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Flat roof insurance

Find cover for your home if it has a flat roof

A property with a flat roof is often classed as a non-standard construction, so you may need specialist home insurance known as flat roof insurance

By Mehdi Punjwani

Published: 08 January 2021

Flat roof

You may not be able to take out standard buildings and contents insurance if your home has a flat roof.

Whether or not this is the case will often depend on how much of the roof is flat.

Find out if flat roof home insurance is the right type of cover for your home with our five-minute guide.

What is flat roof insurance?

Flat roof insurance is a buildings insurance policy specially designed to provide cover for properties with flat roofs. It generally offers similar protection to a standard home insurance buildings policy. However, it is often more expensive than standard cover due to the higher risks associated with flat roofs – especially if most or all of your home’s roof is flat.

Flat roof home insurance may also come with certain conditions, such as a requirement to have the roof checked professionally every few years.

What is a flat roof?

A flat roof is a roof with a low, or non-existent pitch, usually constructed of timber frames covered in a resistant material such as concrete, bitumen or felt. One of the most popular types of roofs for houses in dry climates, in the UK they are mainly used on property extensions.

From an insurance point of view, most companies consider a roof to be flat if it – or more than 25% of it – slopes less than 10 degrees. That’s why you’ll often be asked how much of your roof is flat when applying for a flat roof insurance policy. The greater the proportion of your roof that's flat, the higher your premiums are likely to be.

Does having a flat roof affect home insurance?

Yes, having a flat roof can make it harder and more expensive to take out home insurance. Standard insurance policies will often cover properties if less than 25% of the roof is flat. But if more than 25% of your roof is flat, you’ll probably need a specialist policy.

If you’re unsure what percentage of your roof is flat, you can check the surveys you had done when you bought the property to find out more about any flat roof areas and their pitch. Alternatively, use Google Earth to view your home from above and work out how much of it is flat.

How much does flat roof home insurance cost?

The cost of flat roof insurance will depend on a number of factors, including:

  • How much of your roof is flat
  • What the roof is made of and how old it is
  • The rebuild cost of your property
  • The value of your home’s contents
  • How secure your property is
  • The excess you agree to pay towards any claim

Generally speaking, however, you can expect to pay closer around £60 a year more in premiums if your roof is over 50% flat, compared to if it wasn’t flat at all.1

According to home insurance data collected between September and December 2020, accurate as of January 2021

Why is flat roof more expensive to insure?

Flat roofs offer less protection against storms and high levels of rainfall. If water – or storm debris – is allowed to remain on the roof, it will cause it to deteriorate over time, increasing the risk of you making an insurance claim.

Flat roofs also offer easier access to burglars, which could push your contents insurance premiums up too.

Does flat roof home insurance cover roof leaks?

Flat roof home insurance will usually pay out if your roof starts leaking after being damaged due to a one-off event, such as a storm. However, to make a successful claim, you’ll have to prove the problem was not caused by wear and tear. If you’re unable to do this – for example by providing photos of damage such as torn-off tiles – you may have to foot the bill for the repairs yourself.

Does flat roof home insurance cover roof repairs?

Flat roof home insurance will generally cover the full cost of roof repairs if you can prove your roof was in good condition prior to being damaged. However, general maintenance and repairs are not covered, and the amount you can claim for any damage will depend on a number of factors, including:

  • The age of the roof
  • The condition of the roof
  • The cause and severity of the damage

How should I maintain a flat roof?

Flat roofs need to be checked and maintained regularly to avoid any problems. You can check the state of your flat roof by climbing up to have a look (taking the necessary safety precautions) or paying a roofer or roof inspection company to do it for you. You can also monitor the condition of your roof by looking out for:

  • Leaks or sagging in the attic
  • Dark patches that could indicate rot
  • Blocked drains or gutters
  • Moss growing on your roof

But even if you prefer to check your roof yourself, it’s sensible to get it professionally inspected every few years, as this will allow you to prove it was in good condition should you need to make an insurance claim. Some home insurance providers require you to do this to get cover.

How can I cut the cost of flat roof home insurance?

The steps you can take to reduce the cost of flat roof insurance generally involve making the roof as safe and watertight as possible. These include:

  • Waterproofing the roof
  • Putting in a good guttering system to facilitate water drainage
  • Installing a layer of insulating material such as fibreglass or polystyrene above the decking
  • Upgrading your security to avoid thieves taking advantage of your flat roof

As with all insurance policies, you can also save money by shopping around for the best deal and by agreeing to pay a higher excess towards any claim. Just make sure the excess remains at a level you would be able to pay if you need to make a home insurance claim.

Compare flat roof home insurance

It’s easy to compare home insurance policies with MoneySuperMarket. Just answer a few questions about yourself and your home – including whether or not it has a flat roof – and we’ll show you a list of policies that suit your needs.

You can compare the policies available by the level and amount of cover they offer, the minimum excess you’ll need to pay, as well as inclusions and extras, customer ratings and reviews, and the price of the policy itself.