Does your insurance company have to replace your entire roof if your shingles have been discontinued and damaged in a storm? That is the question one of my readers asked and my answer is the same as always, it depends. In most cases insurance companies will replace your entire roof if you can no longer match the existing shingles such as t-locks. However, it depends on how the policy was written. Some companies are writing policies that will only repair damage and they don’t have to replace the entire roof, but only the plane that has been damaged even if the roof won’t match. Many times a hail storm comes in with a directional wind that only damages one side of the roof.

It is very important to understand your insurance policy! I have seen circumstances where the roof had multiple layers of shingles and the policy was written that the insurance company only had to pay to tear off one layer and replace it, even if building codes would not allow that. In other cases the policy is written so that the building needs to meet current building codes and in that case the insurance company has to pay to tear off all layers and even re-deck if necessary.

As with all things getting the cheapest insurance is rarely the best deal. It is important to ensure that your policy is written to cover bringing your home to existing building codes. This is important for interior work as well as exterior. Imagine having a small fire that damages your home, the insurance is required to rebuild that section and make it code compliant, but it is possible the building department will require that you replace wiring throughout the home to meet current building codes before giving you a CO (certificate of occupation) and that may come out of your pocket. In most cases the riders on the policies that cover code upgrades are very inexpensive, you just need to be aware of them and ask questions.

Another question was in regards to a roof that had been previously repaired. The person had t-lock shingles and a repair had been done and now there was another issue in the same area. Her concern was since they bought the house with the repair would the insurance company only repair it again? That also depends on many things, what type of  repair was done, if it was just leaking around flashing details and could be easily repaired without replacing the roof or if there was more extensive damage to the shingles themselves that would warrant replacing.

It all comes down to the quality of your insurance company, your insurance agent, and your policy. Even if you don’t currently have an issue, it would pay you to set up a meeting with your insurance company and make sure your policy protects you the way you think it does. Remember your roof protects your home and everything in it, it pays to make sure it is protected as well.

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