The 2017 hurricane season was the most expensive in history. It’s been estimated to have caused more than 200 billion dollars in damage from hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Maria, and fourteen other major storms in the last half of the year. Lots of that damage, apart from flooding, was due to high winds, hard rain, and in some cases, hail. Those three elements take a terrible toll on roofs.
If you’re in the danger zone for strong hurricanes, nor’easters, or tornados, you should take a good long look at your roof. Will it withstand winds exceeding 130 mph (like Harvey and Irma) or 155 mph (Maria)? Has it lost shingles in less serious storms? Is it time to upgrade materials?
Most importantly, can you save a little off the cost of replacement by lowering your homeowner’s insurance premium?
Homeowner’s Insurance Discounts
Many homeowners don’t realize that there are many ways to receive discounts on your homeowner’s insurance policy, simply by making improvements. These improvements can be as small as installing a new alarm system, or as big as upgrading your heating and cooling system, behind-the-walls-plumbing, or your electrical box.
Many insurance companies know that upgrading your roof to a newer one lowers the risk of damage from weather. Under certain conditions, they will offer discounts on your premium as a result.
To determine whether a roof upgrade will warrant a discount on your homeowner’s insurance, several values are taken into account. Two of the most important are the age of your current roof and the materials you’re planning to upgrade to.
The materials you use matter. The Underwriter’s Laboratory (UL) sets impact standards for roofing materials, rating them from 1-4 with 4 being tagged for the highest-resistant materials. Using Class 3 or Class 4 materials will usually earn you a discount on your homeowner’s insurance, anywhere from five to twenty percent, which will stay in effect for five to ten years. A professional roofer can show you the options available to help you find the materials that are right for your home.
If you do decide to upgrade your roof, make sure to contact the agent for your homeowner’s insurance to ask about their particular policies and then, when the work is done, alert them about the upgrade.