For many homeowners, the roof often fails to make it onto the radar unless it needs repair or maintenance. It’s just a part of the house; it was there when you arrived at the property, and it will be there when you move on. But these homeowners need to be aware that their roof actually has a significant impact on their home insurance premium.
It’s a good idea to get an understanding of why different roofing types affect home insurance. The key concept is that standard roofing is likely to cost less to maintain and repair, while non-standard ones may need specialist materials that will inevitably drive the costs higher.
Different types of roofing
There are many types of roofing available, but if you live in a more conventional house then you probably have a pretty standard roof, made from slate or tile. Go out and take a look at the roofing on your neighbours’ houses and you should be able to tell whether yours is standard or not. If yours looks significantly different from everyone else’s, it may be a different roof type. If you’re looking to purchase a property, the survey should ascertain the type of roof it has.
Non-standard materials for roofing include metal and glass. This is worth knowing if you’re considering undertaking home renovations. A glass roof might be trendy in architecture circles for many new builds, but they could push your buildings insurance premium…through the roof!
It’s very rare for a new home in the UK to be given a thatched roof, but lots of older properties still have them. They are a period feature that looks beautiful, particularly atop a quaint English cottage in the countryside, but they can be expensive and difficult to insure.
In most cases, thatched roofing is considered non-standard. One reason for this is that the material used poses a significantly increased risk of fire. Another is the amount of maintenance they require – generally speaking, the ridge at the summit of the roof has to be replaced every 10-15 years.
Some insurers simply don’t insure homes with thatched roofing. This may mean you have to find specialist cover, meaning your choice of providers is smaller and your premium is bigger.
If your property features a flat roof, you must declare this when applying for home insurance. It doesn’t take an expert to identify a flat roof, but you should know that if a roof has only a slight slope (10° or less) then it still counts as a flat roof.
A flat roof will usually be covered by insurers, but some providers may not consider them. You need to tell insurers about the flat roof when you are getting quotes, because you may require specialist cover. The reason is that this roof type has a greater risk of leaking since water can pool on it. This doesn’t happen with sloped roofing, as the water flows down them into the guttering. When water accumulates, it can cause issues like damp and sagging, so flat roofs may require more repairs and maintenance.
Additionally, flat roofs are sometimes considered more accessible for burglars. This increased risk of theft can push home insurance premiums higher still.
Talk to an insurance broker
If your property does have a non-standard roof, you should talk to a specialist home insurance broker like Think Plutus. You want to ensure you get the specialist cover you need at a fair price. An insurance broker will have access to more providers and quotes than you will find by yourself, and their expertise will help you find the insurance that is the best fit for you.
Roof types have an impact on your home insurance premium, but an insurance broker can help minimise this impact whilst getting you the right protection for your needs. If you need to discuss your home insurance requirements, give Think Plutus a call and get the expert advice you need.