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What to consider when insuring your roof

November 13, 2014

When weighing reasons for insuring your home, look no further than your roof. When people typically think of home insurance, they think of all the items inside the home they want to protect, and the roof is where damage can often begin. Think of it as a door to elements—a door that needs to be tightly secured.

The roof is the first part of the home to be hit by heavy hail or snow. If something should go wrong with your roof, additional damage is sure to follow. In fact, the condition of your roof plays a big role in setting the price for your home insurance, so you have to ask yourself a few questions:  Is it old? Does it leak? Is it sturdy or recently updated? What material is it made of? Questions like this can mean a big difference for your insurance costs.

Have your home insured before winter sets in.

Updating your roof

Take a look at your roof. If it is time to update, then you should do it before the cold settles in. Here are a few roofing styles to consider:

  • Asphalt shingles are the most common because they are the cheapest, easiest to install and can handle elements such as fire. However, they are not the most durable and might need to be replaced from time to time after heavy storms with strong winds. But again, these are not expensive repairs. And when it comes to insurance costs, shingles will help keep those costs low because they are not heavy and will not do additional damage to your home should something such as an earthquake occur.
  • Wood shakes are attractive and advantageous to your energy bill, as they provide good insulation. However, they are expensive and can pose a serious fire risk. If you are planning on using wood, make sure you check with your insurer first.
  • Metal works well for roofing because it can handle fire and other elements. Its surface reflects sunlight, which typically keeps the upper levels cooler in warm months. However, metal can be expensive and needs to be carefully installed. Additionally, it is louder than other materials during rain or other storms. But when it comes to insurance, there aren't many problems with a metal roof. In fact, your insurer might even appreciate it.

As winter months settle in, have your roof inspected before that first big snow.