How to Get Homeowners Insurance with an Old Roof


WRITTEN BY: Mark Romero

UPDATED: SEPTEMBER 22, 2022 | 2 MIN READ

Roofs are necessary for any building, but they often go unnoticed until the first rainy day. The lifespan of a roof is typically 20-30 years. Unlike wine, it doesn’t improve with age.

A roof is often the most expensive and overlooked part of a home. In many cases, it is not until there is a major issue with the roof that homeowners start to appreciate its importance. But for those who have been ignoring their roofs for years, this can lead to some expense.

The age of your roof can have a significant impact on the value of your home and its resale value. A roof over ten years old may result in increased homeowners insurance premiums. Keep reading to learn more about what having an older roof could mean for you.

Problems with old roofs

The roof of a house is the most important part; it protects the home’s inhabitants from the elements, prevents water damage, and keeps the building healthy.

When it comes to aging roofs, you might have experienced some issues with time. As a homeowner, you should be aware of the following issues before you reach out to a roofing contractor:

Leaks

Cracked roof shingles are probably the most common cause of water penetration. The weather is also a factor, with windstorms, rain, or snow easily penetrating a house with cracked or missing roof shingles. Long-term leaks could also lead to mold, so it can be important to think about it now and get a repair.

Sagging

If your ceiling looks like it’s caving in, that is not a good sign. While the roof itself may not fall on you, the interior of your home may have more severe issues within its structure that need to be dealt with quickly. You should call a roofing contractor now to inspect and fix whatever problems this could signify.

Moss

Moss is a big problem in colder climates that experience freeze/thaw cycles. As it clings onto shingle roofs, moss can chip or break them up. If you haven’t been actively monitoring your roof, this can create hard-to-fix problems.

The good news is there are ways to get rid of moss so your roof will be safe from breakage, and the moss won’t return for a few years.

Maintaining longevity 

The least complicated solution for an old roof is just to replace it, but that’s not always viable for homeowners. Here are some tips to get the most out of your roof over a longer period:

Remove debris

If you don’t clean your roof, you can have unexpected guests, such as leaves, tree branches, animal nests, moss, and fungus.

You may be able to clean some of these items from your roof yourself if you have safe access to the roof. Using a power washer is not recommended as it can cause damage to delicate parts of the roof. 

Inspect the roof

One of the most common misconceptions about roofing is that homeowners must climb up on their roofs and inspect them thoroughly every day. That is not the case. A slanted roof needs to be checked from the top and the bottom.

If you have a slanted roof, you must take a few steps back from the house and look up. For a flat roof, check for roof leaks and wind damage regularly.

It’s especially important to do these inspections after severe rain and hail storms, as hail damage can happen quickly. 

Replace individual shingles

When a roof is damaged, it’s best to fix that area immediately. Roofers from reputable roofing companies can replace shingles in one localized area, increasing the longevity of the entire roof.

When is it time to replace an old roof?

After time spent maintaining and avoiding future damage, replacing the roof often becomes worth the investment. Different homeowners have different needs or circumstances when to do this, though. Some reasons you might want to consider replacing your old roof:

You’re in immediate danger

If your roof damage is so great that it’s in danger of caving in. You need to get a new one. It won’t be safe to stay home if it isn’t properly repaired.

You’re selling the house

Potential homebuyers may be wary of purchasing a home with an old roof or one that has undergone significant repairs. Replacing your roof may also increase the house’s value, offsetting the costs of installing the new roof.

It just makes economic sense

Some roofing companies charge by square foot when doing a partial roof replacement. It will become cheaper to replace the entire thing at a certain point.

A partial roof replacement is most commonly used when fixing an issue with one or two specific shingles. Other savings include preventing damage from leaks and other weather-related problems, increased energy efficiency, and a longer lifespan.

How does homeowners insurance treat older roofs?

An old roof can be a big risk and make it difficult to get home insurance.

It’s fairly common for home insurance companies to require older roofs to pass inspection before granting a policy. The payout of roof-related claims can depend on the cause of the damage.

“Acts of God,” such as severe weather events, will probably be covered as long as the roof was properly looked after beforehand. Leaks or water damage caused by a 20-year-old roof that was not maintained adequately are unlikely to be covered.

If you have an old roof and are looking for a homeowners insurance policy or a renewal, you can ensure you’re covered by being proactive.

It’s important to keep detailed records of your roof repairs and maintenance, including photos. If you file a roof claim, you will have the evidence to back up the issue so you can be compensated for your damages.

FAQs

Does the age of your roof affect homeowners insurance?

The age of your roof does impact your home insurance policy premiums. The older your roof, the higher your insurance premiums will likely be. Some insurance policies only offer actual cash value rather than the replacement cost of your roof, so check what your homeowners insurance covers before you make a claim.

Can you get homeowners insurance with an old roof in Florida?

Roof insurance is not state-specific, so you can get homeowners insurance in Florida even if you have an old roof. You’ll want to look into insurance coverage options regardless of location with an old roof.

How do insurance companies determine the age of your roof?

Homeowners insurance companies look at when the roof was last replaced or repaired. A roof inspection will help them determine the age of your roof.

In what circumstance would a property insurance claim be rejected?

Your insurance agent might not cover damage if it was caused due to negligence on your part. You should check your insurance policy for any other exclusions that may be in there.

What are the benefits of a metal roof?

The main benefit of a metal roof is its longevity. Compared to an asphalt roof with a lifespan of around 20 years, metal can last anywhere from 40-70 years, depending on which metal you choose.

What are the requirements for roof replacement?

You can replace your roof whenever you want, but this is typically done if you have a bad or damaged roof. You may also want to switch the roof materials, for example, moving from asphalt shingles to a metal roof. It also depends on the roof’s condition. Usually, if your roof is in good condition, you may not want to bother replacing it, as it can be pricey.

How much would a new roof cost?

This depends on the roof type you choose to have. Asphalt shingles are typically the cheapest roof material, but you may have another roofing material in mind. It also depends on the shape of your chosen roof, for example, a hip roof, a gable roof, or a flat roof.

What is a deductible?

You’ll pay this amount before your homeowners insurance policy kicks in and covers the damage.

What other factors affect homeowners insurance rates?

Other factors that impact home insurance premiums include location, age of the home, and if you have any safety features. Some companies may offer discounts to people with safety features such as cameras and smart alarms.

What are some of the advantages of homeowners insurance?

Homeowners insurance is a type of insurance that protects the homeowner against financial losses caused by fire, theft, vandalism, and other risks. The main advantage of homeowners insurance is that you have peace of mind. You know you’re protected from the unexpected and can sleep soundly at night, knowing your home is safe.

How to Get Help with Homeowners Insurance with an Old Roof

The most important thing about homeowners insurance is that it helps protect your property if something happens.

It covers anything from fire and wind damage to hail and vandalism. If your roof needs some repairs, then you can get a discount on your homeowners insurance by getting an inspection done on the roof before the policy starts.

To check that you’re getting the best possible deal for your roof, compare rates and find the cheapest insurance policy for your needs.