How to Get Homeowners Insurance With a Bad Roof
If you’re shopping for homeowners insurance — and your roof is in bad shape — you may be worried about your coverage options. Consider the following:
- Determine the condition of your roof. The older the roof, the more maintenance it may need.
- Understand how companies evaluate roof condition. Your definition of bad may differ from the insurance company’s opinion.
- Gather proper info. Collect all relevant information about your home.
- Shop different policies. Each insurer will have different options and prices.
- Consider a higher deductible or bundling. Having a higher deductible or bundling your policies could save money.
- Consider a high-risk insurance company. High-risk companies specialize in bad roofs.
- Consider roof maintenance or repairs. Keeping up with roof maintenance can save money long-term.
Table of Contents
Covering the Risks of a Bad or Damaged Roof
A roof is essential to every home, providing protection from the elements and keeping you safe and comfortable. However, over time, roofs can deteriorate, develop leaks, or suffer damage from weather events, leaving them in bad condition. Maintaining your roof is essential, as it can prevent costly damage to your home’s interior and improve energy efficiency.
The condition of a roof also matters to home insurance companies, as a poorly maintained or damaged roof can increase the risk of claims and lead to higher insurance premiums or even policy cancellations.
1. Determine The Condition of Your Roof
You can either perform a visual inspection yourself or hire a professional to conduct a thorough assessment to determine your roof’s condition. This information is crucial in understanding the factors that impact a homeowner’s insurance coverage on a roof, including age, materials, and maintenance history.
Roof Factors That Impact Condition
Several factors can impact a roof’s condition, including its age, material, installation quality, level of exposure to weather, and maintenance history. Other factors include the level of existing damage, such as leaks, cracks, or missing shingles, and the overall shape of the roof. These factors can impact the level of coverage an insurance company may offer.
Determining Actual Cash Value (ACV) of Roof
To determine a roof’s actual cash value (ACV), a homeowner can calculate the cost of a new roof, minus depreciation, based on its age and condition. Factors that impact ACV include the type of roofing material, roof size, local labor and material costs, and any applicable deductible. Insurance adjusters may also consider the cost of repairs versus replacement.
2. Understand How Insurance Companies Evaluate Roof Condition
A home insurance company will determine the roof condition by sending an adjuster to assess its age, type of material, installation quality, and maintenance history. The adjuster may also look for signs of damage, such as leaks or missing shingles, and assess the overall shape of the roof.
Factors that may impact the homeowner’s insurance options include the level of coverage, deductible, and premium. A poorly maintained or damaged roof may increase the risk of claims, leading to higher insurance premiums or policy cancellations. In some cases, insurance companies may refuse coverage or require the homeowner to repair or replace the roof before offering insurance options.
3. Gather The Proper Information
Before looking into homeowners insurance policies, you should gather information about your roof, including the age of the roof, type of roofing material, installation date, maintenance, and any previous repairs or damage.
You should also take photos of the roof and any damage. This information proves the roof’s condition and can help insurance companies assess the level of coverage needed. It can also help you negotiate better coverage or premiums. In the long run, having this information readily available can help you avoid disputes with insurance companies and ensure prompt processing of claims in the event of damage or loss.
4. Shop Multiple Different Policies
When shopping for a homeowners insurance policy, you should compare quotes from different insurance companies and evaluate the level of coverage, premium, deductible, and exclusions. Look for policies that provide adequate coverage for your specific needs, such as personal property, liability, and additional living expenses in case of a loss.
It may be helpful to check reviews on the company’s reputation, financial stability, and customer service. Be sure to check the policy exclusions, such as damage caused by flooding, earthquakes, or lack of maintenance, to ensure you have the coverage you need. Understanding the policy’s terms and conditions is essential before making a final decision.
5. Consider Higher Deductibles or Bundling Insurance Policies
Consider a homeowners policy with a higher deductible if you have a bad roof, as it may lower their monthly premiums. The higher the deductible, the lower the premium. You should evaluate if you can afford to pay the higher deductible at the time of a claim.
Bundling insurance policies means purchasing multiple policies from the same insurance company, such as auto and home insurance. Bundling may lead to discounts and lower premiums because insurers will often offer discounts when you bundle policies. It also helps to deal with one insurer, so you don’t have to remember where all of your insurance policies are.
For example, if you live in Florida with an old roof susceptible to hurricane damage, you could have a higher deductible on your homeowner’s insurance policy to save on monthly premiums. However, you could also bundle your auto insurance with the same company to qualify for a discount.
6. Consider a High-Risk Insurance Company
A high-risk insurance company is an insurance company that specializes in providing coverage to homeowners with higher risks, such as those with bad roofs. If you have a bad roof, consider a high-risk insurance company as an option, as these companies may be more willing to provide coverage. Keep in mind they usually come with higher deductibles and premiums.
For example, suppose you live in an area prone to wildfires, have a bad roof, and have difficulty finding insurance coverage. In that case, you may turn to a high-risk insurance company. While you may have to pay a higher premium and deductible, you may be able to obtain coverage you wouldn’t have gotten otherwise.
7. Consider Roof Maintenance or Repairs
Before seeking homeowners insurance coverage, you should perform regular roof maintenance or repair your roof. It may increase your chances of obtaining coverage, lower your premiums, and reduce the deductible. Insurance companies may view a well-maintained or repaired roof as less risky, resulting in better coverage options and rates.
If you live in an area prone to hailstorms, have an old, damaged roof, and are having difficulty finding affordable insurance coverage, consider repairing or replacing the roof. By doing so, you may obtain better insurance coverage options and lower your premiums, saving you money in the long run.
Assessing The Cost of Replacing a Roof
You should get a roof inspection and obtain quotes from several contractors to assess the roof replacement cost. A roof replacement may be a good idea if the existing roof is old, damaged, causing leaks or increased energy bills, or if you are having issues obtaining insurance.
Will Homeowners Insurance Cover a 20-Year-Old Roof?
Whether a homeowner’s insurance policy will cover a 20-year-old roof depends on the condition of the roof. It may be covered if the roof is well-maintained and shows no signs of damage or wear. However, if the roof is damaged, shows signs of wear and tear, or is at the end of its useful life, an insurance company may not cover it.
An insurance company may require a roof inspection before determining coverage for such a roof. The inspection would assess the roof’s condition, age, and pre-existing damage. The insurance company may require repairs or replacement before providing coverage if the inspection reveals damage or signs of wear and tear.
Can Homeowners Insurance Be Canceled Because of a Bad Roof?
Unfortunately, a homeowners insurance company can cancel an existing insurance policy due to a bad roof if the roof poses a significant risk. If this happens to you, you should search for immediate coverage elsewhere to ensure you are protected and not left without insurance. Remember to follow the steps outlined above.
Can You Get Homeowners Insurance Coverage Even After Being Denied Coverage?
You may be able to get homeowners insurance coverage even after previously being denied coverage. You should first determine why you were denied coverage and work to address any issues or concerns the insurance company had. Then you can shop for insurance providers willing to provide coverage following our suggestions.
Putting it All Together
As a homeowner, you may be able to obtain homeowners insurance coverage for a bad roof. We outlined the steps to assess your roof’s condition, gather the necessary information, and shop for insurance policies that fit your needs. We also discussed the importance of maintaining a well-maintained roof and the potential risks of having a bad one.
Consider taking action and following the initial steps outlined in the article to obtain coverage that protects your home and personal property. If you have a bad roof, assess your roof’s condition and consider any necessary repairs or replacements before shopping for insurance policies. Doing so can save money on insurance premiums and avoid potential coverage gaps or denials.