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.”