By its very nature, the insurance business is somewhat of a gamble. There are, however, ways to keep your customers’ roof claims to a minimum. All it takes is an understanding of your top risks and a knowledge of the right strategies to protect your customers’ property. One of those strategies is to require a specific type of roof certification called a LeakFREE® Roof Certification.
What Is a LeakFREE® Certification and What Does It Entail?
A LeakFREE® Roof Certification is a unique type of certification that can only be offered by members of the National Roof Certification and Inspection Association (NRCIA). This certification is a guarantee on the roof that the guarantor will assume all liability for covered damages of the roof for the certification period, usually two years. The guarantor will either repair or pay for repairs for any covered damages during that time.
A LeakFREE® Roof Certification involves:
+ A thorough roof inspection with a detailed inspection report
+ An assessment of the roof’s current health and validation that it fortified against future damage
+ A warranty is guaranteed for a set length of time, putting the liability on the guarantor for all covered damages during that time
For homeowners, this inspection is a strong asset to have, as many insurance companies will offer discounts for those with a LeakFREE® Roof Certification. In fact, some insurers will only insure homes with LeakFREE® Roof Certifications.
One NRCIA inspector served an older client whose insurance provider would only insure her wood shake roof if she received a LeakFREE® Roof Certification. He inspected her roof and gave her a repair estimate, performed the repairs, and issued her a two-year LeakFREE® Roof Certification. Not only was he able to help her get the homeowner’s insurance she needed, but he continued to inspect and re-certify her roof every two years for the remainder of the roof’s life.
How LeakFREE® Certifications Benefit Insurance Companies
The obvious benefit of a LeakFREE® Roof Certification for homeowners is that they can ensure that they won’t need to pay for any repairs that fall into the certification’s coverage. However, insurance companies benefit as well by reducing the potential of a roof claim.
An insurer can mitigate risks because a roof with a LeakFREE® Roof Certification will not need repairs for any covered damages for the length of the certification. You can rest assured that claims for this period are highly unlikely.
Second, insurers will also benefit by knowing that the roof is getting proper maintenance and repairs during its certification period. This lowers the risk for claims even after the certification period ends because many roof claims are the result of shoddy prior repairs or a lack of past maintenance. Not only will this save you the expense of paying out claims for roof repairs, but it will save you in claims for internal home damage that occurs from a roof failure, such as interior water damage from leaks.
Mitigating your risks for a roof claim is more important now than ever and this need will likely continue to rise because roofing claims appear to be increasing. For example, one particular company reported a 25% increase in roof claims from 2019 to 2020. We are also seeing increases in some of the top causes of roofing damage, such as hail losses which cost up to $14 billion per year, and fire losses which cost an average of $28 billion per year.
As climate change continues, hailstorms and wildfires are expected to increase along with other causes of roof damage. In this time of increasing risks and losses, any steps you can take to lower your claims and losses will be critical to your bottom line.
Encouraging LeakFREE® Roof Certifications Among Your Customers
If you want to reap the benefits of LeakFREE® Roof Certifications, it may be as easy as implementing a new policy for your customers. You may choose to require these specialized certifications in select circumstances or to offer a discount to any customer with a LeakFREE® Roof Certification.
In either case, the NRCIA is available to help you learn more about LeakFREE® Roof Certifications, how to entice your customers to receive them, and how to educate your customers about the benefits. Contact the NRCIA today to learn more.