond to make sure they completely comprehend the risk your roof provides if it has seen better days.
For instance, Worters mentions that the insurer might send a roof inspector to inspect the roof. If the roof fails inspection, it may affect the amount of coverage you will get under your insurance.
“If your roof is extremely old and you have a claim, the insurance agency might only pay what the roof is worth after all these years of wear and tear,” Worters says.
This means that the insurance company will only offer real cash value coverage, which limits your insurance coverage to the depreciated worth of your roof.
This kind of insurance is significantly less reliable than replacement coverage, which pays you back for the price of installing a new roof in its place at the going rate for construction.
With actual cash value coverage, there is a risk that your insurance check may not cover the whole cost of replacing the roof, leaving you with potentially thousands of dollars in out-of-pocket expenses.
Depending on the age of your roof and the increased risk it poses, an insurer is fairly likely to charge you more homeowner’s insurance premiums.
How can I get insurance if my roof is in bad shape?
If a home’s roof is 20 years old or older, insurance providers can be reluctant to offer coverage. You might have to pass an inspection to qualify for coverage, or you might only be able to acquire actual cash value coverage.
Some insurance providers can outright decline to provide coverage for any home with a roof that old.
A much better strategy is to just replace the roof rather than trying to insure a house with an outdated roof. Keep in mind that failing to repair a roof will likely only hurt you in the end.
“It’s a bad idea,” Worters says. “It’s a maintenance problem, and if you don’t maintain your home, it is vulnerable to further damage.”
Worters admits that rebuilding a roof can be expensive, but still believes the expenses for the task are justified.
According to her, “new roofs have new safeties that older roofs don’t have.” And that’s a pretty crucial factor, both from an insurance and a homeowner’s loss perspective.
In other words, it’s time to acquire rates for roof replacement if your roof is in too terrible of shape for homeowners insurance coverage.
You can also take a look at Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Renovations?