Roofing Materials and Insurance Premiums: How Your Choice May Affect Your Coverage


When it comes to home insurance, your roof matters more than you may think. The materials you choose for your roofing system, as well as its shape and age, can impact insurance premiums and coverage. As a homeowner, understanding how roofing and insurance are connected is key to making informed decisions for you and your family.

Roofing Materials 

All roofing materials protect your home, but various insurance companies can treat materials differently. For instance, some insurers see fire- and hail-resistant materials as reducing risk to the home, leading to lower premiums. On the other hand, materials that are more susceptible to damage or have shorter lifespans may lead to higher premiums.


Tile, Slate, and Metal 

Tile, slate, and metal roofing materials may be favored by homeowners for their longevity and durability, which is helpful when avoiding potential future roof replacement costs. However, while insurers may like that these materials are so long-lasting, they may not love the average cost per square, which can range from $800 to $1,800. On average, metal is usually the least expensive to insure, whereas slate and tile are more in line with the cost of asphalt.


Asphalt and Wood 

As the more affordable choice, asphalt shingles are one of the most popular roofing options. Asphalt roofing systems are easy to come by, have reduced upfront costs, and can be installed quickly. Asphalt combined with synthetic backing (like fiberglass) creates durable and weather-resistant shingles that come in a variety of styles and colors. All of these components make asphalt shingles a very attractive option for homeowners looking to install or replace a roof on a budget.

Asphalt roofing systems have an average lifespan of around 20–30 years, compared to the longer lifespans of the higher-end slate, metal, and tile options. While asphalt is fire-resistant, it may not stand up well to extreme winds. This type of roofing can also age faster, due to it’s heat retention qualities, which makes it a poor choice for hot climates. All that being said – home insurance rates shouldn’t increase due to an asphalt roof.

As for wood, insurance companies find this material high-risk due to its susceptibility to mold, fire, and severe weather. In fact, some insurance companies won’t even cover a wooden roof system, and others will require a fire-retardant protectant layer before they’ll provide coverage.


Age of Roof 

Generally speaking, the newer your roof is, the better your insurance rates will be. As with everything else, this is all about the risk insurance companies are taking on your behalf. An older roof can have unforeseen issues and risks, like water damage that causes deterioration of the entire roofing system. This increases the need for roof repairs or an entire roof replacement.

If your roof is 20 years or older, insurance companies may require a thorough inspection before offering any sort of coverage. Other providers may only cover a portion of the cash value of the old roof - this means you would be responsible for the remainder of the total costs. Some insurers may refuse to even write a policy for a home with an old roof. Homeowners with an older roof may need to consider other financing options to avoid high premiums and other related insurance costs.


Roof Shape 

The shape of your roof can also affect your home insurance premium due to the shape’s sustainability against the elements. There are a few different roof shapes: hip, gable, and flat. While not as important as the roof materials or age, the shape of the roof can impact premium costs.


Hip Roof 

Hip roofs are shaped with an incline on all four sides in an effort to withstand higher winds. This type of roof can cost more to build, but the wind-resistance may help bring down insurance costs, as providers may see it as a lower risk.


Gable Roof 

Arguably one of the most common roof shapes, a gable roof is a combination of two roof plans that form an upside down V. Gable roofing systems can be incredibly susceptible to wind damage, which can cost more to insure.


Flat Roof 

True to the name, flat roofs have just the slightest slope to allow for water drainage. Due to this and the higher risk of water damage, flat roof systems are not usually favored by insurance companies.


Reducing Insurance Costs 

The condition of your roof affects the value of your home. It’s important to keep your entire roofing system healthy in order to receive the benefits of a stable roof, lower insurance costs, and home protection.

To help keep insurance premiums and associated costs down, regularly conduct preventative maintenance and make sure to get your roof inspected on a regular basis - at least once every few years. This maintenance can save homeowners major headaches down the road, since most home insurance policies don’t cover traditional wear and tear.

In addition to regular roof inspections, be sure to visually inspect the roof yourself and remove any objects or debris that have gathered, which can cause your roof to deteriorate. Replace worn or damaged shingles as soon as you notice them to help prevent water leaks that could lead to major water damage.

Be sure to keep good records of your roof to help with any future insurance claims. Document the health of your roof every time you conduct your preventative maintenance, including taking pictures before and after to accurately depict the accuracy of roof damage from storms or other circumstances. Remember - it is possible to seek outside financing options when insurance policies just don’t measure up!


Choosing the Right Roof for Insurance Costs 

Upfront costs can dominate decision-making for many homeowners when considering a full roof replacement. However, it is crucial to include insurance in the mix by factoring in the type of roofing materials, roof age, and roof shape that can impact premiums and other costs.

And remember, when facing the need for a roof replacement or roof repairs, there are also other financing options available outside of insurance policies that may be worth considering. In certain situations, alternative roof financing beyond insurance claims may make financial sense for homeowners.

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