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Homeowners Insurance In Virginia — It Starts With The Roof

By August 28, 2023Insurance

According to Bankrate, the national average for home insurance based on $250,000 in dwelling coverage is $1,428, up 20% from 2022. *

Virginia homeowners insurance is typically lower, and in some cases, much lower than this figure. This depends on a number of factors such as the property’s location, dwelling coverage and selected endorsements, claim history, and the general eligibility of the property.

While there are many eligibility factors that apply to a property and applicant, the overall condition and age of the roof tends to be one of the largest possible hurdles to qualify for. Below is a general idea for roof eligibility:

  • Age and condition of roof. Insurance carriers have specific requirements for new policies on the age of a property’s roof. The specifics differ from carrier to carrier, but some require a roof to be no more than 15 or 20 years old to be eligible for a new policy. The condition of the roof varies too, but generally missing or loose/curled shingles, heavy staining, and a remaining life expectancy of five years or less is generally unacceptable. Some insurance carriers refer to aerial imaging to pre-qualify a policy.
  • Metal roofs. Steel roofs typically have broader acceptability when it comes to age. Rusting and poor condition are ineligible.
  • HOA covered roofs. Properties with an HOA that cover the roof may have broader acceptability.
  • Pre- Approval Verification. Some insurance carriers may require additional underwriting information in order to rate or issue a new homeowners policy. Typical requests may include recent color photos and/or an inspection performed by a licensed roofer.

The Truth Above 30 or 50 Year Shingles

A question that often comes up is, “Why does an insurance carrier want a new roof when I still have 10 years left on my 30 or 50 year shingles?”

It’s a good question because if it doesn’t leak why should it be replaced? Contrary to popular belief, the “lifespan” or “30 year” terms provided by roofers and manufacturers refers to the definition of what is covered by its warranty. The impression is that the shingles will last a certain amount of years before needing to be replaced but that’s not the case. For example, a 20-year shingle roof typically lasts 15 years with routing preventative maintenance but weather and damage can significantly erode this.

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