Roof 20 plus years old, ready to rent and insurance won't cover

9 Replies

Hello everyone! I am finally ready to rent out my home and have found a tenant...YAY! However; I have a huge road block when it comes to obtaining landlord insurance. I can't find a carrier that will insure me for either one, or both of the reasons below:

1. The house was built in 1996 and I cannot find records that roof was ever replaced previously (I purchased it in 2015). I am being told that roof older than 15 years are not accepted by most of the carriers.

2. I have moved from CO to CA and some carriers don't cover out of state investors.

3. All of the above.

I did receive one quote for $2600, which was $1200 over what a normal policy would cost. When I purchased the home I was told by the inspector that it was in good condition and would not have to be replaced for 5-6 years. I am not sure what to do, it seems a waste of money to replace a roof in working order, but I'm not sure if it's my only option at this point in order to secure a policy. 

Any suggestions/feedack would be greatly appreciated as my tenants moved in mid February and I still have not found a policy.


Seems odd, as my own home, built in 1993 with the original roof, is insured without issue.

I'm in Wyoming and insurance companies will cover a 15-year-old roof and even a 30-year-old roof if it is in good condition. We have a particular type of shingle (T-lock) that most insurance companies will not cover but that's because of the high failure rate, not because of age.

I also don't understand why they wouldn't cover an out-of-state investor. It's the house location that matters, not the owner. Then again, I'm not an insurance expert.

Have you tried talking to a property manager or another investor in the area? Perhaps they will have a suggestion.

@Ericka Medina

The Golden/Arvada hailstorm changed CO insurance markets. Yes a high scrutiny will be made on roofs. And yes absentee landlords present a huge increase in risk. Do you have professional property management in place (not some friend that will look after the house, but a professional to mitigate that hazard).

But the TL:dr of you post was I present a significantly higher hazard to my insurance company but I don’t want to pay a higher price.

That’s not how insurance works.

Replace the roof, hire professional management and you’ll get the rates you desire.

As for the Tlock shingle comment, it’s not the fail rate (at this point) that causes the increase. It’s the fact that they are no longer manufactured making simple repair impossible.

Apparently we're in some sort of "hail alley" around here.  I replaced my roof in 2013 (with impact resistant shingles at extra out of pocket cost) and then replaced it again a few months ago.  Waiting for warmer weather for the siding.  So, yes, roofs have become a really big deal here.  If you do get hit with a hail storm like the one we had in May last year your old roof will almost certainly need replacement.  The insurance companies are wanting to at least have a chance of not buying you a new roof.  I'd seriously look at getting it replaced.

What carriers are you getting quotes from?  I've found the big names don't like rentals in general.  I have State Farm on most stuff, but Safeco on my rental in Aurora.  Try independent agents, if you've only been talking to the big guys.

Thank you for your feedback gentlemen. My home policy was with E-surance and they referred me to their subsidiary company as E-surance does not have landlord policies. The person I spoke with a broker and ran me through five or six carriers. I do have a property management company on board at this point.

Jon, thank you for the info on Colorado, I was not aware the hail issue was such a big deal as it did not hit us as bad in Thornton. Do you have an agent you would be willing to recommend? Also, should I go ahead and start getting quotes to replace the roof at this point?


We too here in Florida have had the same problem, they don’t want to write the policy if the roof is over 15 years old, even if there is currently no problems and life left in the roof. I had two closings where we had to obtain higher cost insurance (almost double). If we replace the roof, they will refund back some of the cost of the insurance with proper receipts

@Ericka Medina You may want to check with some of the local real estate investors in your area. The local real estate investment association should have a few people who can give you some referrals. Property managers are also a great source of information. Good luck! 

@Ericka Medina another vote for finding an independent agent. There are even a few that specialize in investors. Since you are now outside of the box (out of state landlord) then the internet does not have a cookie cutter to fit your situation unless you know exactly where to look. Google (new yellow pages) some independent agents and start calling. Unfortunately that's still the way insurance is done for investments.

@Ericka Medina I found the agent I use on safeco's web site.  I picked him because he's close to my house.  Look on their web site and find someone convenient to you.

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