Flat roof insurance provides buildings cover for homes with flat roofs, so that you’d be protected if anything were to happen to your home.
If you have a roof that has a slope that is less than 10 degrees, it's considered to be a flat roof. Insurers view flat roofs as a form of non standard construction, which are more prone to collect water and thus more vulnerable to leaks and water damage.
Given the UK’s climate with high levels of rainfall, and heavy snow in some areas, many insurers are reluctant to offer standard home insurance policies for homes with flat roofs and require you to get specialist flat roof insurance.
Before you get a quote for flat roof insurance, one of the things you’ll need to know how much of your roof is flat.
If less than 30% of your roof is flat, you should be able to get standard home insurance. Anything above that's likely to require flat roof insurance.
Some insurers may have you choose between set categories such as:
Up to 30%
30% to 50% of it
More than 50% of it.
Working out how much of your roof is flat can be a tricky exercise, but there are a few ways to go about it:
Home buyer's survey: This gives you precise measurements of your property, which you can use to calculate what percentage of your roof is flat.
Builder, or surveyor: You could hire a builder or surveyor to calculate exactly how much of your roof is flat. Although this will cost you, it may be worth it as an incorrect calculation may end up in the insurer not paying out if you happen to make a claim.
Google Earth: Although this is an imprecise method, it does provide an aerial view and 3D rendering of your property so you can visualise how much your home has a flat roof.
As a specialist form of insurance, flat roof insurance is likely to cost more than a standard home insurance policy. That’s because flat roofs tend to post more risks such as:
Flat roofs are more prone to collect water rather than sliding off during rains or storms. Flat roofs are thus more likely to leak or deteriorate faster and need regular maintenance. This increases the chance of you to make a claim on your home insurance policy, so providers charge more.
Flat roofs are easier to climb and provide easier access for thieves to break into your home. This means that insurance providers are likely to charge a higher premium for contents insurance because there is a higher chance that you’d file a claim.
Other factors that can affect the cost of your flat insurance include:
The last time your roof was repaired or inspected
The materials used in the construction of your roof
When your property was built
The rebuild cost of your home
History of flooding, structural movement, subsidence and underpinning
The value of the contents of your home
The security features you have in place in your home
You can reduce how much you pay for your flat roof insurance policy by making sure:
your roof is waterproofed with drain pipes and guttering and ensure that water drainage is efficient
your roof has insulating material above the decking
is constructed to resist sun damage and high winds.
Maintaining your flat roof is the best way to keep you insurance costs down, and avoid having to make a claim.
You can do this by carrying out regular checks to look out for any damage that can easily be repaired before it becomes a bigger problem. This is especially important after a stretch of wet weather.
When look for signs of damage, keep an you out for:
Leaks in the attic often leave water stains
Sagging after heavy rains due to water collection
Dark patches that are typically signs of rot
Blockages in the air vents
Damaged, loose or missing roof tiles
Signs of moss or mould.
Speak to a roofer if you find any sign of damage. It’s typically recommended to have a flat roof expert carry out an inspection every few years.
Be sure to keep any documentation if you do have an inspection so that you can provide your insurer proof of your efforts to maintain your flat roof.
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