Does Home Insurance Cover Flat Roofs?
Caeva O'Callaghan | April 11th, 2020
There are many risks to having a flat roof on your property, but luckily you will be covered. Read more inside.
Good news! Yes, if you have a flat roof your home insurance will cover you. Flat roofs are notoriously more difficult to manage than other kinds of roof. But, that doesn’t mean your insurance will leave you high and dry.
Read on to discover answers to questions like these:
- Can I get home insurance if I have a flat roof?
- Will my home insurance cover damage to my flat roof?
- What are the risks of having a flat roof?
Before you begin, it’s important to have details about your flat roof – such as its age and materials – to hand. Your insurer will want to know this information.
How much of your roof is flat?
If you have a flat roof, it’s likely the entirety of your roof is not flat. Perhaps the flat roof just covers the garage, or a portion of your house. Some flat roofs are typically on small extensions and constructed using mineral felt over wooden slats.
This matters because the more of your house has a flat roof, the bigger the risks. Not only is the area to repair or replace much greater, but any damage will have more of an impact on your home and belongings.
It’s key to note that roofs are never completely flat. There does need to be a slope or a pitch to ensure that water runs off into the gutter. However, our wet climate means they pose a significant risk to houses unless you keep on top of maintenance.
The key percentage here is 33%. Any less, and your insurer will be happy to provide you with insurance. Any more, and things may get a little more difficult.
Construction and materials
You need to let your home insurer know the materials and construction of your flat roof. If you make a claim and your insurer hasn’t been made aware of this vital information, it’s very likely they’ll turn down your claim.
The age of your flat roof is important as older flat roofs are more likely to wear out. You’ll need to maintain your roof regularly but if the previous owners haven’t done a good job, you may have your work cut out for you.
This means that if you have a flat roof, it’s of vital importance you keep it maintained with the proper techniques and materials. If you don’t, your insurance is unlikely to cover you.
Many flat roofs are covered with mineral felt, which includes bitumen. This product is made by mixing distilled oil with sand. The insurance industry prefers asphalt roofs. They are much heavier than mineral felt, so bad weather and leaks won’t affect them as much. They’re also less flammable
Risks of flat roofs
Mineral felt flat roofs are vulnerable to storm damage, especially if you don’t check them regularly. This kind of sheet material tears easily, and a small tear can turn into a big one during storms.
As an oil-based product, bitumen is also very flammable – and as such, at a higher risk of fire. Chimney fires are particularly common, and incredibly dangerous with a flat bitumen roof.
However, the main risk of having a flat roof is that water will collect on it. The extra weight of standing water, and the fact that it rarely dries out, can lead to leaks. A collapsed roof is a nightmare to deal with, and unless you keep your flat roof in tip-top shape your insurance will be unlikely to cover you.
As with anything, the key is regular maintenance. Clean your gutters regularly to not inhibit water run-off, and brush off leaves and other debris that put weight on the joists. Keep surrounding trees and branches trimmed to lessen the likelihood of falling branches.
If you have any queries on your flat roof and what the implications are for home insurance, call us in QuoteMe.ie
If you have any questions on the type of flat roof you have, and how it might impact on your home insurance, call us and talk to our home insurance experts. We are experts in all maters related to home insurance. We know all the angles and have been supporting our customers for more than 30 years. We are available for direct phone calls between 8.30am and 5.30pm each weekday on 0818 224433 or 042 9359051.