Impact Resistance Shingles (Class 4)
Impact shingles have been around for the past 14 years but have gotten very popular over the last few years. Insurance companies started offering discounts to homeowners if they installed a Class 4 shingle on their home. The discount makes the option very appealing to homeowners. Discounts vary depending on your location in the state and the type of coverage. It is important to contact your agent and discuss the amount of savings you will receive on your premiums. This link (http://www.tdi.texas.gov/bulletins/1998/b-0024-8.html) to the Texas Department of Insurance will explain in detail the Class 4 option.
It is important to understand that Class 4 does not necessarily look much different than a standard laminated shingle and they can be damaged by hail if the hail is large enough. The key to its strength is how the shingle is manufacturered. It must meet Under Writers Laboratories strict UL 2218 test before it can be called a Class 4 which consists of dropping steel balls on the surface of the shingle to simulate hail stones. Remember if the package does not say UL 2218 or Impact Resistance shingle then it is not a Class 4.
The Class 4 discounts apply to almost all metal roofs. The metal roofs still have to meet the UL 2218 test. It is very important to understand on metal roofs that you must sign a cosmetic wavier on your roof in order to receive the Class 4 discount. Your roof can be dented by the hail stones but still serve its intended purpose. In this case the insurance would say that it is cosmetic and not pay you for a new roof. This should be considered very carefully because metal holds up very well in hail but it is often dented.
The manufacturers that make a Class 4 shingle are Owens Corning, GAF, Tamko, and Malarkey.
Insurance information resources:
Texas Department of Insurance Website