How to get homeowners insurance with a bad roof

You can get homeowners insurance for your roof via high-risk coverage. However, high-risk homeowners insurance usually costs more and offers less protection, so replacing your roof is probably the best long term solution.

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Pat HowardManaging Editor & Licensed Home Insurance ExpertPat Howard is a managing editor and licensed home insurance expert at Policygenius, where he specializes in homeowners insurance. His work and expertise has been featured in MarketWatch, Real Simple, Fox Business, VentureBeat, This Old House, Investopedia, Fatherly, Lifehacker, Better Homes & Garden, Property Casualty 360, and elsewhere.

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Jennifer GimbelJennifer GimbelSenior Managing Editor & Home Insurance ExpertJennifer Gimbel is a senior managing editor and home insurance expert at Policygenius, where she oversees our homeowners insurance coverage. Previously, she was the managing editor at and a content strategist at

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Key takeaways

  • If your homeowners insurance was canceled because of your roof’s condition, don’t panic — you can likely find coverage elsewhere.

  • Although there are insurance options for homes with bad roofs, the coverage itself is generally worse and more expensive.

  • Repairing or replacing your roof can lower your home insurance rates and provide better coverage against the unexpected.

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One of the toughest parts about owning a home is knowing when to replace your roof. A few missing shingles may not seem like a big deal to you, but your homeowners insurance company may see this as a red flag. 

The reason for this is your roof — along with your home’s systems and foundation — is what keeps your house intact. Once your roof starts showing signs of deterioration, that’s a telltale sign to insurers that it’s only a matter of time before it goes kaput. 

However, there are insurance companies that specialize in insuring homes with high-risk features, including older or damaged roofs. In this guide, we’ll explain how to get homeowners insurance with a bad roof.

Can you get homeowners insurance with a bad roof?

Yes. In fact, it’s possible to get homeowners insurance with a bad roof even after you’ve been denied coverage. Some insurance companies actually specialize in insuring homes with bad roofs or other risks that standard insurers won’t touch.

But high-risk homeowners insurance can be expensive. Additionally, coverage is typically only provided on an actual cash value basis. That means if your 20-year-old roof is damaged in a windstorm, you’ll be reimbursed for the roof’s replacement value minus 20 years of depreciation.

But if you need temporary coverage while you save for a new roof, or if you’re selling your property and don’t want to put any more money into it, getting coverage through a high-risk insurance company is a suitable option.

Roof requirements for homeowners insurance

Insurance companies place a lot of importance on roof condition when determining a home’s coverage eligibility and rates. Generally, there are four key insurability factors insurers look at.

Roof age

If your home has a newer roof, you’ll likely see lower rates — maybe even a policy discount. If your roof is more than 15 or 20 years old, coverage will likely cost more and your insurer may only agree to cover the roof at its actual cash value.  

Roof condition

The better condition your roof is in, the less you’ll have to pay for homeowners insurance. Insurance companies are more likely to overlook your roof’s old age if it’s in good condition and has no visible sign of wear and tear.

Roof type

Insurers will also consider what your roof is made of. Metal roofs are the most structurally sound, so they’re usually the cheapest to insure. Conversely, wooden roofs are viewed as an insurance risk since they’re not fire resistant. Insurance companies in areas with high fire risk may refuse to insure homes with wooden roofs.

Roof shape

Your roof’s shape can also impact your rates. Gable roofs (upside down V shape) and hip roofs (four-sided) are the most common shapes. Gables are generally more at risk of wind damage, so they generally cost more to insure than hip. Homes with flat roofs are usually the most expensive to insure.

How actual cash value roof replacement is calculated

To figure out your roof’s actual cash value (ACV), you first need to find out how much it has depreciated. Lets say you paid $7,000 for a new roof in 2001 — to calculate depreciation, you’ll need to do the following:

  1. Find its lifespan: This is the number of years your roof is determined to hold value. Let’s say your roof has a 25 year lifespan. 

  2. Find its replacement cost: Replacement cost is the amount a similar roof would cost at today’s prices. So a $7,000 roof in 2001 might have a replacement cost of, say, $10,000 today. 

  3. Do a little math: Depreciation is replacement cost x the percentage of lifespan used. If your roof is 20 years into its 25 year lifespan, then its depreciation would be $8,000 (10,000 x 0.8 = 8,000)

Actual cash value is replacement cost minus depreciation, so your roof's ACV would be $2,000 (10,000 - 8,000 = 2,000). In the event of a roof damage claim, that's the maximum amount your insurance will pay out.

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What to do if your insurance is canceled because of a damaged roof

If your home insurance is canceled because of your damaged roof, you’ll receive a cancelation notice and have around 60 days to repair your roof or find a new home insurance policy. 

Provided that your roof isn’t badly damaged, you’ll likely be able find a company to insure your home. But ultimately, you’ll have to weigh the costs and benefits of keeping the roof as is and paying higher rates versus investing to repair your roof and paying lower rates.

But if you don’t repair or replace your roof, you face having to pay significantly higher rates with a company that is willing to take on that risk. Roof replacement also lessens the chance of further damage to your home down the road.

How to get home insurance with a bad roof

An old or damaged roof can make your home insurance rates more expensive, or worse, potentially cause you to be denied coverage from some companies. But it is possible to get a homeowners insurance policy, even if your roof needs to be repaired.

Here are five steps to get home insurance with a bad roof:

  1. Assess your roof's condition. Take a look at your roof to determine the extent of damage and deterioration. Get a roof inspection from a contractor or roofing company and ask them to take pictures of any damage they see.

  2. Gather information. Before you can get a quote for a home insurance policy, you'll need to have all the information about your roof. Document the age, location, type, and condition of your roof, as well as any proof of maintenance or repairs before speaking to an insurance expert.

  3. Get a quote. Look for insurers that specialize in high-risk homes or offer coverage for homes with bad roofs. Our insurance experts at Policygenius can help you compare multiple policies to find one willing to insure your home.

  4. Understand coverage limitations. Given the condition of your roof, ask what limitations or exclusions may be included in a potential policy before you sign on. Depending on how much damage you have, you may need to consider temporary coverage while repairing or replacing your roof.

  5. Purchase coverage. Once you know what your options are, choose a policy and make a payment so your coverage is active.

How much does it cost to repair or replace a roof?

The average cost of roof repair/replacement is around $9,265, with a range of anywhere from $5,848 to $12,925, according to Home Advisor. [1] But costs will vary widely depending on the cost of roofing materials and labor in your area. 

For example, basic builders-grade asphalt shingles may only cost around $5 per square foot, whereas higher-quality slate tile shingles are known to cost as much as $22 per square foot. 

There are a number of other factors that impact roof replacement costs, including:

  • How easy it is to access your roof

  • Your home’s condition

  • Cost of permits and licenses

  • Whether you’re replacing or re-roofing (placing new shingles over old ones. Re-roofing is generally the cheaper option. 

What is considered an old roof?

Insurance companies generally consider a roof older than 15 years to be old. If you live in an area where roof damage from wind and hail storms is common, like Florida or Texas, you may see higher home insurance rates or coverage restrictions like actual cash value protection.

Will homeowners insurance cover a 25-year-old roof?

Many homeowners insurance companies won't cover a 25-year-old roof. But it ultimately depends on where you live and what kind of shape the roof is in.

If your house is in a state with a fairly mild climate, you might be able to find an insurer to cover your roof if an inspection proves it has a few more years in its lifespan. But if you live in a Southern U.S. state where tornado and hurricane risk is high, you'll likely have a more difficult time finding coverage with a standard provider.

How the age of your roof impacts your home insurance rates

One benefit of replacing your bad roof is you'll typically be rewarded with lower home insurance premiums.

Here's how much you stand to save on your home insurance rates by replacing your roof:


Average annual cost with old roof

Average annual cost with new roof










ASI Progressive




American Family




Auto-Owners Insurance




Methodology: Annual rates are based on our analysis of home insurance premiums provided by Quadrant Information Services in March 2022 for ZIP codes in all 50 states plus Washington, D.C. Annual rates for old roofs are calculated by averaging the cost of policies for a roof that's 10 years old, 15 years old, and 20 years old with each carrier.

How to get insurance to pay for a new roof

To get homeowners insurance to pay for a new roof, you'll first need to call your insurance company and see if the damage is covered and file a claim.

Once you submit your claim, your insurance provider will likely send out an adjuster to inspect the roof damage and determine a proper valuation.

If it's approved, your insurer will offer you a settlement amount and, if you're happy with the amount, you'll find a qualified roof contractor either through your insurance company or on your own to replace your roof.

Learn more >> Does home insurance cover roof replacement?

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Frequently asked questions

How many shingles need to be missing for insurance to replace a roof?

There is no specific number of shingles that guarantees an insurance company will replace your roof. This is because each company uses its own way of assessing claims and insurance laws vary by state. If you think your roof is damaged badly enough to file an insurance claim, document the damage and reach out to your insurance agent.

What makes a roof uninsurable?

The most common reasons your roof could be uninsurable are age, condition of the roof, leaks, poor insulation, and inadequate drainage. But ultimately, what makes a roof uninsurable will vary by insurance company, since the factors considered important with one company may be different than another.

Will insurance cover a 20-year-old roof?

Some insurance companies won't provide coverage on a 20-year-old roof. However, that's not the case for all insurers. Others might require you to have an inspection of your roof to determine if it has any years left in its lifespan. If it does, it might offer you coverage.


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Policygenius uses external sources, including government data, industry studies, and reputable news organizations to supplement proprietary marketplace data and internal expertise. Learn more about how we use and vet external sources as part of oureditorial standards.

  1. Home Advisor

    . "

    How Much Does It Cost To Replace Or Install A Roof?

    ." Accessed January 17, 2024.


Pat Howard is a managing editor and licensed home insurance expert at Policygenius, where he specializes in homeowners insurance. His work and expertise has been featured in MarketWatch, Real Simple, Fox Business, VentureBeat, This Old House, Investopedia, Fatherly, Lifehacker, Better Homes & Garden, Property Casualty 360, and elsewhere.


Jennifer Gimbel is a senior managing editor and home insurance expert at Policygenius, where she oversees our homeowners insurance coverage. Previously, she was the managing editor at and a content strategist at

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