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Age, condition determine insurability of your roof

If you’re buying an existing home, pay close attention to the style, age (if known) and condition of the roof before you close on the house.

Insuring existing roofs is becoming more challenging. Why? Because insurance companies believe that the single most important component of the house is the roof.

“The roof is the first layer that wind, hail, wildfire and other hazards really begin to act on,” says Tim Reinhold, chief engineer at the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety, an independent, nonprofit research organization based in Tampa, Fla. “In more than 90 percent of hail or high-wind claims, there is a payout relative to the roof cover.”

AmeriSpec Omaha and Lincoln roof inspectionBecause insurers have a vested interest in your roof, they price your home insurance accordingly, based on the soundness of its construction and what it will cost them to replace it, according to

Since the roof has become such an important factor in the successful sale of a home, AmeriSpec Omaha and Lincoln inspectors recommend that you ask your home inspection professional these questions:

  • Is there significant granular loss (for asphalt shingles)?
  • Are there any broken/torn/missing shingles/shakes?
  • Do the soft metals (exhaust flue cap, valley flashings, roof vents, etc.) show signs of hail damage?

Unless the homeowner knows the age of the roof, the home inspector may not be able to provide this information. However, they will be able to tell you the characteristics of the roof which insurance company inspectors look for when determining insurability for a roof. Ultimately, the inspector can only tell you the physical condition of the roof, and is not responsible for determining the insurability of the roof.

Taking proactive measures prior to closing will greatly help the process of securing insurance, for the entire home. If you have questions or would like a roof inspection before listing your home for sale, call AmeriSpec at 402-393-3696 in Omaha or 402-483-2010 in Lincoln.