Insurance Policies are not meant to be a maintenance plan for your homes.
I have heard a lot of talk on the street. The topic of discussion: “a hurricane will give me a new roof.” I would like to address this statement and give you some food for thought.
Here are few facts to consider:
Insurance companies have learned valuable lessons from previous storms and so should consumers. They are now asking for updated 4-point inspections, roof condition reports and other critical information before renewing policies.
The life expectancy or useful life of a roof varies depending on the type of roof. For example, a shingle roof's average life expectancy is approx. 20 years, whereas a tile roof can be 30 plus years.
When considering a claim, insurance companies will always review the weather conditions at the time of the claim. A roof to be in good condition is expected to withstand a little wind and rain. An everyday rain storm is not expected to tear shingles off a roof or leave a hole in a roof that is in good condition. If there are hurricane force winds especially a category 2 or above, a roof could sustain serious damage.
Insurance policies are meant to indemnify (replace damaged property) or protect customers against sudden or spontaneous losses. Insurance Policies are not meant to be a maintenance plan for your homes. The homeowner is expected to maintain their property, repair or replace a roof when it is past its useful life.
The average hurricane deductible is usually twice the “all other perils deductible” on a homeowner's policy in Florida. So, even if you are entitled to a new roof, you are paying on average $3 to $4,000 out of pocket before the insurance settlement will kick in.
So now that you have some of the facts what is a homeowner to do?
Protect your family and your home by taking the necessary steps to maintain your property, and your insurance company will be there when you need them most. I Recently had a customer who did a roof inspection. The report revealed that there was a patch of roof that was damaged. The homeowners were totally unaware of the damage which had been created by a possum. Climbing on the roof may NOT be a good idea for the average homeowner. You should have your roof checked at least once every five years.
When replacing or repairing your roof don’t take short cuts your roof is a very important part of your home and repairing it is not like replacing a lock on a door. Hire a licensed professional who has a proven track record. You don’t want shoddy workmanship to cause problems after you paid your hard earned money to replace the roof. Plus if you don’t pull a permit to replace the roof you will not be eligible for valuable mitigation credits
There are rewards for updating your roof in the form of lower premiums payments. I talk about this in my free book, "Your Guide to wind mitigation in Florida."
In closing, despite the reality check a good insurance carrier and your agent will be there for you in your darkest hour ready to help you through a disaster and providing your family shelter from the storm.
Insurance Today Inc., “We have the right policy to shelter you from the storm.”