Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Roof Replacements
Whether homeowners insurance covers roof replacements will differ from insurer to insurer and depend on the type and condition of your roof.
Some insurers might not cover old roofs, while others may offer a cash value replacement only.
The type of roof you have also plays a role. For example, insurance companies might be more willing to insure hip roofs than wooden roofs. Hip roof structures provide better protection from rain, snow, and high winds. And they are typically cheaper to insure than a gable or flat roof.
How To File A Roof Claim And What To Expect
Before you file a roof claim, consider your deductible first. The deductible is the out-of-pocket cost that you need to pay before your coverage kicks in. If your deductible is $500, then you need to shoulder that first before your insurance starts to help.
If the damage to your roof is way more your deductible, then thats a good time to consider filing a claim. Note, however, that filing claims may raise your risk of having higher premiums in the future.
After considering your deductible, here are the other steps you should take.
Which Damages Homeowner Insurance Cover
Homeowners insurance usually covers some basics like vandalism, some natural disasters, and fires. The coverage hugely depends on your specific insurance plan.
Most home insurance plans cover damages caused by fires and additional damage caused by smoke. Damages caused by hurricanes, lightning, or extreme winds are usually a part of the insurance plan. However, some natural disasters are not covered under basic insurances and homeowners need an additional plan. Earthquakes and floods are natural disasters that are not typically covered under standard insurance plans. Insurance against those disasters usually requires additional insurance plans.
Some floods are typically covered under the insurance plans while some or not. Internal floods caused by plumbing problems are usually covered, while external floods caused by extreme weather conditions are usually not a part of the insurance plans.
Mold is another problem that causes a homeowner many problems. Mold damage is only covered under a standard insurance plan if it is caused by an event that is covered under the insurance. For example, if the mold is caused by an unseen problem in the plumbing, it is typically covered by insurance. However, if the mold was caused by the water damage of an external flood, it is not compensated. That is because the typical home insurance plan does not cover external flood damages, you need a flood insurance plan to cover those damages.
Recommended Reading: Can You Do Roofing Yourself
Wind Hail And Lightning
Homeowners insurance typically covers both wind and hail damage, so if a hailstorm creates a crack in your roof and rainwater gets in, the damage to your home would be covered. Coverage for wind and hail damage may be excluded, however, if you live in a high-risk coastal community, in which case you would need to add windstorm insurance to your policy for an additional premium. Lightning is also a covered peril, so if lightning strikes your home and you notice your roof leaking soon after, that damage would likely be covered.
Age Of Roof And Insurance
Insurers consider a roofs age and condition when providing coverage.
Some insurers refuse to renew existing homeowner insurance policies on houses with roofs older than 20 years unless they pass an inspection. Insurers wont renew a policy that fails inspection without a roof replacement.
Other insurers dont write new policies for homes with roofs over 20 years old. Or theyll only pay actual cash value for roof replacement for older roofs when theyre damaged. This means they dont cover the cost of an entirely replaced roof, but only reimburse for what an old roof is worth after 20-plus years.
“If you have a roof that has lasted 20 years, then you’ve probably exceeded the roofing membrane life expectancy, says Gerald Delaune, senior building envelope consultant at Childress Engineering Services Inc. in Richardson, TX. Chances are that at that point, there are issues within the roofing system that cannot be seen , which could potentially deteriorate the deck and that it would be worth your money to replace the roof.
Replacing a roof can cost $10,000 or more, but you might need to make that investment to keep coverage.
Chip Merlin, president of Tampa-based Merlin Law Group, said home insurers have tightened underwriting requirements for older homes, especially when it comes to roofs, plumbing and electrical systems.
Recommended Reading: How Much To Charge For A Square Of Roofing
When Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Roof Damage
The typical homeowners insurance policy includes “dwelling coverage.” Dwelling coverage helps protect the homeowner from loss when the home’s structure is damaged, and that includes the roof. Major disasters — like damage due to a fire or tornado — are covered. So if a bad storm moves through the neighborhood and knocks a tree on the homeowner’s roof, that would be covered. If the storm strips the roof of its shingles, that would be covered too.
There are two important things to remember:
What Kind Of Roof Damage Is Covered By Insurance
Many homeowners insurance policies include dwelling coverage, which is meant to cover damage to your homes structure.
If your roof is damaged by fire, wind, hail or falling debris like trees, your dwelling coverage may help cover the cost of repairs. In the event that your homes contents are damaged as well, personal property coverage can also help repair or replace these items.
Read Also: How To Fix Gazebo Roof
Are Roof Leaks Covered By Homeowners Insurance
Generally speaking, sudden events that damage a well-maintained roof and that lead to leaks will be covered by homeowners insurance. Leaks due to more gradual events, such as age, rot, normal wear and tear, and inadequate maintenance are generally not covered.
There are some exceptions to these general principles. For example, unless the homeowner purchases special flood insurance, damage to a roof caused by flooding is not covered. Similarly, most homeowners insurance policies exclude damage caused by earthquakes, unless that coverage is purchased separately. And intentional damage to the roof by the homeowner is not covered at all.
Hail And Windstorm Deductible
The two biggest causes of roof damage are hail and windstorms. Standard home insurance policies usually cover hail damage unless you live in an area where these storms frequently occur. Insurance companies require their customers to pay a special hail or windstorm deductible in these areas.
A deductible costs one to ten percent of your home’s dwelling coverage so if you’ve insured your home for $300,000, and your hail deductible is one percent, you must pay $3,000 out of pocket before the carrier will reimburse you for the remaining costs for repairs for structural damages.
Read Also: What Is A Roofing Contractor
Does House Insurance Cover Garden Walls
Image credit: Future PLC/ Polly Eltes
With the garden falling within the boundaries of your home buildings insurance it will usually cover the structures within that, therefore including garden walls, Ryan explains. Consumers can check their policy documentation to understand any possible exclusions or speak directly to insurers.
Like with all things home and insurance related, get everything in writing for clarity. Should any claims arise in the future youre covered.
*Ideal Home and Go Compare are part of Future plc.
Research Roofing Companies And Hire The Most Reputable
After you submit your roof insurance claim, seek out a reputable roofing company with insurance claims experience to perform a roofing inspection. They can look for damage and compile a report for your insurance agency. If you dont hire professionals for the inspection, your insurance company may pay someone to inspect the roof on their behalf. Because this third-party inspector represents the insurance agency, they may try to find any reason to deny your claim. However, by taking charge and hiring your own inspectors, you give yourself the best chance to get your insurance to pay for your roof repairs.
But how should you choose a roofing company?
First, look for a company that provides both roof replacement and roof installation services for the most common roofing materials in Florida, including shingle, tile, and metal roofing. A reputable roofing company should also have a website and Google My Business page with reviews from other customers.
Make sure the roofers you choose have experience in dealing with insurance claims, as this will make it easier for them to communicate with your insurance agency and offer proof that your claim is valid.
A reputable roofing company will replace your roof correctlywithout causing more damage or charging you an unreasonable amount. If you choose roofers with a poor reputation, then your future insurance claims could actually be denied due to improper previous installations.
Recommended Reading: Can You Use Flex Seal On Camper Roof
Deductibles And Roof Leak Coverage
Because so many roof leaks are caused by wind and hail, its important to discuss deductibles. Many homeowners insurance policies have up to three deductibles, each of which will apply in different situations.
- A standard deductible applies for all perils, per occurrence.
- Many policies have a wind/hail deductible, which is often higher than the standard deductible and only applies for wind or hail claims.
- Homeowners near a coastline often have a third deductible, called a named storm deductible, which applies if the damage to your home is caused by named storm, like a hurricane or tropical storm. The name storm deductible, also called a hurricane deductible, is often based on a percentage of the dwelling coverage for your home. If your home is insured for $300,000, for example, the named storm deductible might be $6,000, assuming a two percent deductible.
Only 1 of these deductibles would apply for any single claim, but as you can see in the last example, the deductible can take a sizable bite out of your claim settlement.
If your policy also depreciates your roof based on wear and tear due to age, you can visualize your claim settlement shrinking to nearly nothing.
Why Are These Items Not Covered
- Water back-up from sewer or drain: Water damage from a sewer or drain back-up usually won’t be covered on a standard policy. However, most insurers offer optional sewer and water back-up coverage that you can add to your policy for an additional premium.
- Flooding: When water damage comes from flooding, it’s typically not covered on a standard homeowners insurance policy as this type of damage is usually covered by flood insurance from the National Flood Insurance Program. You should consider flood insurance if you live in a higher risk flood zone or near any body of water or a steep hill prone to water overflow.
- The source of the water damage: Let’s say your dishwasher malfunctions and overflows. Your home insurance will cover the water damage caused by the mishap, but it won’t cover the cost of repairing or replacing the dishwasher as home insurance isn’t intended to protect against wear and tear. However, a home warranty will cover the cost to repair or replace an appliance.
- Negligence: Your water damage insurance claim can be denied if you’ve failed to perform proper maintenance. For instance, if a pipe freezes and bursts because you didn’t properly heat your home or your water heater explodes because it wasn’t maintained regularly, your claim may be denied.
Read Also: How To Install Pvc Roofing
How To Protect Your Roof
Protecting your roof is the best way to prevent a leak from occurring in the first place. Make sure to keep your gutters clean, remove debris from your roof after major storms, and regularly trim trees that overhang your roof. After a storm, do a quick inspection from the inside and outside of your home to check for roof damage, particularly if there is ice or hail. Its also helpful to photograph your roof prior to storm/hail seasons to verify its condition in the event a leak occurs later. This can be especially helpful in establishing a true cause of loss.
My Flat Roof Is Leaking Will This Impact The Claim
With a notoriously bad reputation throughout the insurance industry, flat roofs often have extra clauses within an insurance policy, advising that they must be inspected regularly, and inspection records kept.
A flat roof can suffer from pooling of water in wet weather, increasing the risk of water ingress. However, if your flat roof is in good condition your insurer may consider the damage a flood claim. There can also be an increase of risk to burglary as thieves may use a flat roof to gain access to windows.
If your flat roof is leaking, you will need to ensure you have met the conditions of your policy in order to make a claim.
Don’t Miss: How Much Should I Pay For A New Roof
Which Part Of My Policy Covers My Roof
The dwelling coverage is the portion of your policy that may help pay for roof repairs or damage. Overall, this is the part that pays for repairing or rebuilding the physical structure of a house.
What about damages to the roof of a garage or work shed? In this case, its the other structures portion of your policy that may help cover the costs to fix the roof.
Your policy may also provide coverage for personal property damaged by a roof leak. In this case, its the personal property coverage of your policy that may help pay for the repairs.
Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Water Damage
Whether it’s from a leaky roof or a burst pipe, water damage can be devastating not to mention expensive. Homeowners insurance covers certain types of water damage, including sudden and accidental, as well as internal water damage but does not cover damage caused by lack of maintenance, neglect or flooding.
Water damage is one of the more frequent claims made by homeowners, with one in 50 insured homes making claims with their insurer for water damage or freezing, according to the Insurance Information Institute. The exact amount of coverage you’ll have depends on your policy and any additional endorsements. It’s important to figure out what types of damage your insurance policy does and doesnt cover, as well as the other coverage options you may need to keep your home, loved ones and belongings safe.
We’ve outlined what every homeowner needs to know about homeowners insurance and water damage, including when home insurance covers water damage, when it doesnt and additional endorsements you may want to look into.
Recommended Reading: Do Insurance Companies Cover Metal Roofs
File A Claim With The Insurer
Fill out the required paperwork and send pictures of the damages. The insurance company will review your evidence and may send an insurance adjuster to examine the roof. If approved, your insurer will give you a settlement based on the repair estimates, after subtracting your deductible amount from your final payment.
Types Of Roof Damage Your Homeowners Insurance May Cover
Typically, your insurance covers your homes structure, which includes the roof. If your roof damage is weather-related, your coverage will be determined by the age of your roof and the type of policy you hold. So, if your roof needs repairs after a hail storm or a tree that topples onto it during a windstorm, you may find that your dwelling coverage helps cover the cost, minus your deductible. If the contents of your home are ruined as the result of a covered roof claim, personal property coverage may help pay to repair or replace them.
If the roof of your shed or detached garage is damaged by the same storm, it may be covered by the homeowners insurance policy, thats if the damage is caused by a covered peril. A peril, as referred to in an insurance policy, is a cause of loss, such as fire or theft. Coverage can be provided on an all perils basis, or a named perils basis. Named Perils policies list exactly what is covered by the policy, while Open Perils policies will list what is excluded from coverage.
Note that some homeowners insurance policies may have windstorm and hail exclusions, which means damage caused by those perils would not be covered. It is important to read your policy to learn whether yours lists any exclusions.
Don’t Miss: How Much To Roof A 1400 Sq Ft House
Confirm That Your Policy Covers Your Roof Damage
Next, review your homeowners policy to confirm that it provides coverage for the cause of the roof damage. If it is, contact your insurance company right away to let them know about your situation.
Your insurer may send an insurance adjuster to your home. The adjuster will then assess your roof to confirm the damage. From here, the insurance adjuster will provide you with an estimate of the repair costs.
You can then compare the estimates given by the adjuster with the ones you received from your local roofer. Make sure that they are equal before you finalize your claim agreement.
Lets say you agree to the estimate given by the insurers adjuster. From here, you only need to wait for your insurance company to issue you with a check. You can then use this for the repairs of your roof, or if you already had it fixed, keep it as a reimbursement.
Home Damage Caused By A Roof Leak
Roof leaks can lead to house damage that can cost you a lot of money to repair.
Not only do they cause roof damage, but you can end up damaging your attic and any items you store in there. A leak will cause damage to the plaster and paint, light mounts, and fans.
Your roof leak can also get into the electrical system and become a fire hazard. Over time, the constant flow of water can lead to mold and mildew build-up.
Mold and mildew can cause long-term health damage, including upper respiratory tract symptoms, cough, and asthma-like symptoms. It can also compromise the structural integrity of your home, which means a large part of the roof can give way or fall.
You May Like: Can You Put New Roof Shingles Over Old Ones