If your roof is 20 years or older, getting a new policy or renewing your existing insurance can be difficult but not impossible. While insurance companies generally implement stringent policies on underwriting homes with roofs that are older or have signs of deterioration, there are some available options that you can consider if spending for roof repairs is not within your budget for the moment. In any case, each option can have underlying trade-offs that you must be fully aware of before making that big decision.
Roofs can be the biggest concern for underwriting older homes. Because it protects your homes from the elements, any damage or deterioration can spell a bigger risk for your home insurance provider. Understandably, any insurer will stay away from such risks whenever possible. But what can you do if you are acquiring an old property with a roof that is 20 years or older? Or did you receive that 45-day notice that your underwriter considers canceling your home insurance?
Firstly, you need to have your roof inspected for any damage, leaks, or signs of deterioration. Your inspector will tell you about the issues that you need to address. Roofs that are older than 20 years will normally show signs of deterioration, but finding out the extent of any needed repairs saves you a lot of trouble. It can be possible that repairs might be necessary only on certain portions. Then, you address them with the least possible expense and still secure your renewal or new policy.
Secondly, if your current or potential insurer still wouldn’t risk on such remedial measures, then you better find another one. There are a few who will insure your homes without demanding for roof repairs. But these insurance providers are few and they are quite expensive. Nonetheless, they can get your home insured with provisions that specifically refer to your roof. These few companies can cover your roof but will reimburse only its appraised value. If your roof is 20 years old, then you get reimbursed with only the amount that corresponds to a 20-year old roof. That is equivalent to saying that the total amount for repairs or replacement due to reasons stated on your policy will not be fully covered. If this condition outweighs the risk of losing your home insurance, then this could be a viable option for you.
Finally, looking at the bigger picture will give you the best of both worlds. Although undertaking a major repair is indeed costly, a roof in good condition will offer your house much-needed protection. Can you really take the risk of experiencing tremendous inconveniences because of the elements damaging your home and putting your family’s safety at stake? If you can find a certain way of financing for your roof repairs, you can secure your family and your home insurance policy.
Any way you choose, having homeowners insurance is very important to protect you from big financial risks. A thorough understanding of your current insurance policy or the one that is being offered to you determines your course of action. Making a better-informed decision delivers the best outcome for your particular situation.