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Flat roofs and home insurance

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Flat roof home insurance explained

Roofs with a slope of less than 10 degrees are considered flat by insurers.

If your house has a flat roof, your house insurance can be more expensive. This is because insurers consider flat roof homes to be at higher risk of water ingress, weather damage and burglary.

If less than 30% of your roof is flat, it's unlikely to make a difference to the cost of your insurance.

Is my roof flat?

Sometimes it’s pretty obvious from the roof’s construction that it’d be considered a flat roof by insurers – for instance, if it’s felt or bitumen covering a timber deck.

You can also use Google Earth to try to judge what percentage of your roof is flat - for example, if the flat portion covers about a quarter of the roof area, then 25% of your roof is flat.

You might be able to find out if you have any flat roof areas on your house, and their pitch, by checking any surveys you had done when you bought the house.

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Does a flat roof affect home insurance?

Yes – some insurance companies see them as a greater risk.

This type of roof design is also not best-suited to the UK climate, which sees high levels of rainfall and sometimes heavy snow.

Water, snow and ice can gather on the flat surface, rather than sliding off it – this leaves flat roofs more vulnerable to leaks.

As well as being vulnerable to weather damage, some types of flat roof have a much shorter lifespan than a pitched tile or slate roof.

They'll need more maintenance, which could push the cost of your insurance premiums up, or mean fewer insurers are willing to give you a quote at all.

Flat roofs are also associated with a higher risk of burglary because thieves can climb on them to access upstairs windows.

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If you need to claim on your home insurance - for example, if your building is damaged by subsidence or your possessions are stolen - your free home excess cover will refund up to £250 of your excess.

There’s no hidden charge. But you won't be covered for things like accidental loss such as leaving a laptop on a train or accidental damage, such as spilling wine on your carpet or drilling through a pipe.

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^UK residents and home insurance purchases only. Excess refunded after claim settled. Excludes accidental loss or damage claims made on your home insurance. Full T&Cs apply.

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Be prepared to pay more for your insurance if you have a flat roof – insurers can see it as more of a risk. You can cut the cost by following our top tips
Ceri McMillan - Home insurance expert

How to buy flat roof insurance

You can insure flat-roofed houses with regular home insurance providers, or specialist insurers that deal specifically with the set of risks that come with flat roofs.

Specialist insurers consider things like whether the roof has recently been repaired, and whether it uses modern materials that can offer better resistance to bad weather than old roofs.

Insurers can cover materials such as metal, concrete, PVC, bitumen, felt over timber frames and more.

Roof repair or replacement is generally covered by your home insurance, unless the damage is caused by neglect or lack of maintenance.

Your insurer might ask for regular inspections of the roof – perhaps every few years – which is something that can help to keep your property in a good state of repair.

Plus, it saves trouble and expense for you, as well as your insurer.

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