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Will Insurance Cover A 15+ Year-Old Roof?

September 2022
5 minutes read

Can you file a claim for a roof that’s 15 years old? Actually, you can, but the claims process will be complicated. Homeowner’s insurance has seen more claims in the last few years, and most insurers refuse to cover homes with older roofing without detailed data. The truth is the age of your roof will affect your insurance policy.

What Is Considered an Old Roof?

A fifteen-year-old roof is considered old. Contractors might guarantee your roofing system will last up to 25 years, but your insurance company will not agree. Most insurance companies will begin to increase premiums each year or drop you altogether. Older roofs are weaker and are more susceptible to damage.

age of roof and insurance old

Homeowners will have to pay particular attention to their roofs because of the climate. Hot sunshine, high levels of humidity, and harsh winds can wreak havoc on roofs. Standard shingle roofs are especially at risk when it comes to storm damage, and they can potentially deteriorate from simple wear and tear of everyday weather.

Insurance companies can request a roof inspection and consider your inspection report when calculating your insurance premiums. If your older roof fails inspection, you will be expected to have a qualified roofer install a new roof to continue your insurance coverage.

Can You Insure a 15-Year-Old Roof?

It is possible to insure a 15-year-old roof, but buyer beware, there are things you should consider. Insurance companies tend to shy away from insuring homes with older roofs. Roof-related claims have dramatically increased in the last few years, forcing insurance carriers to look at how they cover roofs.

A homeowner’s insurance policy would cover roof damage caused by a covered event such as wind damage or hail damage if your roof inspection showed that you had all wind mitigation features.

Every homeowner must take the necessary precautions to make their roof insurable. A roofing contractor can help you ensure that wind mitigation features such as high-quality roofing materials are installed. The roof deck must be appropriately attached to your roof, and the roof-to-wall attachments must be secure. An insurance agent will also inspect the shape, slope, and roof age. Many insurers also require secondary water barriers.

What Is the Depreciation on a 20-Year-Old Roof?

When calculating roof depreciation, insurance companies consider two critical factors.

Age of Roof

The age of your roofing system is the most crucial factor. When you installed your roofing, it had a life expectancy of twenty-five years. Each year your roof will depreciate by 4%. Twenty years later, you file an insurance claim for a damaged roof from hail damage, and your roof will have depreciated by 80%.

Condition of Roof

Insurance companies will inspect the roof to assess its condition. If it is in decent shape for its age, there may be no adjustment to the insurance claim. If they determine that the roof’s older state-required roof repairs were not done, or if there were prior roof leaks, they will add this to the depreciation calculation.

As your roofing begins to age, your insurance company can ask that you have an inspection to determine the extent of wear and tear of your shingles. These inspections will satisfy your insurance carrier, but they will also help you choose the repairs needed to prevent leaks and subsequent damage.

What Is the ACV of a 20-Year-Old Roof?

The ACV, or when insurance companies pay actual cash value, is the replacement cost minus the depreciation. Realistically, the ACV twenty-year-old roofing will not pay for installing an entire roof. This is a big deal for homeowners hoping to keep their home insurance. The insurance industry is trying to avoid insurance claims for roof replacement. If your policy has been canceled due to the condition of your roofing, other insurers will be wary of roofs older than a decade.

age of roof and insurance new

How Long Does a Roof Last?

Age of roof and insurance worries might have you considering a new roof. An entirely replaced roof is a costly investment, but it is well worth it. Homeowner’s insurance can increase premium prices for coverage. Your best bet is to get a free roof inspection from a reputable roofing company and consider your options.

Standard shingles can last up to 20 years with proper care and maintenance. However, a hot and humid climate can cause roofing systems to fail in as little as six years. Tile roofs can last significantly longer, but they also need regular maintenance.

If your goal is to maintain your home insurance coverage, a roof replacement is your first step. Then you must be proactive and make it last as long as you can, notwithstanding any natural disasters. It would be best to avoid using a power washer on your shingles; the high pressure can remove shingle granules that will decrease the life of your shingles.

It is wise to fortify your roof to prevent roof damage. It would be best to instruct your roofing contractor to seal roof decking. Contractors should also use ring-shank nails that prevent air-lift. Lastly, they should seal down the perimeter with metal flashing. These measures will help protect your investment against hurricanes and thunderstorm winds.

Also, it is best to make sure your ventilation system is working correctly. Insufficient ventilation can cause moisture on the plywood that supports your shingles, decreasing their lifespan. Trim any tree branches that are hanging close to your shingles. While trimming, you can take pictures of your roof to detect any differences when you inspect it next. Differences could signal areas where repairs are needed.

Final Thoughts

You may be able to find an insurance company to cover your aging roof, but the premiums may be costly. The insurance company collecting these premiums will not always return them when you file a claim. The insurance company will only pay a small portion of the cost of a roof replacement. A better financial decision might be to replace your roof and enjoy the lower insurance benefits and the peace of mind knowing your home is well protected.

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Written By:
Olu Shokunbi

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