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Guide to Insurance & Roof Replacement or Repair in South Florida

June 27, 2024

Guide to Insurance & Roof Replacement or Repair in South Florida

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Guide to Insurance and Roof Repair or Replacement

As a homeowner in South Florida, understanding the nuances of property insurance and how it relates to your roofing needs can save you significant money and stress. Generally, homeowners fall into one of three categories concerning their insurance coverage:

  • Homeowners with no property insurance
  • Homeowners with property insurance but no wind coverage (x-wind)
  • Homeowners with property insurance including wind coverage

Homeowners with No Property Insurance

Homeowners without property insurance typically own their property outright and choose to self-insure. Self-insuring means you assume full financial responsibility for any damage or repairs. While this option eliminates the cost of monthly premiums, it carries significant risk, especially in a hurricane-prone area like South Florida. Without insurance, any damage from storms, hurricanes, or other disasters must be paid out-of-pocket, which can be financially devastating. However, self-insuring is an option to consider if you have substantial savings and prefer to avoid the constraints and costs of insurance policies. It’s crucial to weigh the risks and benefits carefully and perhaps consult with a financial advisor to determine if self-insuring is a viable option for you.

Homeowners with Property Insurance but No Wind Coverage

If your property’s land value is approximately 125% of your mortgage balance, you might qualify for property insurance without wind coverage, pending mortgage company approval. This can lead to substantial savings, often between 50-75%. Mortgage companies are increasingly aware of the high cost of wind coverage and may grant exceptions when the mortgage balance is low relative to the land value. It’s worthwhile to explore this option and potentially benefit from the savings. Homeowners in this category can contact their mortgage provider to discuss the possibility of excluding wind coverage and take advantage of the potential savings.

Homeowners with Property Insurance Including Wind Coverage

Homeowners in this category face the highest premiums and strictest requirements. To maximize savings, these homeowners need to complete a Uniform Mitigation Verification Inspection Form (UMVIF) conducted by a licensed home inspector. This form assesses potential wind mitigation credits based on several factors, including the construction of the building, the roof, windows, and other openings.

Steps to Improve Your Wind Mitigation Credits:

  1. Install Impact-Resistant Windows: This retrofit can significantly enhance your wind mitigation credits.
  2. Replace Your Roof: When replacing your roof, install roof-to-wall straps and a secondary water barrier. These elements offer the greatest discounts but must be installed during roof replacement.

It’s important to note that roof-to-wall straps can be added without a full roof replacement. However, the extensive repairs required (approximately 4 feet along the entire roof perimeter) often make this option financially impractical.

Age of Roof & Insurance in South Florida -The 20-Year Roof Rule

Insurance companies typically mandate complete roof replacements for roofs over 20 years old, regardless of their condition or existing warranties. At T&S Roofing Systems, we have provided inspection reports for roofs over 20 years old, indicating they have 1-5 years of life remaining. While we cannot confirm if insurance companies accept these reports, we offer them to our customers upon request. The cost of these inspection reports by a licensed roofing contractor ranges between $150-$350.

Insurance & Roof Replacement – Why Consider Replacing an Older Roof?

Even if your roof has no leaks and appears to have a few years left, replacing a roof that is over 20 years old can be beneficial. Installing roof-to-wall straps and a secondary water barrier during replacement can yield substantial wind mitigation credits, potentially offsetting the cost of a new roof.

For roofs less than 20 years old without the necessary retrofits listed on the UMVIF, (Uniform Mitigation Verification Inspection Form)homeowners face a tough decision. They must weigh the cost of early replacement to qualify for more credits against the higher insurance premiums they would pay by waiting until the roof is 20 years old. For example, a homeowner with a 10-year-old roof lacking roof-to-wall straps or a secondary water barrier might consider waiting five years to replace the roof with these upgrades while improving their windows to impact-resistant ones in the meantime.

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