According to companies like Progressive, Allstate and Nationwide, metal roofs are the least expensive roofing material to insure. This is generally, due to metal shingles and panels longevity and resistance to the elements. However, no two insurance policies are exactly the same; understanding what is in your policy and what is not can save you THOUSANDS. Here are 3 questions you need to ask your insurance agent.
- Am I eligible for additional discounts for a FIRE-Resistant roof?
Most insurance companies give a discount based on the resistance to hail, especially if you live in an area prone to hail. However, some companies offer Homeowners Policies that give additional discounts for having a fire-resistant roof. Keep in mind this may only be available to policy holders who have certain limit thresholds on their policies. So, if you raise your limits in order to be eligible for the fire-resistant discount, it could still end up costing you more. Talk to your agent about what the policy makes the most sense for your current situation. Speaking of limits…
- How much am I covered in a loss?
If you are like most Americans, when shopping for Homeowners insurance you look for the best price from a reputable company (sometimes just the lowest price). However, these policies can vary drastically in what they protect and in how much the insurance company will pay if you have a claim.
A. The 80/20 rule
In Homeowners policies, insurance companies insist you set your limits at a minimum of 80% of the total loss value of your home. This means for a home that has a replacement cost of $200,000, your limit needs to be a minimum of $140,000. So, if your home is destroyed the insurance company will pay you $140,000 and it is up to you to cover the rest. Some insurance companies will allow for policy coverage below the 80% threshold but will assess a penalty based on the percentage below 80% you are. You can save on your premium by having a lower limit on your Homeowners Policy, but don’t be surprised when you are left with a huge repair bill when you have a claim. Understand your limits so you won’t feel victimized after a catastrophe.
3. Does my policy cover Cosmetic Damage?
Metal roofs are undeniably beautiful; and they can enhance the profile of nearly every home. What happens when hail or branches fall on your roof and leave dents and dings? Most assume that this is a covered loss and the insurance company will pay. However, many policies only cover STRUCTURAL damage. If your roof isn’t leaking and do not have parts exposed to the elements the insurance company won’t cover the damage. Your beautiful roof might now look like a demolition derby car and you will end up paying for the repairs out of your own pocket. Make sure there is a rider on your policy for cosmetic damage. If your company does not offer protection for cosmetic damage, you may want to consider switching to a different provider.