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What Do Ohio Insurance Companies Think of Metal Roofs?

Feb 16, 2019

When buying a new roof, there are a lot of factors to consider. Once you have your contractor, your choice of color, your preferred style profile, and metal material type arranged and ordered, there’s still more to consider. The most common question asked by consumers is: how will metal roofing affect my homeowners insurance rate in the Dayton area? Likewise, this question pops up when it comes to buying a new home with a metal roof.

Insurance companies prefer metal roofing and here’s the primary reason why: it’s cheaper for them.

No successful business can function if they are not making a profit and that rule goes double for insurance companies. Every time you pay your insurance bill, you are not paying for the rendering of an immediate service or a tangible product – you are paying for peace of mind or, essentially, the assurance that you will not incur costs should damage happen. The insurance companies collect your money while promising that, should something unfortunate happen to your residence, they will pay for it.

Consider what is more beneficial to an insurance company in terms of profitability: a home needing repairs repeatedly, costing your company money – or a home that requires minimal payouts due to high levels of protection? Which home would they be more willing to cover at a lower premium rate?

The answer is simple: they would choose the home with less risk of sustaining damage. That reward is a lower rate for your insurance coverage – when they save money, you save money.

Ways Metal Roofs Are a Better Investment for Ohio Insurance Companies

Less Prone to Water Damage

When punctures occur to a non-metal roof, or falling branches fracture shingles, it allows water and other moisture to leak inside. The water can erode the structural integrity of the wood, the plaster, and the drywall.

Sometimes this water can cause mold and mildew, which requires a lengthy process to clean by certified professionals to avoid risking lung damage to any of the residents. With a metal roof, water damage is highly unlikely to occur.

Metal Roofs Are Better in Case of Fire

Homeowners who opt for a wooden roof over a metal roof will more likely pay a higher insurance premium than those with a metal roof. This is because metal roofing is significantly safer from fire than any other counterpart that can burn much more quickly.

Different types of metal roofing are eligible for different fire ratings (A, B, and C), so if you live in a high-risk area for wildfires, it is important to speak to your contractor about fire-resistant options for your roof.

The best, most tangible way to look at it is to consider your fireplace. What do you feed the fire? Wood, as it is more flammable, combustible, and easily damaged by fire. What is the screen that keeps the fire contained made from? Some type of metal.

Your insurance company has considered this angle, as well. That is why it will give better premiums to homes less susceptible to fire.

Metal Roofs Last Longer

Metal roofing lasts much longer than other materials. Most roofing companies offer a 50-year warranty on their metal roofs. During that period, a person could spend thousands of dollars replacing a regular asphalt shingled roof multiple times, as asphalt roofs last, on average, about 12-20 years. Dayton insurance companies will look more favorably upon a roof that lasts a long time over a roof that needs constant repairs and replacement over the same time frame.

Interestingly, many copper and zinc roofs can last up to and sometimes over 100 years with minimal repairs and patching, while remaining in pristine condition.

Metal Roofs Stand Up Better to Inclement Weather, Like Hail

The Roofing Industry Committee on Weather Issues, Inc. (RICOWI), did a study on the effects of hail on metal roofing with their newly formed Hailstorm Investigation Program (HIP). The program wished to investigate how the material handled hail. Over 100 roofing systems received a professional evaluation after a major hailstorm hit parts of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

The study found that, in a storm where the hail ranged from 0.75” to 1.75” in thickness, the only damage to metal roofing incurred was cosmetic damage as opposed to structural damage.

In this study, the committee brings up a point worth asking: what exactly is structural damage versus cosmetic damage?

Cosmetic Damage Versus Structural/Functional Damage for Insurance Coverage

Cosmetic damage is harm simply to the outside or what you can see immediately. On the human body, a paper cut is cosmetic damage.

Structural damage would include things that are beneath the surface or that could degrade the overall performance of the item or object. Cosmetic damage as the RICOWI detailed it in their report, refers to dents that happened during the hailstorm in Oklahoma City. But how does that equate to homeownership in terms of insurance claims? Can you claim hailstorm dents to your metal roof?

The answer is, succinctly, yes.

If your metal roof sustains hailstorm damage in the form of dents only, some agents and adjusters will try to persuade you into not filing a claim by telling you the damage sustained to the house is “only cosmetic.”

If you do file a claim, the insurance company will try to go with the lowest cost option by offering a coating or repainting of your metal roof. Do not allow this to fool you – you can get the same coverage for hail damage to your roof, cosmetic or not, as someone who has hail damage to his or her car, according to a recent court case in Tennessee (Sai Leela Inc., v. Westfield Insurance Company). It is something to consider when dealing with insurance companies and metal roofs.

When it comes to insurance coverage, Ohio insurance companies prefer the more durable, safe, and sustainable choice: metal. Consider this when buying a home with a metal roof or purchasing a new roof. Your insurance company will thank you and so will your wallet!

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