If you are buying a new home and are puzzled about the discrepancies between your old and new residence’s homeowners insurance rates, it could be that you’ve changed roof styles. Wind mitigation is an important issue for Florida homeowners, and roof styles vary in their resistance to high winds.
The two most common styles of roof construction are the gable roof and the hip roof. Of the two, the hip roof is considered to be more stable and less likely to suffer damage in high winds. This can lead to your insurance company offering a discount on your annual premium.
Gable roofs are a common roof style for many reasons; they are relatively inexpensive, shed rainwater easily, allow better ventilation, and provide ample attic space or vaulted ceilings if desired. A basic gable roof is a simple inverted V or triangular shape that creates a ridge along the very top, with the ends overhanging the sides of the house on any or all sides.
A gable roof’s main disadvantages are its relatively simple construction (which is fairly weak), and the overhang, under which wind can easily push and lift, tearing the roof away from the home. Gable roofs used on houses in areas that are exposed to high winds generally require special supports and additional bracing in order to strengthen them against potential damage in storm season.
A hip roof looks more like a shallow pyramid placed on top of the home, with no overhang. While they don’t provide quite as much overhead space as gable roofs, a vaulted ceiling or a dormer bedroom can still be installed if the pitch is steep enough. A hip roof is much more difficult for high winds to damage.
Hip roofs are more stable in their basic construction than gable roofs. The slant of each roof section is shallower and provides less wind resistance, and there is no overhang for wind to get under and try to separate the roof from the house. For high wind areas, or areas commonly subject to strong storms, a hip roof is highly preferable to a gable roof.
Homes built with a hip roof are less at risk for damage by the strong winds generated by tropical storms or hurricanes. In Florida, having a hip roof on your home can lead to a homeowners insurance discount known as the hip roof credit.
Even homes that have hybridized roofs that incorporate both gable and hip construction can often qualify for a partial hip roof credit, so make sure to ask your insurance agent about this money saving possibility.
You can learn more about premium adjustment factors for wind loss mitigation from publications from the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation (FLOIR) and from your insurance agent.
This article is for informational purposes only and does not form a part of, replace, change or amend any terms, conditions, provisions or language within your Olympus Insurance policy. We encourage you to read your entire policy.