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(BPT) - Replacing an aging or damaged roof is an important step to protect your home from the damage the elements can dish out — heat, wind, rain, snow, sleet and hail. But homeowners may not realize that the type of shingle they choose can make a big difference, not only in the protection it offers to the home, but also in the cost of their homeowners’ insurance.
Here are a few things homeowners should keep in mind when looking to save money with a new roof:
1) Roof replacement can save money
Even though it’s initially costly, homeowners in large parts of the country can actually save money by installing a new roof.
For years, insurance carriers have been incentivizing homeowners to install shingles that are rated for impact resistance in an effort to reduce the number of roof claims. As a result, using qualifying impact-resistant roofing products may qualify for significant premium discounts on homeowners’ insurance in some states.
“Insurance companies are spending so much each year replacing roofs that we’ve started to see some companies change their straight deductible to a percentage of the home’s total value,” said Curt Boyd, owner of Academy Roofing in Aurora, Colorado. “Homeowners see a $4,000 deductible and they don’t want to spend that to replace their roof every two years. They start looking for ways to buy value.”
The nudge toward impact-rated shingles (sometimes called “IR” shingles) is increasing. Recently, some municipalities in Colorado went as far as mandating UL 2218 Class 4 Impact Resistance classification for all new roofs, a trend that’s anticipated to continue in other severe weather-prone areas.
2) The type of shingles you use matters
Most major shingle brands now have a UL 2218 Class 4 Impact Resistance classified shingle available, but the way the shingles are reinforced differs widely. The newest IR asphalt shingle on the market, the Heritage IR shingle from TAMKO Building Products, Inc. reinforces the entire back of the shingle with a strong polyester fabric. Other methods used to reinforce IR shingles include using fabric over portions of the shingle or coating the shingle with another substance.
While they are distinctly different than traditional shingles because of their reinforcement, these UL 2218 classified options still offer the pleasing aesthetics homeowners have come to expect from modern asphalt shingles.
3) Check with your insurance carrier
Many major insurance providers offer premium discounts for UL 2218 Class 4 classified shingles, but the percentage of savings and the areas of the country where the discount applies vary by carrier. Homeowners should check with their insurance carrier online to see a list of pre-approved shingles and regions, and get a quote from their local agent. Boyd said that he’s seen premium discounts close to 30 percent in Colorado for Class 4-rated products.
Learning about the newest and most effective shingles on the market can help save money and worry, by protecting the home from the top down and potentially reducing insurance costs. Homeowners contacting their insurance carrier and getting educated about roofing options can make a smart choice for their homes and their wallets.