Homeowner’s insurance premiums are a real concern. Your home’s roof is an essential part of the structure. It protects the exterior walls, foundation and everything inside. When you’re shopping for quotes for a homeowner’s insurance policy, the insurance company will want to know about the roof. There are many aspects of a roof that go into the calculation of your premium.
Why the Roof Matters to Insurance Premiums
A rooftop is a considerable amount of the exterior surface area of a house. If it is old, worn out or damaged, an insurance company will assume that you will need to make a claim on it soon and increase your insurance premiums. A roof that is at the end of its lifespan has missing parts or is damaged will likely need to be replaced. A weak or damaged roof is also at risk of even more damage, especially if high winds or a heavy rainstorm come through the area. Because a bad roof increases your chances of making an insurance claim, the agents will quote you a higher premium than you would pay if your home had a brand-new roof or a young roof free of defects.
Type of Roofing Material
Many insurance companies will send an assessor or inspector to your home in order to give you a quote for a premium. Some will simply ask you questions. In either case, the type of roofing material will be an important consideration. Asphalt shingle roofs are the standard material in many places across the United States. They have a lifespan of 15 to 25 years. They’re also prone to problems, such as shingles blowing off, hail damage, and popped nails. Tile roofs last longer, typically around 25 to 50 years. They’re a great choice for withstanding fire, heat, hail and high winds, but they’re a poor choice for cold environments. Metal roofs last for at least 50 years, and they can handle any conditions. Slate is similar to tile, but it usually lasts longer and costs more to install or replace. Wood shakes are the riskiest roofing material and will increase your premiums. They are prone to rot, mold and mildew, fire damage, wind damage and pest damage.
Roof Condition and Insurance Premiums
Once your roof is at two-thirds of its life expectancy, your chances of a claim denial increase, so your homeowner’s insurance premiums could increase. For example, if you file a storm damage claim on a 10-year-old asphalt shingle roof, your insurance company might deny it. If they accept it, you may only get a pro-rated amount after your deductible and the 10 years of wear and tear are considered. The insurance agent could argue that your leak was caused by the roof’s age rather than the storm’s wind gusts and hail. Your homeowner’s premium will also consider the way your roof was installed. Improper installation, including lack of adequate ventilation, missing flashing, no gutters or downspouts in a rainy area or too many layers of asphalt shingles, could increase the premium you pay for homeowner’s insurance. Contact Steele Restoration for more information.