Impact Resistant Shingles for Durability and Insurance Savings

Insurance premiums are at a nation-wide all-time high, partly due to the high volume of storms and increasing impact of “super storms” like Hurricane Sandy.

As roofing product technology improves, impact resistant roofing is a growing trend, and it’s more affordable than ever. While highly rated impact resistant roofing products are more costly, they can translate to significant insurance savings. We see insurance premium savings ranging from 3% to 15% from all major insurance companies when new roofing projects are completed with impact resistant roofing.

Impact resistant shingles are designed with a thicker gauge base mat, and composed of more flexible materials than standard shingles. Their durability rating is established by administering the UL 2218 impact test. Shingles are granted a rating of Class 1, 2, 3, or 4 based on the degree of impact they can withstand without cracking.

The highest rating is Class 4, offered by most major roofing manufacturers. To evaluate according to Class 4 criteria, a 2-inch steel ball is dropped from a height of 20 feet directly onto the shingle being tested. If the mat of the shingle does not crack on impact, the shingle receives Class 4 impact rating. To achieve Class 3 rating, the shingle must withstand a 1 ¾-inch steel ball dropped from 20 feet.

Naturally, these tests are primarily intended to replicate hail stones. While the largest recorded hailstone in U.S. history measured 8 inches in diameter and weighed 1.94 pounds (in Vivian, South Dakota on July 23, 2010), most hail stones are under two inches in diameter, so insurance companies save when you install impact rated shingles.

Class 3 and Class 4 impact rated shingles each cost incrementally more than standard laminate shingles, and confer incrementally greater insurance savings.

On average, after five years, you’ll recoup the upfront cost of impact rated shingles through your insurance company premium discount.  At All Elements, we think this is a great way to reduce the number of insurance claims as a whole, and to reduce annual insurance premiums.

When you’re considering a roofing project, be sure to ask your insurance company about the savings conferred by installing impact resistant roofing products.

According to the National Severe Storms Laboratory, hail size is expressed by comparing it to known objects. Just for fun, we’re including the comparisons they rely on. Let’s hope that you never have to deal with hail any larger than a quarter!

Pea = 1/4 inch diameter
Marble/mothball = 1/2 inch diameter
Dime/Penny = 3/4 inch diameter
Nickel = 7/8 inch
Quarter = 1 inch (hail quarter size or larger is considered severe)
Ping-Pong Ball = 1 1/2 inch
Golf Ball = 1 3/4 inches
Tennis Ball = 2 1/2 inches
Baseball = 2 3/4 inches
Tea cup = 3 inches
Grapefruit = 4 inches
Softball = 4 1/2 inches