Having a roof over your head is considered a fundamental element to your well-being. It provides you and your family with shelter. Often overlooked, it is responsible for offering protection from the elements, saving energy while keeping its dwellers comfortable and adding curb appeal to your home.
While your roof is important, it doesn’t last forever. Neglect of your roof can lead to multiple problems and not just with the roof. Increasing weather damage claims and extensive insurance fraud has more insurers refusing to cover homes with an old roof.
Many insurers are requiring homes with a roof over 15 years old to pass a roof inspection before they renew a homeowners insurance policy as well.
The Florida Department of Financial Services reports the number of lawsuits filed against Florida’s top 44 insurers has continued to increase. During the first six months of this year, 44,325 were filed compared to about 30,000 during this same period of the three previous years.
The rampant fraud has gotten the attention of lawmakers who recently took action to control runaway insurance costs. SB 76 went into law in hopes of reducing the fraud. The bill addresses some of the issues with the states homeowners insurance market. But many acknowledge it is just a start.
“The simple fact is an older roof has more issues which leads to more claims, says Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance.
Allegations of fraud amid the lawsuits and its effect on rising premiums have forced insurance companies to act in order to keep their business solvent. At best, some insurance carriers are only providing coverage for the current actual cash value of the roof which falls way short of covering the cost of a roof replacement. A roof repair can cost $10,000 and up depending on the square foot of the home and roof and the type of material used.
How do you know if you are in danger of having your insurance canceled? Talk to your homeowners insurance agent. Also, make sure you keep watch over your roof.
Tips for protecting your roof
- Keep your gutters clean
- Trim nearby branches
- Replace damaged, worn or missing shingles
- If your roof is over 10 years old, hire a roof inspector who can check and repair damage.
For more information on where to find a reputable roofing contractor go to the National Roofing Contractors Association website.