Most of the time, your home insurance will help cover the cost associated with repairing or replacing your roof after damage.
However, it’s important to understand that insurance companies are not going to give their clients a new roof for free. You’ll more than likely need to pay a deductible.
Most insurance companies also don’t provide an insurance policy that protects against normal wear and tear. So, it’s important to invest in regular inspections and proper maintenance in order to avoid major roof damage with an older roof.
How Does the Age of Your Roof Impact Homeowners’ Insurance Rates and Coverage?
There are three main factors that insurance providers consider when outlining your insurance premium and coverage:
- Age of your roof
- Condition of your roof
- Location of your home
As your roof ages, it gets more expensive to replace and insure. Every year your roof lasts, the more wear and tear it sustains and the less life expectancy it has. The insurance industry understands that an old roof is a risky investment. So, they increase insurance rates for older roofs to justify the risk.
Normal wear and tear on an old roof is unavoidable. However, homeowners who maintain the condition of their roof will typically receive the benefits of lower premiums. An old roof in poor condition is much more likely to have a roofing claim denied.
Damage to your roofing system due to neglect or standard wear and tear is typically not covered by homeowners’ insurance. So, it’s the homeowners’ responsibility to maintain their roofs.
Your home’s location can also affect homeowners’ insurance rates, especially in higher-risk, coastal areas. In areas where natural disasters are more likely, the vast majority of insurers have strict regulations on their policies. Other insurers may require homeowners to add additional coverage for risks such as tornados, hail damage, or floods.
How Long Does a Roof Last?
Roofs were not, in fact, made to last forever. We’ve seen some get pretty close, though.
Different roofing materials are made to last longer than others. Here is the expected roofing lifespan for the following roof types.
Asphalt shingle roofs are the most common roofs in America. This roof type lasts 15-30 years, on average, with most homeowners needing a roof replacement after 20 years.
We provide additional information on Bossier shingle roof cost in our blog!
There are a variety of flat roof types and materials. But for the most part, homeowners can expect a flat roof to last from 20-50 years.
The lifespan of a flat roof is largely dependent on the roofing material, the installation process, and how it’s maintained over time.
Metal roofs have recently become a popular alternative to asphalt roofs. A metal roof can last anywhere from 50-75 years, as long as it’s been properly installed and maintained.
Wood Shake Roof
Wood shake roofs are extremely durable when they’re maintained. Wooden shingles can last around 35-40 years before needing to be replaced, as long as the homeowner maintains them and handles minor repairs in a timely manner.
Will an Insurance Company Insure an Older Roof?
Most insurance companies will not cover roofs older than 20 years old.
Your roof age does matter when it comes to your homeowners’ insurance policy. A roof can be extremely expensive to replace, and older roofs (more specifically, roofs older than 20 years) are more likely to sustain damage during a storm.
So, if your home has an older roof, many insurers believe that you are much more likely to make an expensive roof replacement claim in the near future.
Some homeowner’s insurance companies won’t offer you homeowner’s insurance at all if you have an old roof. Other insurance companies may add a condition or an endorsement to your insurance policy, stating that your roof is only covered for its actual cash value.
Actual Cash Value vs. Replacement Cost
Actual cash value (ACV) means that your homeowners’ insurance company will pay you for the value of your home’s roof in its current state. Insurance policies pay actual cash value for roofs have depreciation factored into the roof insurance claim settlement.
Depreciation is calculated by a roofing claims adjuster during the Shreveport or Bossier roof inspection.
Each homeowner’s insurance company has its own guidelines regarding the roof age and condition.
ACV Example for Roof Replacement
Let’s say that a comparable brand-new roof it costs $20,000 and has a useful life expectancy of 20 years. In this case, the roof would lose 5% of its value yearly.
So, when your roof is ten years old, if your insurance policy operates on an actual cash value basis, your roof has lost 50% of its value. This means that the value of your roof is now $10,000. If you haven’t maintained your roof, then your homeowners’ insurance company may take out additional depreciation based on your roof’s current condition.
Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Roof Replacement?
Your homeowners’ insurance company will cover roof damage caused by a natural weather event or accident. So, in layman’s terms, your insurance company should cover roof replacement or roof repairs if your roof sustained storm damage, hail damage, or fire damage.
What Kind of Roof Damage is Covered by Most Insurance Companies?
Many insurance companies specifically list the causes of roof damage that your insurance policy covers. Some insurance companies provide a list of roof damage causes that aren’t included in your insurance policy, instead.
Events That Receive Insurance Coverage
Insurance companies tend to cover roof damage caused by the following:
- Snow or ice damage
- Fire or smoke damage
- Lightening damage
- Wind and hail damage
- Falling objects
Events That Do Not Receive Insurance Coverage
Insurance companies don’t typically cover roof damage caused by the following:
- Normal wear and tear
- Normal aging
- Rot or mold
Many homeowners’ insurance companies will exclude wind and/or hail damage from your insurance policy if you live in a region where tornadoes or hurricanes are common. So, if natural disasters are common in your area, then you need to speak with your insurance company to ensure your home is fully covered.
How to File a Roof Replacement Home Insurance Claim
If you have a damaged roof, there are important steps that you need to follow for a smooth roof replacement and claims process.
Protect Your Home
Most homeowner’s insurance companies require homeowners to take the necessary precautions to protect their home from subsequent damage. In most cases, “necessary precautions” refers to putting up a tarp to prevent leaks.
Our roofing company provides instructions here: How to Tarp a Roof
Get a Roof Inspection and Estimate From a Qualified Roofer
At Quality Exteriors, we can help you with the homeowner’s insurance claims process. We’ll put together a roofing estimate to repair or replace your damaged roof.
Review Your Homeowner’s Insurance Policy
Before you file a claim with your homeowner’s insurance company, you’ll want to first review your policy to make sure that the damage is covered.
You don’t want to submit a claim to your insurance company if the claim won’t be approved. Even a denied claim can show up on your home insurance claims history.
While a denied claim won’t affect your insurance premiums, if you file a number of claims, your insurance carrier may see you as a higher risk.
It’s also important to understand how much the insurance company is going to pay to repair or replace your roof. In certain cases (especially with older roofs), the amount that you receive from your home insurance company may not be enough to justify the increase in insurance rates moving forward.
File The Roof Insurance Claim With Your Home Insurance Company
Major homeowner’s insurance companies will let you file a claim to repair or replace your roof through your agent, online, over the phone, or through a mobile app.
Before you call, you should have the following information on hand to give to your insurance company:
- the age of your roof
- roofing materials
- the date and cause of your roof damage
- photos or videos of any damage
- receipts for any temporary repairs made (including purchasing tarps, etc.)
- list of any secondary damage
- an estimate for the repair or replacement cost
Meet With Your Insurance Adjuster
Once you’ve filed your roof replacement or repair claim, your insurance company will schedule a time for an insurance adjuster to come to your home and inspect the roof damage.
The adjuster’s job is to help the insurance company determine whether or not it’s their responsibility to repair or replace your roof. So, you’ll want to ensure that you have everything on hand that can help them understand how the damage occurred.
Get the Insurance Settlement and Fix Your Roof
Once your insurance claim has been approved, your insurance company will determine how much it should cost to fully replace or repair your roof. From here, they’ll send you a settlement check.
Most of the time, your insurance company will send you a partial check to help you hire a qualified roofer and get the roof work started. In general, homeowners receive the final payment after the roof work is completed and the adjuster inspects the new roof.
How to Keep Your Roof Insurable
If you have an old roof or if you’re looking to purchase a new roof, there are a few things you can do to keep your roof insurable and combat high insurance rates:
- make sure your roof is regularly inspected and maintenanced
- research roofing materials to avoid added costs or coverage limits
- know when it’s time to replace your old roof
- read your insurance policy
Professional Roofers Serving the Ark-La-Tex
If you’re looking for a roofing company to help you repair or replace your roof, you’ve come to the right place. The professional roofers at Quality Exteriors have been serving home and business owners since 1982. We’re accredited by the BBB and maintain a high rating at any given time. We’re certified by the Louisiana State Licensing Board and are a proud member of the Home Builders Association of Northwest Louisiana.
We provide roofing services for the following areas:
- Bossier City roofing services
- Shreveport roofing services
- Bryant roofing services
- South Louisiana roofing services
- East Texas roofing services
Call our roofers at 318-747-1254 for more information.