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Will Insurance Cover A 20-Year-Old Roof?

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Will Insurance Cover A 20-Year-Old Roof?

Your home’s roof is very important, but it will naturally age over time and develop wear and tear. Naturally, many homeowners will choose to replace their roof when it reaches a certain age, such as the average age of 15 to 20 years. 

However, many homeowners in Florida have run into problems in the past trying to get insurance to cover their roof replacements. This is why, if you live in Tampa, or the surrounding areas, you’ll want to read this article to learn all you can about insurance in Florida, and whether it will cover your 20-year-old roof.

How Does Roofing Material Affect Insurance Coverage On A 20-Year-Old Roof?

An insurance policy’s coverage for a 20-year-old roof can be greatly impacted by its roofing material. The lifespan and damage resistance of various materials can vary, affecting the availability and cost of insurance coverage. Here are some things to think about:

  1. How Long Your Roof Lasts: The lifespan of your roof depends on the material that it’s made of. For example, asphalt shingle roofs have a 15 to 20 year lifespan, whereas tile roofs can last 50 years or more. This is one of the factors that insurance companies consider when setting the extent of coverage and associated costs.
  1. Damage Resistance Of Your Roof: Some roofing materials are more immune to pests, fire, and harsh weather than others. For example, synthetic asphalt shingles are more resistant to impact damage than typical asphalt shingles.
  1. What Your Insurance Company Wants: Depending on the material of your roof, different insurance companies may make different requests. Before they update your insurance, some might require that your roof passes an inspection. If your roof is particularly worn down, others may only cover some of the damage.

Florida Insurance Regulations

Recent changes have been made by the Florida legislature to help homeowners retain insurance coverage on their roofs. Currently, insurance companies are required to inspect your home and roof before denying coverage, no matter how old your roof is. Your roof must also show that it has at least five more years of good use left in it, if it is older than 15 years. 

However, some insurance companies have now found a way around this by instituting prequalifications to make it more difficult for older homes to obtain insurance, such as requiring additional protection against water. 

If your roof is over 15 years old, you may have to pay more for repairs if your roof does not comply with the new regulations, or you may have to pay more for insurance altogether. 

Home With Asphalt Shingle
Home With Asphalt Shingle

Will Insurance Pay For A Total Roof Replacement? 

If your roof is suddenly damaged by an accident or a natural disaster like fire or hurricane, your homeowner’s insurance usually helps cover the cost of a new roof. However, unlike in situations where your roof is damaged by a storm, your insurance may not pay for the repairs if your roof gradually deteriorates due to everyday use or neglect. 

If your roof is over 20 years old, your insurance may only cover the original cost, not the current replacement cost. Maintain photos, inspection reports, and records of repairs to ensure that your insurance claim is accepted. It’s critical to understand the precise scope of coverage that your chosen insurance provides for roof replacements.

In short, homeowners insurance may not fully cover the cost of replacing an older roof or damage resulting from normal wear and tear, but it can help with the cost of a new roof if specific events cause the damage. Homeowners must know what is covered under their insurance, and maintain proper records.

The Impact Of Roof Maintenance:

The way you maintain your roof plays a crucial role in determining your eligibility for insurance coverage, especially for older roofs like those hitting the 20-year mark in Florida. Here’s an extensive look at key aspects of roof maintenance and how they can impact your insurance:

1. Importance of Roof Condition

Keeping your roof in top condition is not just a matter of structural integrity, but also a significant factor in insurance considerations. Insurance companies often assess the condition of your roof when reviewing claims.

A well-maintained roof is less likely to suffer from severe damage, which in turn, reduces potential claims. Neglecting routine maintenance, on the other hand, can lead to insurers assuming that any damage is caused by negligence, which might result in denied claims.

Regular maintenance includes tasks such as cleaning gutters, inspecting for damaged or missing shingles, and ensuring proper attic ventilation to prevent moisture buildup.

2. Taking A Proactive Approach to Repairs

Identifying and addressing potential problems early is key. If you notice signs of wear or tear, taking immediate action can prevent further deterioration. This proactive approach can be crucial in your insurance claim process.

Documenting repairs and maintenance work is equally important. Keeping a record of all the repairs, no matter how minor, can provide valuable evidence to your insurance company that you have been diligent in maintaining your roof.

3. Professional Roof Inspections

Regular professional inspections are essential, especially for older roofs. It’s recommended to have your roof professionally inspected at least twice a year and after any major weather events.

These inspections can uncover issues that might not be visible to the untrained eye. They can also provide expert recommendations for any necessary repairs or preventative measures.

Documentation from these inspections can be critical in supporting an insurance claim. It shows the insurance company that you have taken steps to maintain the roof’s condition and can be particularly persuasive if the insurer disputes a claim on the grounds of neglect.

4. Maintenance and Insurance Claims

When filing a claim, the insurer will review the roof’s maintenance history. A well-maintained roof might lead to a smoother claim process and potentially better coverage options. In contrast, a history of poor maintenance can lead to reduced payouts or even claim denials, with the insurer arguing that the damage was preventable or exacerbated by neglect.

Conclusion

It can be challenging to obtain insurance in Tampa for an old roof. That is why it is important to understand the rules and regulations, the materials on your roof, and proper maintenance practices. Speak with professionals, review your current insurance plan, and investigate various insurance options. Even with an older roof, being proactive helps maintain the security of your house.

If you need a trustworthy, professional roofing expert to provide you with an inspection for your insurance coverage, contact the team at SouthShore Roofing & Exteriors. We’ve been helping homeowners in and around the Tampa, Florida, area for years and are ready to help you! You can provide you with a cohesive inspection and provide any repairs if necessary. Experiencing severe storm damage? We’ll be there for you as well! Just give us a call today at (813) 400-3329 to schedule an inspection with one of our experts. 

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