Urbana, Illinois, Alderman Dennis Roberts was ordered by his insurance company to replace the roof on his house or face cancellation of his homeowner's policy.
Urbana, Illinois, Alderman Dennis Roberts was ordered by his insurance company to replace the roof on his house or face cancellation of his homeowner's policy.

Dennis Roberts switched insurance companies to save money, and the new company then sent an inspector to his Urbana home. The verdict? Replace the 18-year-old roof or see the new policy canceled.

Roberts began asking around to see if anyone else had gone through the same experience. Dozens of people said they had been given between 30 and 90 days by their insurers to get the roofing replaced.

Insurers include American Family, Liberty Mutual, Allstate, Farmers, Travelers, Geico and AAA, among others.

"If you own your own home and have a fixed income, where are you going to get the money in 30 days?" Roberts asked.

Randy Roberts, who operates Roof Doctors (no relation to the alderman), said it's becoming common practice for insurance companies to demand roof replacements. Some roofs are in need of a full replacement, he said, but many "are nowhere near ready to be replaced."

One local Allstate agent said he understood customers' frustrations, but roofs are the most common source of homeowner claims in the state.

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