What do I do if my insurance says I need a new roof?

I just bought a house and received a notice from our homeowner's insurance company saying we need a new roof or they'll revoke my insurance.

Asked by Katie

5 Answers

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Answered by Nancy Greenwood, Insurance Agent in Methuen, MA
Your company can cancel the insurance policy for “non-compliance” if you do not replace it. If they send you a notice of cancellation it will be very difficult to find another company willing to insure you.

When you purchase a home and your first insurance policy, your insurance company will usually have a property inspection done to be sure the home is properly insured, meets their requirements and to be sure there are no hazardous conditions that might result in a claim being filed.

A bad roof can allow water to seep inside the home causing water damage to ceilings and walls. A roof is like a car tire; they wear out and have to be replaced occasionally to avoid problems. This is called maintenance!

If the inspection reveals a problem, such as a bad roof, a missing hand rail, broken windows or siding, etc. you will be notified in writing and usually given a period of time to correct the condition. Failure to rectify the problem usually results in a Legal Notice of Cancellation for “failure to comply with underwriting requirements” or a similar statement.

If the inspection shows that your home is underinsured, the company will increase the coverage on the policy to reflect the proper amount. You cannot have a homeowner’s policy without insuring your home for at least 80% of the cost to rebuild it. Most homes are insured for 100% of the cost to rebuild them.
If the building is found to be vacant or deteriorating, the insurance company will cancel the policy. There are special policies for buildings that need to be repaired before being occupied.

The insurance company can also send someone to do a property inspection after several years. They have the right to inspect to be sure you still meet their underwriting requirements. Insure your home properly and always talk to your agent. | 07.29.13 @ 17:27
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$commenter.renderDisplayableName() — {comment} | 12.08.16 @ 18:23
Answered by Donn Sharer , CFP ChFC CLU in Millstone Township, NJ
Congrats on the new home Katie! Agree with Nancy. In addition, did your pre-closing home inspection that the roof was not in good shape? How old is the roof? Could be different in CA, but we have been able in some situations to get contractor estimates to repair portions of the roof without having to do a full replacement. This only makes sense if rest of the roof is in good shape, but if you and your inspector believe this is the case, you could try communicating with the insurance carrier through your broker or agent. In any event it is best to address this as soon as possible. | 10.11.13 @ 17:07
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$commenter.renderDisplayableName() — {comment} | 12.08.16 @ 18:23
Answered by Jay Schurman, Financial Adviser in San Ramon, CA
Katie, I would definitely check to see if there is another insurance carrier who would be willing to insure your house without having to put on a new roof immediately. You will want to replace the roof when your budget allows. Most homeowners in a new house have budget limitations and a different insurance company might give you some leeway and allow you to replace the roof at a more advantageous time for you. | 06.03.15 @ 23:03
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$commenter.renderDisplayableName() — {comment} | 12.08.16 @ 18:23
Answered by Timothy Peddycoart, Insurance AgentPRO+ in Big Lake, MN
There may be some insurers who will cover and exclude the roof. If there are any it will be few. The fewer options you have for insurance generally means higher prices. Most insurers won't want to insure the risk. An experienced local independent agent will know where to go to get you insured. If you had an inspection prior to purchase and made the purchase based on the inspection report you may have some recourse. | 11.10.15 @ 21:02
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$commenter.renderDisplayableName() — {comment} | 12.08.16 @ 18:23
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Answered by rohloff
They're not going to risk losing a client unless they really believe you have a roof issue. Get roofer referrals from your friends and family and ask for interest-free financing.
| 12.15.15 @ 20:35
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$commenter.renderDisplayableName() — {comment} | 12.08.16 @ 18:23
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