Believe it or not, homes with old (or unrepaired) roofs can cause big problems when trying to find homeowner’s insurance. If you’re buying an older home, here’s what you need to know.
What qualifies as an “aged roof”?
A roof can be considered an aged roof if it is over 20 years old.
What can happen if I have an aged roof?
Most major insurance carriers will not write a policy on a home with an “aged roof,” so if your home has an older roof, then you may not be able to find homeowner’s insurance.
If you do find an insurance policy, it might contain an endorsement adjusting the roof coverage to an Actual Cash Value basis (vs. the better Replacement Cost basis). This means that if you suffered a total loss (such as during a hail storm), your insurer will “depreciate” the value of the roof based on age and condition—and you will receive less claim money.
Some insurers now require a 1% or 2% wind/hail deductible on roofs, which can cause problems at closing. It can also mean that the policy does not meet your mortgage lender’s requirements for insurance.
How do I know if I have an aged roof?
Listen to your home inspector. They can do research, help you accurately understand the condition of the roof, and describe it in their final report.
How do I get homeowner’s insurance if I have an aged roof?
If you do have an aged roof, you have a couple of options. You can try asking the current owner to fix (or replace) the roof. Or you can work with an independent insurance agent who is willing to help you find a custom insurance solution that meets your lender’s requirements.
Need homeowner’s insurance for an aged roof? HomeServices Insurance is an independent insurance agency, and can help.