Does Roof Age Matter for Homeowners Insurance?

 In Best Practices, Home, Insurance Advice, Insurance Information, Lifestyle

Does your roof age really matter? More than ever before, it’s important to inform us when you replace your roof on your home, rental property, or commercial building.

But why does your insurance carrier need to know you got a new roof? Most insurance policies have made drastic changes to coverage provided for roofs damaged by wind or hail. Even if you’ve had a claim in the past few years and your insurance carrier paid to have it replaced, we aren’t informed that your roof has been replaced, nor has your policy been updated automatically. It’s important to contact us to ensure our records are correct on your policy.

Today, we’ll explore coverage differences, how roof age impacts your policy, and how wind or hail claims impact your deductible.

How Coverage in the Past Differs from Coverage Today

In the past, if your roof was damaged by wind or hail, the insurance company picked up the entire cost, less your deductible, to have it fixed. In many scenarios, that’s no longer the case. Once a roof is over 15 years old, many policies will depreciate the cost of the roofing materials so you have to pay part of the cost to repair or replace your roof. Some policies depreciate roof claims on a sliding scale based on the age of your roof, even if it’s just one or two years old.

How Roof Age Affects Home Insurance Costs

The cost of home insurance can also vary depending on the age of your roof. The older it is, the higher the cost of the policy. If your roof age is over 20 years, few insurance carriers will offer to write a new policy.

Home buyers beware: if the home of your dreams has an old roof, negotiate the purchase price or require that the seller have the roof redone before you buy it, so you’re able to buy a competitively priced insurance policy with good coverage. 

At American Advantage – IFS, we recommend you control the quality of the materials used for a new roof. If they’re cheap products, you’ll be replacing that roof again on your dime sooner than you may think! Some companies no longer offer coverage if a roof has 3 tab shingles, even if it’s brand new. Why? Because of the inferior quality of the product. Rather, they require any home to have three-dimensional shingles that stand up to wind, hail, extreme temperature changes, and last longer than the old style products.

How Wind or Hail Claims Affect Deductibles

Many policies are now changing how the deductible can be applied to wind or hail claims. If you suffer a fire or break in, you may have just a $1,000 deductible. However, higher deductibles for wind and hail damage are most often now required to be higher, minimally at $2,500, with some as high as 1% or 2% of the limit of coverage on your home.

For example, an average home insured for $300,000 will have a $3,000 or $6,000 deductible. Homes or buildings valued above $1 million will have as high as $10,000 or $25,000 wind or hail damage deductibles. Be sure to read your policy and the coverage change notices your insurance carrier sends you.

At American Advantage – IFS, we represent a multitude of insurance companies for our clients, offering different options and solutions for many different scenarios. We understand the products’ differences to ensure you have the best coverage and pricing available to you.

Many of our competitors have lesser coverage features than the carriers we represent. That’s the difference between companies that work through an independent agent versus those that represent only one company. They focus on a cheap price for your policy, not what it will do for you when you need it. We’re happy to review any other policies of your friends or family so they, too, can have peace of mind.

Trust us, we’ve got your best interests in mind. Contact us today to learn more about how your roof age impacts your homeowners insurance. We’re here for you before and AFTER the next storm hits.

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