Can You Still Get Homeowners Insurance if You Have a Bad Roof?

Homeowners insurance is an invaluable protection against various types of loss. These include fire, storms, and break-ins. That is why more than 93 percent of all homeowners have a policy.

For those who lack it, one of the common underlying reasons is that their home needs significant repairs, and a bad roof is a major red flag for insurance companies. It does not mean it is impossible to get a policy, but it depends on several factors. The good news is that, once you understand what those are, you can better navigate the application process.

Keep reading if you want to know how to get homeowners insurance with a bad roof. This article covers the variables to consider and strategies for getting coverage.

Do Not Panic

Especially if your homeowners insurance has been canceled due to the condition of your roof, do not worry. There are options available to you, even if your roof is exceedingly old, damaged, or dilapidated. Keep in mind that finding the right insurance policy requires patience and diligence.

Assess¬†Your Roof’s Age and Condition

One of the first things to consider when determining how to get homeowners insurance with a bad roof is its age. Most insurance companies will consider an asphalt shingle roof “old” if it was put on more than 15 or 20 years ago.

This may not be the case for other materials. Metal, tile, slate, and clay roofs are meant to last much longer, sometimes up to 100 years. If you have a roof with one of those materials, regardless of its shape, you should include this information in the policy application.

Beyond sheer age, assess any preexisting damage or general wear and tear on your roof. You might even get a quote from a professional roofing contractor. They can take pictures and give you a better idea of how much the roof has deteriorated and its current value.

Gather Information About Repairs

Regardless of the condition your roof is in, gather as much information as you can about any regular maintenance or repairs that have been made. If you are in the process of buying the house, ask the previous homeowners.

You also might want to do a little research into the brand of shingles. Like other products, there is a wide range in quality and durability. Any information you can offer demonstrating increased value in the roof can bolster your application.

Know Coverage Options

If you have a bad roof, you should expect to pay higher premiums for homeowners insurance coverage. Rates may be more than 50 percent higher than typical homeowners insurance premiums. This could impact the level of protection you get.

There are many different homeowners insurance coverage types. Only three main categories pertain to homes (vs. condos or renters): HO-1, HO-2, and HO-3.

These demarcations correspond to levels of coverage, with HO-1 being the most basic. It covers only the main building of your home and attached structures, like garages and home furnishings (like carpet and some appliances). It also covers most weather events, vandalism, theft, and other categories.

HO-2 is a broader policy that covers everything in HO-1 plus your personal possessions. It also adds a few causes of damage that HO-1 lacks, like freezing pipes or damage from electrical currents. It also includes weight from ice, snow, and sleet.

HO-3 is the most comprehensive option. It covers everything listed above but compensates you for living expenses and medical payments resulting from the damage. It also adds a few incidents.

The level of coverage you seek is important because it could mean the difference in approval or denial. For instance, an insurance company may be reluctant to sell a homeowner a policy that covers damage from the weight of snow if the roof is leaking or deteriorating.

Understand Coverage Conditions

Remember that homeowners insurance companies will use the “actual cash value” formula to calculate how much they will pay for your roof if further damage occurs. This is the value of your roof equal to the replacement cost, minus depreciation.

It is essential to understand that you will get a brand-new roof if it sustains damage from a storm the day your policy goes into effect. The insurer will assess the worth of your roof and then pay out that amount (minus depreciation) if a disaster occurs.

Learn More About How to Get Homeowners Insurance With a Bad Roof

Now that you know how to get homeowners insurance with a bad roof, you can find a policy today. An experienced insurance agent can advise you further on the right steps to get coverage for your home and budget.

Founded in 1922, McMahon Insurance Agency has more than 100 years of success in meeting clients’ insurance needs. In addition to homeowners insurance, we offer auto, flood, and life insurance and many specialty policies for renters, condominiums, and group health plans. Reach out to see how we can help you today.