Whether you’re buying a home or have lived in the same place for many years, you want to make sure that your roof is insured against any damage from the elements. However, if your roof is getting up in years, you may have concerns about how much your homeowner’s insurance will cover.
In this article, we’ll talk about how age can affect your roof’s coverage, how old a roof must be for most insurance companies to stop providing coverage, and what you can do to keep your home protected. Here’s what we’ll cover:
- How does the age of a roof affect insurance claims?
- Will insurance cover replacing an old roof?
- Will insurance cover a 10-year-old roof?
- Will insurance cover a 15-year-old roof?
- Will insurance cover a 20-year-old roof?
- How will Axe Roofing help in the insurance process?
How Does the Age of a Roof Affect Insurance Claims?
The short answer is this: A roof cannot be denied coverage just based on its age.
Some insurance companies will try to decline coverage if your roof is past a certain age or has not undergone regular maintenance. This should have no bearing on if the storm damage is covered by insurance. Sometimes it is hard to discern between wear and tear and storm damage. That’s why it’s important to have a roofing professional present during your Insurance Adjuster meeting to make sure storm damage is not written off as the roof being old.
One thing to keep in mind is that when your roof reaches a certain age, some companies will stop covering its replacement cost value (RCV), and instead switch over to actual cash value (ACV). The difference between replacement cost value and actual cash value is a big deal. That’s because an RCV policy will pay for repairs and replacements based on current rates, whereas an ACV policy will only cover damages minus depreciation. In other words, if your 16-year-old roof gets destroyed by a hailstorm, an RCV policy will pay for a brand-new roof; an ACV policy will only pay up to the value of your old roof (which may not be very much).
Will Insurance Cover Replacing an Old Roof?
The answer is: yes. Even if you have an RCV policy on a 25-year-old roof that is in rough shape and there is serious storm damage, the insurance company will pay 100% to replace the roof at current market value. We hear from a lot of homeowners who are reluctant to file an insurance claim because of a belief that they may not cover it. Insurance absolutely will and they should.
For example, if a storm damages a 25-year-old roof, by letting it sit there, the roof will most definitely have leaks and holes. A hailstorm can wreck a brand-new roof, but it SHREDS an old roof. Most homeowners have been paying into premiums for many years and they should get a new roof before the old one starts to leak. Not doing so may result in paying for a new roof out of pocket because the damage is too old to claim.
Of course, there are a ton of exceptions to these rules, and you should ask your insurance agent for the details on what your policy does and doesn’t cover. Let’s break down what you may be dealing with for 10, 15, and 20-year-old roofs:
Will Insurance Cover a 10-Year-Old Roof?
Yes. Most homeowner’s insurance policies will cover damage to a 10-year-old roof. Again, the amount that your company ends up paying will depend on whether you have an RCV or ACV policy.
For example, let’s say your 10-year-old roof has an actual cash value of $8,000, your policy’s deductible is $2,000, and your roof has sustained $12,000 worth of damage. With a replacement cost value policy, your insurance should cover $10,000 out of the total replacement cost of $12,000. (Total cost – your deductible). With actual cash value, however, it will only cover $6,000 (your roof’s actual cash value – your deductible), leaving you to pay for the additional $6,000 on your own.
Will Insurance Cover a 15-Year-Old Roof?
Yes. Many homeowners don’t realize that the day their roof turns 15 years old, their insurer may reclassify coverage as actual cash value instead of replacement cost. A lot of insurance companies do this because older roofs suffer damage more easily, and they don’t want to pay the full cost of replacing an old roof with a brand-new one.
The point is, your policy may cover damage to your 15-year-old roof — but you need to get the details straight in order to avoid any nasty surprises down the road.
Will Insurance Cover a 20-Year-Old Roof?
Yes. Some insurance companies may offer actual cash value policies for roofs that are 20 years old. It’s good to remember that once your roof hits the 20-year mark, its roofing membrane has likely exceeded its expected life span. That means there could be a score of issues inside your roofing system (like moisture problems, insect infestations, structural damage, etc.) that insurance companies don’t want to deal with.
As a reminder, we suggest filing a roof insurance claim before the old one starts to leak, causing out-of-pocket expenses. While the process may seem intimidating, the team at Axe Roofing can walk alongside you to make it easier.
How Will Axe Roofing Help in the Insurance Process?
The insurance process for a roof replacement can be long, tedious, and stressful. However, having the right roofing contractors on your side can help to alleviate the anxiety you may feel. At Axe Roofing, we’re committed to helping our neighbors get through the insurance process with minimal stress and exceptional results. For example:
- We’ll promptly come out to assess your roof’s current condition, and let you know whether repairs are called for, or your roof needs to be replaced.
- We’ll perform an in-depth inspection of your roofing system as needed, and let you know of any serious issues that need to be resolved in order to maintain coverage.
- We’ll walk you through the insurance process step by step. Even though we’re not insurance agents, we have decades of experience working with roofing insurance claims and know the industry inside and out.
If you’d like to learn more about how we can help, reach out to our team today. Or schedule a free quote with one of our experienced roofing professionals. Whether your roof is new or old, we can help you to live with peace of mind, knowing that your home is protected, and that expert help is just a click or phone call away.