Insurance for a Home With a Flat Roof

I am having a lot of trouble getting my new home insured simply because it has a flat roof. Are there any insurance companies that you can name that will insure a steel I beam construction home with a flat roof?

Answer:

A flat roof has become an issue with insurers because of the potential for damage under severe weather conditions -- snow build up can cause a roof to fall in, for instance. However, since Hurricane Katrina, there has been a movement of insurers to see flat roofs as "higher risk".

It seems completely bizarre to me, given that so many homes are built with flat roofs and never have a problem, but with insurers you have to expect that anything that can be construed as a high risk will be treated as a high risk -- and it will either mean no insurance or expensive insurance.

Having said that, I've seen a few message boards dealing with insurance that mention Allstate, USAA, AIG and Chubb as being willing to insure homes with flat roofs. However, I suspect that it may depend on the agent that you speak with. In fact, some folks report having policies with Allstate in particular, and others report that they were turned down by Allstate. So there are no guarantees.

As with any insurance challenge, you should do as much research as possible.

If you are in the US, contact your department of insurance for a list of insurers doing business in your state. This will at least give you all the possible companies, and you can start by calling each regarding homeowners insurance and flat roofs. If you don't have a lot of time to search for coverage, get at least 2 or 3 brokers working on your behalf.

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