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How the Age of Your Roof Affects Insurance Claims for Damage

Navigating the insurance claims process for a roof repair can be a headache. Usually, it’s due to an unexpected event, is time-consuming, and can lead to costly repairs you weren’t prepared to make. Even more frustrating, the age of your roof can often impact your insurance claim, even if the roof seems to be in good condition.

Keep reading for insights into roofing longevity and proper roof upkeep to help you avoid claims headaches.

 

How long does a roof typically last?

Under normal weather conditions, different roofing materials can last between 20 and 50 years and even up to 100 years or more.

Here are some of the more common roofing materials and their lifespans:

  • Asphalt shingles: 15 years and up.
  • Architectural asphalt: 20-30 years.
  • Wood shingles and shakes: 25-40 years.
  • Metal roofs: 40-60 years.
  • Concrete tile: About 50 years.
  • Clay tiles: 50-100 years.

Although the longevity of the product often means it’s more expensive to install, it can help you save money in the long run with fewer repairs needed, better insurance premiums, and the need to replace less often. If you’re in the market for a new roof, carefully consider how the investment into a higher quality, durable roofing material can positively impact the lifetime costs of your roof.

 

What does a typical homeowners insurance policy cover for roofs?

While you may be hopeful that a roof insurance claim would be 100 percent covered by your insurance policy, that often is not the case. Rather than cover the entire roof replacement cost, some insurance companies will only cover the actual cash value for a roof damage or replacement claim. The actual cash value, or ACV, means they calculate the depreciated cost of the roof out of the claim payout. So if your roof is 15 years old, they will calculate the value based on how it decreased over time.

In other circumstances, insurance coverage may not be offered to homes with older roofs because of the high risk of damage or needed repairs. An inspector will evaluate the condition of the roof to determine if coverage can be offered or if a roof replacement is required before offering coverage options.

 

Are there age limits and exclusions for roof coverage?

Homeowners insurance coverage takes into consideration the age of the roof when determining your insurance premium. Most policies will cover a roof for up to 20 years — although you may be subject to additional inspections beginning after the 10-year period.

However, there are some other exclusions to note. For example, some insurance companies may not offer coverage for a wood-shingled roof unless it has been fire-retardant treated due to the high risk of it being destroyed in a fire. Other coverage limitations may apply, depending on the roofing material, weather conditions, warranty, and other factors.

 

Other factors that affect the coverage of your roof

Even though age is a huge factor in determining the cost and coverage of your insurance policy, there are other contributing factors, such as:

  • The condition of your roof. When insurance adjusters are evaluating your roof for coverage, they want to see it is in good condition with little to no wear and tear.
  • The roofing material used. Roofing materials that tend to have a long lifespan and are durable against fires and damage from natural elements can typically get you better, less expensive coverage.
  • The location of your home. Areas that experience tropical storms, wildfires, tornadoes, flooding, hailstorms, and other natural disasters may have inflated insurance premium costs or require additional supplemental insurance coverage.
  • The maintenance upkeep of your roof. Annual inspection and repair by a qualified roofing company can help keep your roof in great condition and keep you covered. Keep records and receipts of visits and repairs, as this can help you prove your roof was in good condition before damage in the event that you need to file an insurance claim.

 

Common types of roof damage and how they are typically covered

The good news is that if you have sufficient coverage according to all of the conditions (age of your roof, location, supplemental policy add-ons required, etc.), damage from extreme weather events should be covered by your insurance company. These may include events such as the following:

  • Damage from fire
  • Damage from a fallen tree or debris
  • Damage from hail
  • Damage from wind

 

Steps to take if your insurance claim for roof damage is denied

If you have to make a claim to your insurance company for roof repair and your insurance claim is denied, here are some steps to take to appeal:

  1. Review your policy to understand your insurance coverage. You’ll want to know what types of damages are covered, what types of events are covered, coverage amounts, limitations and exclusions, as well as the claims submissions process.
  2. Review the denial letter from your insurance company to understand the reason.
  3. If you feel the evaluation is unfair and you should be entitled to a payout, request an appeal in writing to your insurance company. They will reschedule another adjustor for a second opinion. Be sure you get all agreements for reinspection in writing so there are no delays in the timing of the process.
  4. Plan to have a trusted roofing company on-site during the inspection. The roofing company will document the inspection alongside the adjuster.
  5. Collect all previous roof repair receipts and reports and keep both the initial and re-assessments for your records.
  6. If you are denied again, you may wish to file a claim with your state insurance board or consult with an attorney.

 

Keep Your Roof in Good Condition with ACME Roofing

A professional roofing contractor can provide routine maintenance to keep your roof in tip-top shape all year long, saving you money in the long run by extending the lifespan of your roof and saving you money on your insurance premium. Plus, they can help you identify when you need a roof replacement so you can feel secure in your home, no matter the weather.

ACME Roofing is here to help you with all of your roofing needs, big and small! Call us for a free estimate today at (253) 564-2292, and let us keep you safe from the elements for decades to come.