How to Get Homeowners Insurance With a Bad Roof

Your roof protects your home from the elements, so you may find it more costly or difficult to buy homeowners insurance coverage with an old or damaged roof.

Stephanie Colestock
Stephanie Colestock

Stephanie is a DC-based freelance writer specializing in personal finance. Her work covers insurance, loans, real estate investing, retirement, and more.

Featured in

media logomedia logomedia logomedia logo
Katie Powers
Edited byKatie Powers
Photo of an Insurify author
Katie PowersAuto and Life Insurance Editor
  • Licensed auto and home insurance agent

  • 3+ years experience in insurance and personal finance editing

Katie uses her knowledge and expertise as a licensed property and casualty agent in Massachusetts to help readers understand the complexities of insurance shopping.

Featured in

media logomedia logo

Updated June 14, 2024

Why you can trust Insurify: Comparing accurate insurance quotes should never put you at risk of spam. We earn an agent commission only if you buy a policy based on our quotes. Our editorial team follows a rigorous set of editorial standards and operates independently from our insurance partners. Learn more.

Your roof acts as a shield for your home, protecting it from elements such as heat, rain, and hail. An older or damaged roof may less effectively protect your dwelling than a roof in good condition, and a severe storm could more easily destroy a bad roof.

Because roof quality varies, insurance companies consider your roof’s condition when issuing new policies and determining premiums.[1] If your home has an old, damaged, or poorly maintained roof, you may have a harder time shopping for affordable home insurance.

Here’s what you need to know about finding homeowners insurance coverage with a bad roof.

Quick Facts
  • Homeowners insurance premiums are often more expensive if you have an old or damaged roof.

  • Some home insurance companies may deny selling you home insurance coverage if you have a bad roof.

  • Repairing or replacing your damaged roof can help you pay lower home insurance premiums.

Can you get homeowners insurance with a bad roof?

Yes. You can still buy homeowners insurance coverage with a bad roof. But it can make it more difficult to find an insurance company that will issue you a policy. Your roof should protect your home from various perils, but a bad roof might not do this well and could contribute to more damage, like water leaks. You’ll likely pay more for coverage if you have a bad roof.

If you find an insurance company to offer you homeowners coverage despite your bad roof, the company may only offer limited coverage for your roof. For example, if you have a replacement cost value policy but your roof is 15 years old, your insurance company may only cover your roof’s actual cash value in the event of more damage.

If your roof needs replacing sooner rather than later, insurers will often want you to shoulder some of the financial burden.

How to get homeowners insurance with a bad roof

Even though finding home insurance while having a bad roof can be difficult, you still need to buy homeowners insurance coverage. Here are some tips for how to get a policy that meets your needs and budget:

  • Get the roof inspected. By having a home inspection done before starting your policy search, you’ll have a better idea of your roof’s condition and how much a replacement would cost. Insurance companies will often require your home (and your roof, in particular) to pass an inspection before issuing you a policy.

  • Compare quotes. It’s always smart to shop around and get quotes from multiple homeowners insurance companies before making your choice. That way, you can find the best coverage at the best price.[2]

  • Negotiate your rate. Whether working with an insurance agent or directly with the insurer, you may be able to negotiate your rate down to one that better fits your budget. Ask about potential discounts you can qualify for, consider bundling coverage options, or even adjust your coverage limits.

  • Consider making repairs. While repairing your roof will be an up-front cost, it may make it easier to shop for home insurance coverage and also save you money on premiums.

  • Consider working with a high-risk insurer. Some insurance companies provide coverage to homeowners who may otherwise find it difficult to purchase a policy due to personal or environmental factors. High-risk insurance policies often come with higher premiums but can help you secure coverage with a bad roof or other risk factors.

Shop for Home Insurance

Insurify partners with 100+ insurers for real quotes

Secure. Free. Easy-to-use.
Based on 3,806+ reviews
4.8/5
Shopper Approved
ProgressiveLiberty MutualTravelers

Cost of homeowners insurance with a bad roof

The cost of insuring your home can depend on its condition and the type of roof you have. Homeowners with a metal or storm-resistant roof typically pay lower insurance premiums than people with a standard roof.

See average annual premiums by insurance company and roof type below.

Insurance CompanyStandard RoofMetal Roof
Westfield$1,080$1,042
Grange$1,220$1,177
Hastings Mutual Insurance$1,364$1,316
Erie$1,388$1,339
Unitrin$1,424$1,374
Amica$1,585$1,530
AIG$1,591$1,535
American Family$1,657$1,599
American National P&C$1,663$1,605
Armed Forces Insurance Exchange$1,733$1,673
Cincinnati Insurance$1,777$1,715
West Bend Mutual$1,778$1,715
ASI$1,864$1,798
Mercury$1,929$1,862
State Farm$1,988$1,919
Allstate$1,999$1,930
USAA$2,041$1,969
Auto-Owners$2,165$2,090

How homeowners insurance covers roofs

Your homeowners insurance policy covers most aspects of your dwelling, including the walls, floors, and roof. If a covered event damages or destroys your home, your insurance company will need to pay to repair or replace everything up to your policy’s limits.

But standard homeowners insurance policies don’t cover all types of roof damage, like damage from typical wear and tear. Your roof has an expected lifespan and will slowly deteriorate over time due to elements like wind, rain, hail, and sunlight. If and when your roof wears down, your home insurance likely won’t cover its repair or replacement costs.

Roof factors that affect homeowners insurance rates

Many different factors related to your home’s roof can affect your homeowners insurance rates. The more risk your roof poses to your insurance company, the more you can expect to pay for your coverage.

Learn more about how your roof’s characteristics affect home insurance premiums below.

  • Age: The older your roof, the more susceptible it is to damage and leaks during a storm. For this reason, you’ll pay higher premiums if you have an older roof and lower rates if you have a newer roof.

  • Condition: If you haven’t kept up with regular maintenance of your roof — or it incurred damage that you haven’t repaired — your dwelling has a greater risk of damage. If your roof leaks and damages your home, you might even find yourself responsible for the cost of repairs after filing an insurance claim.

  • Type: Your insurance rates will vary depending on the construction materials of your roof — depending on the material’s durability and cost to replace. For example, an asphalt shingle roof is more durable and typically less expensive to insure than a clay- or slate-tiled roof. You could pay lower premiums to cover a metal roof made of impact-resistant materials.

  • Shape: The shape of your roof affects its wind resistance, how well it protects your dwelling, how much it’ll cost to replace once damaged, and more. A gable roof isn’t as resistant to high winds as a hip roof is, so you’ll often pay more for coverage. And while flat roofs are simpler to install, they’re more susceptible to damage from hail, which can increase premiums.

Roof damage that home insurance covers

If a covered peril damages your roof, your insurance company will pay for repairs or roof replacement up to your policy limits minus any deductible. Some covered causes of roof damage include the following:

  • illustration card https://a.storyblok.com/f/162273/x/68ed522f01/windstorm-and-hail.svg

    Hail

    Home insurance should protect your roof against the impact of falling ice, which can damage or destroy it.

  • illustration card https://a.storyblok.com/f/162273/150x150/0a25826e6f/weather-96x96-yellow_010-windy.svg

    Wind

    Insurance companies will usually cover lost or damaged shingles following a windstorm or severe weather, though deductibles for wind damage can be higher than your standard dwelling deductible.

  • illustration card https://a.storyblok.com/f/162273/x/1883c5aa7c/fire-and-lighting.svg

    Fire

    If a fire damages or destroys your roof or entire, your policy will cover the roof repair or replacement.

  • illustration card https://a.storyblok.com/f/162273/x/bc517f18bf/falling-objects.svg

    Falling objects

    This includes coverage for falling objects that could damage your home’s roof, like debris, trees, and more.[3]

Find Cheap Home Insurance

Get personalized home insurance quotes in minutes

Secure. Free. Easy-to-use.
Based on 3,806+ reviews
4.8/5
Shopper Approved
ProgressiveLiberty MutualTravelers

Roof damage that home insurance won’t cover

Your homeowners insurance company won’t cover certain types of roof damage, including the following issues:

  • Neglect: Failing to repair or maintain your roof can result in further damage to the roof and its foundation or even to the inside of your home.

  • Wear and tear: Roofs deteriorate over time due to exposure to normal elements. Insurance doesn’t cover this.

  • Intentional damage: Your insurance company won’t cover damage if it’s intentional or caused by something like drilling or cutting into your roof.

Learn More: 8 Areas of Your Home That Most Homeowners Insurance Policies Don’t Protect

Learn More: 8 Areas of Your Home That Most Homeowners Insurance Policies Don’t Protect

What to do if your insurer cancels because of a bad roof

If your insurance company decides that your roof is in poor condition, it might require you to make repairs to or replace your roof. In some cases, the company could even opt to cancel your existing policy. If this happens, you have a few options.

You could make repairs to or fully replace your roof to meet your insurer’s requirements. In this case, you may need to provide proof of the repairs to keep your policy active.

If you’re open to finding a new insurer, you can start the process of shopping around for a new insurance company. Some companies are more lenient than others, so you might find one willing to insure your home with the roof as is.

Lastly, you could see if your state offers a Fair Access to Insurance Requirements (FAIR) plan. The details and cost of these plans vary by state, but they offer access to necessary coverage when homeowners aren’t able to buy a policy through the voluntary market.[4] You may still need to make repairs to your roof in order to qualify, though.

Homeowners insurance with a bad roof FAQs

The information below can help answer your remaining questions about finding homeowners insurance that works for you if you have a bad roof.

  • How much does it cost to replace a roof?

    It depends. The specific amount will vary on the chosen materials, labor costs, the location and size of your home, the complexity of the project, and more. It can cost between several thousand dollars and more than $25,000.

  • What makes a roof uninsurable?

    Insurance companies will consider the condition and age of your roof when deciding whether to insure you or while determining your home insurance premium. Having an old or damaged roof makes you riskier to insure.

  • What’s an old roof for home insurance?

    Insurers typically consider roofs 1520 years old or older as old roofs more susceptible to damage. Depending on the insurer, some companies may even deny coverage or only offer actual cash value coverage for homes with old roofs.

  • Does homeowners insurance cover rot on a roof?

    Not usually. Homeowners insurance doesn’t typically cover damage from general wear and tear or a lack of maintenance. It covers sudden and accidental damage. Rot usually occurs over a period of time.

  • When won’t homeowners insurance cover a roof?

    Homeowners insurance doesn’t cover damages resulting from deterioration or typical wear and tear over time. With older roofs, insurers may set guidelines for actual cash value — rather than replacement cost value — for covered perils.

Sources

  1. Insurance Information Institute. "Home buyer's insurance guide."
  2. Insurance Information Institute. "How to save money on your homeowners insurance."
  3. Insurance Information Institute. "Homeowners Insurance Basics."
  4. Insurance Information Institute. "What if I can't get coverage?."
Stephanie Colestock
Stephanie Colestock

Stephanie is a DC-based freelance writer. She primarily covers personal finance topics such as insurance, loans, real estate investing, and retirement. Her work can be found on CBS, FOX Business, MSN, Yahoo! Finance, Business Insider, and more. When she isn't helping people plan for their financial futures, she is traveling, hiking with her kids, or writing for her own website, TomorrowsDollar.com. She can be reached on Twitter @stephcolestock

Katie Powers
Edited byKatie PowersAuto and Life Insurance Editor
Photo of an Insurify author
Katie PowersAuto and Life Insurance Editor
  • Licensed auto and home insurance agent

  • 3+ years experience in insurance and personal finance editing

Katie uses her knowledge and expertise as a licensed property and casualty agent in Massachusetts to help readers understand the complexities of insurance shopping.

Featured in

media logomedia logo

Compare Home Insurance Quotes Instantly

Secure. Free. Easy-to-use.
Based on 3,806+ reviews
4.8/5
Shopper Approved
ProgressiveLiberty MutualTravelers

Latest Articles

View all