Will Insurance Cover a 15-Year-Old Roof?

This article was written by Brian Wedding and published by Roof Claim.


One of the biggest questions homeowners face is whether or not their home insurance will cover roof repair or roof replacement for an older roof.

The answer, of course, depends on the kind of policy you have, the age of your roof, severity of the damage, cause of the damage, roof material, repair or replacement history, and many other factors.

Since these things are difficult to determine on your own, it’s important to consult a roofing service company to do a thorough roof inspection.

To answer the question concisely:

Yes, insurance will cover a 15-year-old roof in many cases. Insurance companies won’t just pay to replace a roof because it’s old, but if your old roof has significant damage caused by insurable events then it’s highly probable that they’ll pay for roof repairs or a roof replacement.

In this article, we’ve compiled vital information on everything you should know about insurance coverage for older roofs so you can be armed with the facts..

If you need professional assistance in assessing your roof’s condition, Roofclaim can help. Contact us today to schedule a free inspection.

Wear and Tear or Covered Damage?

If you have a 15-year-old roof, there is a good chance that there’s a ton of normal wear and tear. This type of damage falls under general maintenance, which is part of your responsibility as a homeowner.

In other words, just having an old roof doesn’t mean you can file an insurance claim.

Now, if your 15-year-old roof has damage caused by other factors, then you might have a claim. First, you need to make sure that the damage was caused by an act of nature, an accident that is out of your control, or something other than age.

We’ll go into more detail about causes of damage that are likely to be covered later in this article.

How Many Claims Have You Filed in the Past?

Review how many claims you have filed on your insurance from the past three to seven years. It is worth noting that insurance companies have a record of the number of filed claims.

More than two claims filed from the past five years could inflate your premiums’ cost. If you raised a claim with minimal damage to your property, it is often viewed as a waste of the claim when you could hire a roofing contractor out of pocket to do roof maintenance or roof repairs. It is always best to speak to your insurance agent or customer service rep if you have specific concerns.

It’s definitely worth filing an insurance claim for a roof that has legitimately covered damages, though. Covered damages like hurricanes, tornados, hail damage, and wind damage are covered by most policies.

What’s the Extent of the Damage?

Identifying the extent of damage to your roof is a bit challenging. First and foremost, never try to go up on your roof to inspect it yourself.

To determine the extent of damage and whether or not that damage will be covered by an insurance claim, your roof needs a thorough inspection from an expert roof inspector. At Roofclaim, we provide a free inspection along with an inspection report that details the extent of the damage.

Once we inspect your roof, we’ll be able to tell you what your chances of a successful claim are. We’ll also document every detail of the inspection so if you file a claim you stand the best chance of the claim getting accepted.

What’s the General Lifespan of Your Roof Type?

A roof that exceeds its expected lifespan can lose its eligibility for reimbursement. If your roof is around 15 years old, you’re definitely approaching the cutoff depending on your roof type.

So the first question is, “What type of roof do you have?” Not all roofs are created equal and some roofing materials last much longer than others.

Generally, there are three kinds of roofing types. Each one has different structures, appearances, and lifespans. They are:

  • Standard shingles
  • Architectural shingles
  • Tile roofing

A standard shingled roof, otherwise known as 3-tab shingles, will last for more than 15 years. It mostly appears flat and has a uniform space.

On the other hand, if your house has architectural roof shingles, it can last for 25 years or more. They are more expensive than the standard shingle roofs because they vary in spaces and styling.

Lastly, tiled roofs vary from the standard architectural and standard shingles. This type of home covering appears in modern homes. The materials used here are far more durable than the types mentioned earlier. Tile roofs use clay or concrete, making this type of roof last for 30 years or more.

Does Your Roof Have Hail Damage?

Hail can create significant damage to your roof, even if you have a more durable type of roof. Damaged shingles will continue deteriorating over time and will fail in the end, causing roof leaks and additional damage.

For this reason, hail damage is one of the most common types of roof damage that leads to roof insurance claims and eventual roof replacement.

Your insurance company may replace the entire roof if significant hail damage is found during an inspection, even if the roof is older. It does depend on other factors, though, which is another reason you need a detailed inspection report.

Does Your Roof Have Wind Damage?

Strong winds can cause shingles to break and fold, or “crease.” The shingle will stay on the roof, but wind-blown rain can penetrate from underneath it.

Moreover, creased shingles won’t let rain water cascade. The water will get absorbed along the crease instead. This condition will dismount the shingle’s layers and cause significant damage.

You may not be able to see this type of damage from the ground, but an inspection will reveal it. With wind damage being a common occurrence that is generally covered by roof insurance policies, it’s a good chance for you to win a replacement claim, even if your roof is older.

Has There Been Recent Inclement Weather or Wind? 

The best time to schedule a roof inspection is right after a storm. Insurance companies are looking for recent and relevant damage, so it’s important to book a roof inspection immediately following an inclement weather event.

When you do this, you’re much more likely to get a positive outcome than if you file a claim at random when there haven’t been any recent weather events.

If your roof is around 15 years old, this is especially true. Without a recent inclement weather event, it’s very possible that the condition of your roof gets chalked up to age and wear and tear.

The Bottom Line: Will Insurance Cover a 15-Year-Old Roof?

When you have an older roof, more care needs to be taken with regard to documentation and the timing of your claim. That’s why it is advisable to not do anything until you speak with a professional roof inspector.

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