Is my flat roof covered by my home insurance?

With lots of home extensions over the years and many more homeowners considering them as an alternative to buying a new property and moving home, flat roofs are being seen more and more in homes around the country. This often leads to the question from many of our clients around whether or not a new flat roof will be covered by their insurance, as there is some conflicting advice out there. To help put things into context and dispel some of those myths, this month’s article focuses on insuring a flat roof.

Why do some insurers not cover flat roofs?

Flat roofs are considered as being at greater risk of weather damage and leaks. This is then associated with a risk of greater maintenance requirements, so some insurers simply refuse to cover them while others charge a disproportionately high insurance premium to cover that perceived risk.

Are they really more risky?

Not if they have been properly installed and maintained. Providing evidence that your flat roof installation has been undertaken by a qualified professional and comes with certain guarantees – as with anything – will help show your insurer that the risk of damage or leaks is low. Insurers may also ask for evidence that proper maintenance is being carried out and at the recommended time intervals. Again, this will demonstrate that you are checking your roof and making any necessary repairs to deal with potential damage or wear and tear.

Reducing your risk

It is important to check the small print on any policy to confirm the precise details and requirements associated with any cover. However, as a rule of thumb the recommended interval between having your flat roof professionally checked and assessed is five years. To get the right documents necessary to submit to your insurer that the checks have been undertaken you must have the inspection carried out by a qualified surveyor, builder, or roof specialist. If any work does need to be done, make sure that you receive written confirmation of what they involved, who carried them out – including their qualifications, certifications, and any trade membership details – and what guarantees are associated with them.

Knowing how much of your roof is flat

Not all homes have fully flat roofs and many will have a proportion of flat and pitched roof areas. Your insurer will need to know the exact proportion of flat roof relative to it as a whole so that they can place it into the right flat roof bracket. This also benefits you as your premium will be adjusted accordingly – saving you from overpaying if it is not necessary. If you have moved into a property with an existing flat roof you can find out what area it has by looking at the home buyer’s survey. Another option is to ask for a building surveyor to measure it for you and calculate the correct percentage.

Need some help with a roof survey or area calculation or are you considering having a flat roof installed? Talk to us first at Roof Rescue and we can help you at each step. Call us on 020 3189 1618 for some initial advice or to make an appointment.

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