Will Insurance Cover a 20-Year-Old Roof?
The age of your roof may impact your insurance coverage, and in general, the newer your roof, the lower your cost. Your insurance may also cost less if your roof is made of a more durable material because it may be more protective in harsh weather.
If your specific roof is eligible for coverage depends on the insurance carrier and the specific policy. Often, a roof that is 20 years old may only be eligible for cash value. Most homeowner policies only cover damage that results from an act of nature or an accident, not from general wear and tear, and when a roof has exceeded its life span it may be difficult to tell what is beyond normal wear and tear and what damage was caused from an act of nature.
Will my insurance cover my 20-year-old roof?
To determine if your roof is eligible for coverage, it’s best to check with your policy and carrier. Many carriers offer limited coverage, if any, for a roof that is 20 years of age or older.
What factors go into roof coverage?
Obviously, the age of your roof factors into the amount of coverage on your roof – with an older roof (such as a 20-year-old roof) sometimes being ineligible for insurance coverage due to age. Your policy may not cover your roof simply due to age. Other policies may cover a roof that age, but require an inspection first to determine the quality of the roof.
The material your roof is made from also matters. A more durable material, such as metal, generally lasts longer and is fire-resistant. These qualities improve the longevity of your roof, and in turn, make your insurance premium lower. Slate and tile are also resistant to fire and insects and are low maintenance, and are good choices for roofing materials. Asphalt shingles are a very common roofing material because they have a long life span and are affordable, while wood roofing material is not fire resistant and can rot easily.
Believe it or not, your roof’s shape can even impact how much you pay in your premium. A hip roof, which has multiple facets, generally cuts down on wind shear and improves the longevity of your roof, which can bring down your premium. A gable roof has two sides and looks like an upside-down “V”, and this style of roof is more susceptible to wind shear, which can make your premium higher than other roof styles. A flat roof, with no arch, may be more expensive to insure in certain climates due to weather.
How can you maintain your roof?
Maintaining your roof is part of general home maintenance and an important part of what you need to do to ensure that your roof is covered by your insurance. Check your roof frequently for damage, both inside and outside, and if you do find damage, get it repaired. Keep your gutters clean and free of debris.
If you have shingles that are damaged or worn, replace them so that you don’t get water damage or leaks in your roof. Take photos of your roof each year so that you have a record in case you do get hit by a storm or have some other event that causes damage to your roof. If you do have your roof repaired or replaced, let your insurance carrier know because you may be eligible for a discount on your insurance premium.