Flat roof insurance

Flat roof insurance is essentially home insurance for properties where part or all of the roof is flat. You can expect similar benefits to a standard home insurance policy, but it might be more expensive.

This is because insurers view flat roofs as a higher risk. They’re more likely to be damaged in bad weather and develop leaks. Flat roofs may also make a building less secure, as they’re easier for burglars to move around on.

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Why do insurers ask if my home has a flat roof?

Insurers ask if your home or any outbuildings have a flat or partly flat roof because of certain risks. Flat roofs are considered non-standard construction and are more likely to be:

  • Damaged by storms and heavy rainfall: Rainwater and storm debris naturally slides off a standard sloping gable roof. But with a flat roof, water is more likely to sit on the roof and eventually leak through.
  • A security risk: They can potentially make it easier for burglars to gain entry to your home as they’re easier to walk on.

In general, flat roofs need more maintenance than sloping roofs. The lifespan of a flat roof is about 10-25 years, whereas a gable roof is more likely to last around 40-50 years.

How does a flat roof affect my home insurance?

Having a flat roof can increase the cost of your home insurance or mean you have fewer quotes to choose from as not all insurers will offer you a quote.

This is because insurers usually consider your home to be of non-standard construction and higher risk to cover if:

  • More than 25-30% of the roof is flat, or;
  • The roof has a slope of less than 10 degrees

If your home has a small amount of flat roof – for example a small extension – your home insurance costs are likely to be affected.

How much is flat roof insurance?

On average, flat roof home insurance costs more than a standard policy because of the increased risk of making a claim.

Flat roof percentage Average annual cost of combined home insurance*

The price you pay varies depending on factors including:

  • What percentage of the roof is flat
  • How old the roof is
  • When it was last checked
  • What the roof is made from

The usual factors insurers consider for home insurance also apply, such as:

For tips on how to reduce costs, our guide on cheaper home insurance could help.

*Average cost of a combined home insurance policy with a flat roof. Confused.com data Jan 2023 - June 2023.

What do I need to get a quote?

To get a quote you'll need all the same details about you and your home as you would for standard home insurance. But we’ll also need a little bit more information about your roof, including:

You’ll also need to tell us:

  • If any part of your property has a flat roof, including any outbuildings or garages.
  • If yes, what percentage of the roof cover is flat, from 10% to 100%. Try to be as accurate as possible with this so you get the cover you need.

Does flat roof home insurance cover roof repairs and leaks?

Yes - your home insurance should cover roof repairs and leaks on a flat roof if the damage is caused by a sudden event such as a storm.

Insurers are less likely to pay out if the damage is due to gradual deterioration over time. This means it can be difficult to claim for leaks as you'll need to prove the damage wasn't caused by general wear and tear. Take photos of the damage to help back up any claim.

Since flat roofs need more maintenance, keep on top of this and check your roof regularly – or, even better, get a professional to check it. Although this costs money, you’ll have the documentation to show you’ve been looking after the roof, which should be useful if you need to claim.

Tips for maintaining flat roofs and reducing risks

As flat roofs are more vulnerable to bad weather than sloping roofs, you should do what you can to protect yours and potentially reduce the cost of your insurance:

  • Check it regularly, inspecting your flat roof for any pools of water or visible damage at least a few times a year
  • Keep it clean and remove any algae, moss, fungus or debris
  • Trim overhanging branches to reduce the risk of debris falling from nearby trees and damaging your roof in high winds
  • Install a good drainage system with plenty of guttering so water easily drains away

You might also want to think about ways of improving your home security:

  • Anti-climb products such as barriers, spikes, paints and warning signs can deter burglars from climbing onto your flat roof
  • CCTV cameras make your roof space less inviting to thieves and can also help identify criminals
  • Security lights with motion sensors can help deter thieves at night
  • Alarm systems can put criminals off trying to break in and may help stop a burglary if anyone does break in
  • Upgraded locks on your windows and doors can provide an extra layer of protection

And don’t forget to compare home insurance quotes to get the best deal for your circumstances.

Types of home insurance

What our home insurance expert says:

"If any part of your home, outbuildings or garage has a flat roof, you need to tell us the percentage that’s flat to be able to compare quotes for the cover you need.

If you’re not sure how much of your roof is flat, check the homebuyer survey from when you bought your home or ask a surveyor."

Matthew Harwood, Home & lifestyle insurance expert at Confused.com
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