Your Roof and Your Insurance Rates

Many of us have heard the expression, “Having a roof over our heads” in reference to having a home. Having a good strong roof makes sense on many levels. Bonnie Pesch, a veteran personal lines underwriter with West Bend, will discuss how your roof ages and the role insurance plays if your roof is damaged.

A roof is usually the best it’s going to be when it’s installed. New shingles can tolerate much more abuse from elements, like hail. On the other hand, even just a small piece of hail can damage an older roof. A roof will also lose its ability to shed water as it gets older.

That’s why many insurance carriers now charge more for homeowner’s insurance if a roof is older. So if you recently replaced your roof or are thinking of doing it soon, be sure to contact your insurance agent. Your agent will want to update your policy and may even change the coverage for your roof from actual cash value to replacement cost. Replacement cost provides the coverage you need to replace your roof, while actual cash value provides coverage for the value of the roof at the time it’s replaced; it takes into account depreciation of the shingles.

It’s important to tell your insurance agent what type of material is used on your new roof. Slate, steel, and tile roofs have a much longer life expectancy than asphalt shingles. And while a new steel roof may be eligible for a hail-resistive discount, it may also carry a cosmetic exclusion.

Now, how do you decide if it’s time to replace your roof?

 Information courtesy of West Bend