Roof Requirements for Insurance Can Be Tricky for Homeowners in Florida
While roofing everywhere is different, the roofing situation in Florida is particularly unique. Between the constant threats of major storms and hurricanes, excessive heat, and intense sunshine, roofs take a beating over the course of their service life. Even at the best of times, roof requirements for homeowners insurance for Florida residents can be tricky, as providers are well aware of the threats to roofs in our state.
Now, however, due to hurricanes and abuse of the insurance system, many providers are requiring homeowners to replace roofs that are 10 years old or older, and refusing to provide coverage otherwise. What’s happening, and what can you do about it? Let’s take a look.
Many Providers Require a 10-Year Replacement Before Coverage
Florida homeowners looking to purchase insurance may have run into stringent roof requirements over the last few years. We’ve heard many report that providers are requiring them to replace their roof before they’ll receive coverage, even for a roof that is well within its service life at 10 years old. There is some wiggle room, however; for example, providers may require a replacement for different roof materials after varying periods of time:
- Asphalt shingles: 10–15 years
- Tile: 15–25 years
- Metal: 15–30 years
While asphalt shingle roofs have the shortest expected lifespan, 10 years is still well short of the typical lifespan of around 15–25 years. These ranges fall even shorter for metal and tile. What’s happening here?
The Perfect Storm(s)
Two major factors have played a role in making insurance providers tighten their roof requirements for homeowners in Florida. One is fairly obvious: hurricanes have increased in frequency and intensity, and both Hurricane Ian and Hurricane Nicole caused widespread damage and countless insurance payouts for roof replacements.
However, this perfect storm includes more than just hurricanes. Unfortunately, some unscrupulous lawyers and roofing companies have teamed up to demand outlandish payments from insurance providers, far beyond the costs needed to replace roofs. This has led to insurance providers encountering significantly higher costs to provide coverage within Florida, and some have even left regions entirely, reducing competition in our area.
Homeowners Insurance Roof Requirements May Be Loosening
The good news is that the situation has reached a point where lawmakers have begun taking action. Recent legislation has improved the problem, but roofing prices remain high and insurance requirements generally remain selective. While the problem is being addressed, it will likely take some time for things to normalize here for homeowners looking to purchase insurance.
Advice for Buyers: Do Your Roofing Homework
The best thing for homeowners interested in purchasing new insurance and potential homebuyers is to stay informed and do your homework before taking action. First-time buyers are especially vulnerable to these inflated requirements, as they’re more likely to be looking to purchase insurance for the first time.
Before closing a home sale, make sure to be in close contact with your realtor and a trusted insurance agent to learn more about homes you’re considering. Our contact for this blog post, Devin Peirce of Tom Collins Insurance, was an excellent source of information and would be more than willing to help homeowners make an informed decision.
Schedule a Roof Inspection Before You Buy!
Even in a more normal insurance environment, it’s always a good idea to have a roofing company you can trust to complete an inspection on any home you consider buying. Knowing more about the roof of your potential new home will help you make an informed offer, factoring in any potential roofing work that may—or may not—need to be done in the next few years.
Always inspect before you buy! Reach out to My Florida Roofing Contractor to schedule your inspection.