Imagine you’re on the house hunt in Fort Worth, Texas, and you’ve found an almost perfect home. It has a great master suite, plenty of room in the backyard, and a kitchen designed for entertaining. The only problem is the roof. It’s not falling apart by any means, but it’s older and some of the shingles are cracked and curled. Maybe you can see a bit of discoloration, but you don’t notice any leaks when you walk around the house, so how bad could the problem be?
If you’ve read our other posts, you know that an old, faulty roof is nothing to take lightly. It can cause a host of problems for your home, including leaks, mold, draft, and damage to the structural integrity. However, a bad roof could be a problem for you before you even start to live in the house. Homeowner’s Insurance companies look at every aspect of the house, including your roof. If the roof is in bad shape, it could have a negative impact on your premiums or even your likelihood of getting homeowner’s insurance in the first place.
Old Roofs Are a Liability
When teenagers apply for car insurance, they’re typically charged higher premiums than experienced drivers because they’re more likely to get into an accident than more experienced drivers. When a homeowner with an old roof applies for homeowner’s insurance, they’re more likely to be charged a higher premium than homeowners with brand new roofs because older roofs are more susceptible to damage. Even roofs made with the best quality materials are exposed to the elements at all times and they have a limited lifespan. A good roof can last as long as 30 years. So, if the roof of a home is about 15 years or older, the homeowner can expect to pay for it dearly when it comes to homeowner’s insurance.
If the roof is over 20 years old, the insurer will probably require a roof inspection. An expert roofing contractor will have to take a look at the roof and assess the liability. If the roof fails the roof inspection, the insurance company will require a roof replacement or deny homeowner’s insurance.
It Applies to Renewals, Too
Roofing problems will continue to affect your homeowner’s insurance, long after your first approval for homeowner’s insurance. Even if your roof was only 5 years old when you bought the house, your insurer will reassess when it’s time to renew your homeowner’s insurance. If your roof is in bad shape, your premiums are likely to go up. Since after 20 years, it’s almost guaranteed that the roof will have some kind of damage, insurers will at that point require an inspection and, upon failure according to the roofing contractor, a roof replacement. Some insurers will pay for part of the roof replacement but not all. In most cases, insurers will pay what the roof is worth at its current age, rather than the value of a roof replacement.
The age of the roof can also affect how much the insurance company is likely to cover in the instance of damage from storms. If the roof was new and in good condition before the storm, insurers are most likely to pay for the damage in full. If the roof is older and in bad shape, reimbursement starts to become slim. Some insurers will pay what they think the roof is worth at its age and condition before the storm, while others won’t reimburse you at all.
Leaky roofs are also tricky when it comes to insurance. It’s the homeowner’s responsibility to stay up-to-date with the maintenance of the home and prevent leaks. If the roof is known to have issues with leaks, insurance companies may not be very sympathetic when those leaks cause damage to the home.
A Bad Record
Just like any other forms of insurance, when you apply for homeowner’s insurance, the insurers look at your history as well as the history of the home. If your history is full of frequent insurance claims, a new insurer may expect more of the same from you and charge a higher premium. However, if your homeowner’s insurance history is fairly uneventful, much better for you. They can trust that you’re someone who takes care of your home and doesn’t often need to use your coverage. You’re just applying in case of emergencies that you don’t expect to happen, and that’s an insurer’s favorite kind of policyholder.
It’s important to feel confident in your roof when you move in, and to keep it in shape while you live in that home. Not only is it key to protecting your home, it’s also the secret to your homeowner’s insurance. But if you need some extra assistance handling the insurance company, contact First Texas Roofing. Our reputation with insurers is as strong as it is with homeowners. We can help maximize your coverage and keep your premiums low when it comes time to adjust your homeowner’s insurance.