Homeowners insurance new roof question

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Kirk, Dec 7, 2003.

  1. Kirk

    Kirk Well-Known Member

    Oct 30, 2003
    Just got a letter from the insurance company and it seems they are rejecting my application for homeowners coverage. I just bought the house a month and a half ago. I will still be covered until Dec 26 and then they will issue a refund (pro-rated of course). It seems that the underwriters didnt like the age/deterioration of the roof.
    I need to call the agent monday (he did call me friday and give me a heads up, he has been a good agent for us for several years handling our auto insurance) and find out if they will continue insurance if I get a new roof on. Otherwise I have to go into a state insurance pool which will more than double the cost of my insurance.
    The roof has no leaks or missing shingles.
    My question is will I be better off paying for the higher insurance until spring or putting the roof on now? The roofing materials will cost $950 and the higher insurance will run an extra $550 a year but would would only have it half a year. My concern is that putting a roof on now is that the shingles wouldn't have any hot days to stick themselves together and could blow off easier this winter.
    The cost of labor isnt an issue since my best freind is a contractor and willing to come help me for free. Of course he might be too busy in the spring.
  2. RAC

    RAC Guest

    Don't know where you live, but if there was a disclosure form the seller had to fill out, that should have said what condition the roof was in. Some states require a roof certification that says basically the roof is in decent shape and is something like a 2-year "warranty" so to speak.

    I'd be running, not walking, to the agent/owner of the house with this to get it resolved.

  3. Hoop

    Hoop Well-Known Member

    Jan 1, 2003
    Northern Wisconsin
    This is a no brainer. Install the roof immediately. Don't worry about the weather. I have seen shingles installed in 10 degree temps....and they're holding up fine. Chances are excellent, that even though the roof isn't leaking.....its time for replacement. Why else would the underwriters squak?

    IMHO, a trip to a lawyer will be completely counterproductive. You'll likely get charged over $1000 by the lawyer just to "look into things". Do the math.
  4. RAC

    RAC Guest

    It could be also that the insurance company is doing what all the others are doing--managing out anything that could possibly cause them to have to pay on a claim. After Sep 11 a lot of people have seen their rates double, triple, or have even been cancelled. Some friends of ours got some letter that said supposedly stuff was wrong with their property and nothing was different from the year before. The independent agent they had said the company was really using the letter as an excuse not to insure anyone who didn't have ALL their business (own home, cars, rentals, etc.) with them. They had no problems (nor had the previous property owners) gettting the properties insured before. Wood stoves are another thing that insurance companies want to get out of insuring if possible.

    You might want to take this up with your state insurance commissioner--it might be a form of redlining.

    If you go the new roof route, make sure that the fact you're doing it yourself is acceptable to the insurance company, or you're just wasting time and money. For big projects, they may insist on a licensed, bonded company doing it, and in many areas the city/county insists on a permit as well. Yes, added costs, but also an added level of inspection.

    It does not cost you anything to go back to the seller/seller's agent on this. The cost of a new roof might even fall under your small claim court's limits in your area too. They may settle if you make it clear that they might have to rescind the sale if it cannot be resolved to everyone's satisfaction.
  5. dakotaman

    dakotaman New Member

    Oct 14, 2003
    When I first bought my house (I've owned it 6 years now), the homeowner's insurance gave me the option to exclude the roof, due to its age. That is, rather than not covering me at all, they covered everything but the thing they had a problem with. Once I got a new roof on, I let them know, and they now cover it.

    I'd check and see if you can get an exclusion like that.
  6. Helena

    Helena Well-Known Member

    May 10, 2002
    north central Pennsylvania
    Guess I don't understand why the insurance company cares about the condtion of the roof...perhaps in case they would be paying for water damage in the near future ?? Anyways...a few years back we had the roof and siding replaced in the "dead" of winter...the coldest January in years and everything seems fine. Don't think the weather would be a problem. We do have the "locking" shingles on our roof because of where we live a nd the blowing of the winds. Sounds like a train sometimes it blows so badly. But if I had to do it over again I would go with a metal roof. Good Luck !!!
  7. Jena

    Jena Well-Known Member

    Aug 13, 2003
    Are you going to be tearing off the old roof(s)? If not, you might want to check to be sure they will insure you without doing so. I think my policy has a five layer limit, or something like that.

  8. Swampdweller

    Swampdweller Well-Known Member

    Oct 15, 2003
    I find that it's not always expedient to "give advice". But I sure don't mind telling folks what I'd do if it was me in their predicament. Indeed this is a "no-brainer". I'd put on a metal roof (about the same cost for materials, goes on quicker, lasts forever (almost), cleaner runoff for saving rainwater, no hot days required to seal, reflects sun's heat better in summer.....

    THEN, I'd go tell the insurance agent to take a hike, maybe pack some lunch and enjoy himself, but take a hike, none the less.

  9. zoo-mom

    zoo-mom Member

    Dec 4, 2003
    As someone who is currently in the position of buyer and seller, I will give my two cents. The roof on the house we are selling needs repair............it could probably go another year or two, but we are getting it done, b/c our realtor said the latest "trick" by insurance companies is to cancel insurance based on the condition of the roof as they see it (usually ground level) We are doing it next week (hopefully) since our roofer had weather delays and we are close to last on his list. We do not want the buyers to come back to us and say they were denied insurance..............The insurance industry is denying people for any reason possible now b/c they don't want to pay settlements. My friend had her insurance company cancel her this year b/c her house needed PAINTING! It was in pretty good shape but peeling in a couple spots. A friend of a friend had a legitimate roof repair on her garage when a storm damaged it. The agent agreed........and noticed a dog dish in the backyard. He said, "what kind of dog do you have?" She said a rottweiler....................they paid on the roof and dropped her for having a 'dangerous dog' - when the dog did nothing. It is crazy right now with insurance. I am purchasing a house that is 174 years old - it is hard to get insurance simply based on the age of the house - not the condition, and they don't consider it is probably better built than newer houses.

    My friend who was dropped b/c of the painting - she showed them a contract for having the painting done in a couple months and they reinstated her on the condition that the contract was upheld. If you don't want to do the roof now, that might be a good option if your insurance company will go for it. Good Luck.