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How Different Roof Coverings Affect Your Home Insurance in Florida

Florida Insurance and Your Roof

If you are in the market for a new roof, you might be caught off guard by the different options available. In this episode of Waypoint Real Talk, we sit down with Tracy Hampton from Key Palm Insurance in Pinellas County, FL to talk about how different roof coverings can affect your home insurance and how long you can expect them to last.

You can listen in or scroll below to read the blog.

Listen to the full podcast:


Florida Home Insurance And Your Roof

In Florida, we have the wind mitigation inspection which helps you save money on insurance and the four-point inspection which is required on some homes to obtain insurance. Click the links to learn more about those inspections.

But, in each inspection, it asks about your roof. The age, how it’s made, roof type, and estimated life all play a part in these inspections and can affect your insurance premium.

So, if you are looking to replace your roof, which roof is best for you and your insurance coverage? When should you replace your roof? Can you obtain insurance coverage on your current roof? These are all questions we are going to answer.

Florida Home Insurance Roof Requirements

According to Tracy, for the most part, insurance companies will want to see at least 5 years of life remaining on your roof in order to supply home insurance. Side note: Your chosen home inspector will make the call as to life remaining on a roof.

Now, this is not always the case. Ultimately, the insurance underwriter has the final say. And your insurance agent is just the mediator between your insurance coverage and the actual insurer.

Therefore, some people may obtain insurance coverage for a roof with less than 5 years of life remaining if the roof looks to be in good shape and without repairs. But, the homeowner may see a higher insurance premium.

So which roof should you look to purchase? Well it depends.

Roof Types

In Florida, our common roof types are three-tab shingles, dimensional shingles, tile roofs, metal roofs, and modified bitumen roofs.

Each roof type has a different cost and life expectancy which we will explain below. Important Note: The ages below are just approximated and each roof should be inspected by a professional as each roof wears differently.

Three-Tab Shingles

These are the cheapest shingle roofing material. The manufacturer suggests they can last about 20 years old, however, in Florida (near beaches especially), this is not the case.

Most three-tab shingles last 20 years max. Therefore, insurance companies are asking for replacement at about 15 years of age. But yet again, it comes down to your inspections to tell the insurance company the roof’s life expectancy. If there are less than 5 years, the insurance company will most likely ask you to replace it.

Architectural/Dimensional Shingles

These are the highest quality shingle roofs. They are thicker and have more than one layer of shingle for additional protection.

These roofs tend to last about 17-20 years, so insurance companies may request a roof replacement then. On the other hand, if you are looking to purchase a home with a dimensional shingle that is 15 years old, an insurance company may ask for replacement immediately depending on current conditions and life expectancy.

Read more about shingle lifespan.

Tile Roofs

Tile roofs are typically made out of concrete or clay and are the most expensive.

Due to their weight, most tile roofs can last about 40 years, but insurance can require replacement sooner depending on cleanliness, broken tiles, previous repairs, and leaks.

A key to a long-lasting tile roof is continuous inspections and repairs to ensure broken tiles are replaced and roof leaks are solved quickly.

A little known fact about tile roofs is the tiles themselves are not the actual roof covering. The actual roof covering is the underlayment. The tiles simply protect the underlayment from the sun and weathering conditions.

Read about how long tile roofs last.

Metal Roofs

Metal roofs are typically the most expensive alongside tile roofs. These roof types can last about 50 years, but insurance companies may require inspections sooner to see how the roof is aging.

However, Florida homes near the beach may be subject to quick rust.

Furthermore, painting your metal roof will not pass for most insurance underwriters. This is because there is not enough real-world data for insurance companies to understand the paint’s effectiveness.

Read about how long metal roofs last.

Modified Bitumen Roofs

Modified Bitumen roofs are a flat-rolled roofing that is the cheapest type of roof. It is typically installed on patios or homes with flat roofs.

Modified Bitumen can last about 12-15 years, however, due to many issues that can arise, insurance companies may ask for replacement every 5 years. This is because while the roof may last more than 10 years if an inspector mentions less than 5 years of life left, the insurance company will request a replacement.

Tracy mentions in the podcast that your location of modified bitumen can affect your insurance as well. For example, if you have modified bitumen over just your outside patio, you might be able to obtain cheaper insurance coverage compared to if it was over your living room.

Read about modified bitumen roof lifespan.

Common Issues with Modified Bitumen Roofs

As mentioned, there are many issues with modified bitumen. Here they are:

  • Wrinkles made during installation.
  • Ponding water.
  • Excessive granule loss.
  • Painting/Patching – Most underwriters will not accept this.

Final Thoughts

Home Insurance Coverage in Florida can be difficult. There are many real-world cases with hurricanes that have affected insurance underwriters’ policies.

Most insurance underwriters will want at least 5 years of life left on your roof before they request a reroof so keep this in mind when choosing a new roof or buying a home.

Thank you so much to Tracy Hampton from Key Palm Insurance for joining us on Waypoint Real Talk.

If you have additional questions about roofs and florida insurance, be sure to comment below!