Depreciation Impacts Claims

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Updated - May 26, 2024

This article explores the concept of roof depreciation and its impact on insurance claims. By understanding how depreciation works and the factors influencing it, individuals can be better prepared to navigate insurance claims related to roof damage.

What is Roof Depreciation?

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Roof depreciation refers to the gradual decrease in a roof's value over time due to wear and tear, aging, and environmental factors. Similar to other depreciating assets, this decline affects the amount an insurance company might reimburse for repairs or replacements.

Impact on Claims

Suppose a roof originally costs $10,000 to replace new, and after 10 years (with an average lifespan of 20 years for asphalt shingles), it might be depreciated by 50%. In this scenario, the insurance company could potentially reimburse only $5,000 for repairs, highlighting the significance of depreciation.

Key Factors Influencing Depreciation:

  • Roof Age: The older the roof, the higher the depreciation, reflecting its reduced remaining lifespan.
  • Roofing Material: Different materials depreciate at varying rates. For example, slate or metal roofs typically depreciate slower than asphalt shingles.
  • Local Regulations and Weather Conditions: Building codes and environmental factors in a specific location can influence depreciation rates.
  • Past Claim History: Previous claims related to the roof might increase depreciation for future claims.

Strategies for Managing Depreciation:

  • Reviewing the Insurance Policy: Understanding coverage type and specific depreciation rules within an insurance policy is crucial.
  • Understanding Coverage Types: Most policies utilize Actual Cash Value (ACV), factoring in depreciation for claim payouts. Some policies offer Replacement Cost Value (RCV), replacing the roof without depreciation deductions (subject to policy limits and deductibles).
  • Documenting Roof Maintenance: Maintaining records of roof age, condition, and past maintenance (including photos) can strengthen claims and potentially reduce depreciation.
  • Negotiating with the Adjuster: Openly discussing depreciation with the insurance adjuster, presenting documented evidence of the roof's value, can sometimes lead to a more favorable outcome.
  • Considering Upgrades: If replacing the roof, exploring upgrades to more durable materials might minimize future depreciation.


Roof depreciation plays a significant role in insurance claims. By understanding its impact and implementing the strategies outlined above, individuals can navigate the claims process more effectively and protect their financial interests. Remember, consulting with a qualified insurance professional can provide further guidance tailored to specific situations.