Your roof is the main protector of your house. Damage to the roof can lead to more damage inside the home. To avoid huge claim payouts due to a roof replacement, your home insurance provider pays careful attention to factors such as the age, material and condition of your roof when quoting a rate for you and deciding if a claim is valid.

This article will cover:

The importance of your roof to home insurers

Your roof is the key shield for the rest of the structure of your house. It's the primary defense against damage from the elements. A roof leak can cause water damage to the bones of your house, which in turn can lead to mold.

These types of damage can build up to a huge roof replacement claim that your home insurance company would rather not pay out for. According to our research, the average cost of a roof replacement can be upwards of $15,000, making it one of the most expensive parts of your home. To avoid potentially paying out such a high claim, your home insurer looks at many of your roof's features. These include the roofing materials used, the age of your roof and its current condition when you file a claim for it.

What roof factors affect my home insurance?

When calculating your homeowners insurance premium, your provider will look at certain details of your roof. These include:

  • Age: As a roof gets older, your annual premium will probably increase. With the priority your home insurer will put on your roof, its risk level will increase with passing years. If your roof is too old in the eyes of your insurer, you could see your home insurance policy not renewed or even canceled.
  • Condition: How well-maintained your roof is will affect your premium much like age will. If the roof's materials are cracked, their performance comes into question. This can lead to a higher annual rate.
  • Location: If you live in an area that has a history of harsh weather, it may affect your coverage and rates. For example, if your area has extreme snow, you'll probably see a higher premium.

Does the type of roof affect my homeowners insurance rate?

Your home insurance rate may vary depending on your roofing material's cost and durability. Whether you have the proper type of roof for the weather in your area and how much the materials cost to replace your damaged roof influence your annual premium. The most common types of roof materials are:


Asphalt is a popular roofing material with both home insurers and homeowners due to its low-cost protection. You can expect 15 to 25 years out of an asphalt roof. At an average of around $100 to $150 per square, it's the most affordable roof option. Home insurers like it due to its protective capabilities and replacement cost.

While asphalt is fire-resistant, it may not stand up well to extreme winds. Furthermore, asphalt roofing ages faster due to its heat retention, making it a poor choice for extremely hot climates. That said, you shouldn't see your home insurance rates increase due to an asphalt roof.


Tile roofing comes in two types: clay and concrete. On the plus side, tile roofing is incredibly long-lasting. Concrete tiling can last upwards of 50 years, and clay twice as long. Furthermore, it is very resistant to fire, heat, hail and wind. Tile roofing of both types is also low-maintenance.

On the downside, tile roofing is expensive. Concrete tile roofing can cost anywhere between $150 to $250 a square, and clay tiling can cost from $800 to $1,800 a square, on average. Such a high replacement cost will probably drive your home insurance rates up. Also, your home has to be constructed to accommodate the weight of a tile roof of either type. It's not always a realistic option.

Wood shake

Wood shake roofing can add a classic touch to your home, but the perks may end there. Wood shake is highly flammable unless properly treated, has a maximum average life span of 20 years, and is vulnerable to mold damage. Mold damage isn't always covered by home insurance, making it even more of a risk. Combined with an average cost of $250 to $600 per square, you'll probably see higher home insurance rates.


With an average 125- to 200-year lifespan, slate is probably the longest-lasting option for roofing. While home insurers may love that, they aren't as fond of the average cost of $800 to $1,800 per square. You will more than likely see an increase in your home insurance premium with slate roofing.


Metal roofing has a combination of positives that will not likely raise your home insurance rates. It handles rain, wind, hail and snow well, and is fire and rot-resistant, and has an average lifespan of 40 to 70 years. Although the average cost of metal roofing stands between $120 and $900 per panel, metal roofing shouldn't affect your premium.

What kinds of roof damage are covered by homeowners insurance?

If your roof is well maintained, a standard home insurance policy will cover sudden and accidental damage from:

  • Wind, rain and hail.
  • Fire.
  • Tornadoes and hurricanes.
  • Falling objects, like ice and tree branches.
  • Vandalism.

The "sudden and accidental" factor is important. If a leak in your roof is due to old age or poor maintenance, your claim will probably be denied. Insurance companies work on the belief that home maintenance is the responsibility of the homeowner. If a roof leak happened over time, it could have been avoided. Your home insurance provider will more than likely deny such a claim, and you could see a higher premium in the future as well due to the mark on your claims history as well as the condition of the roof.

Your roof and reducing home insurance costs

The best way to keep your home insurance rates down is prevention. Good steps towards taking care of your roof in order to keep your home insurance premium under control include:

  • Maintain your roof: Good maintenance of your roof is an important part of keeping your home insurance costs down. Some good tips include:
    • Clean your gutters, especially after heavy wind.
    • Keep your roof clean of debris.
    • Avoid walking on the roof.
    • Inspect your roof and replace damaged shingles.
    • Get a professional inspection every few years.
    • Trim or cut down trees that have branches hanging over the roof.
    • Inspect for pests.
    • Remove moss and mold.
  • Choose the right materials: Choose the roof type that's best for your area. For example, if you live in a very hot climate you'll want to avoid asphalt roofing. A licensed professional can advise you on the best material choices. As a default, asphalt tends to be popular due to its capability to protect against many types of weather and its cost.
  • Make sure your roof is properly installed: Poor roof installation may increase the chance of damage and reduce its lifespan, leading to higher home insurance premiums. For this reason alone, getting roof work done by a licensed contractor is essential to keeping your annual rate low.
  • Keep documentation: Filing a claim is a lot more streamlined for you and your insurer if you keep good records of the roof. Hold on to photos, receipts and other documentation related to your roof.
  • Look for your best home insurance rate: Home insurance costs may vary from provider to provider, along with their policy offerings. To make sure you're getting the best coverage at the best rate, compare home insurance quotes from multiple providers.

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