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HomeInsuranceCan You Use Homeowners Insurance For A New Roof

Can You Use Homeowners Insurance For A New Roof

Does Homeowners Insurance Cover A New Roof If Its Just A Maintenance Issue

Roof Claims & Insurance Roof Replacement in 2022 & Beyond [Not Good for Homeowners]

A lot of the time, the answer is no.

Not all roof insurance covers all roofing needs. There are many other factors at play.

For example, if you have an older roof, say more than 20 years old, insurance companies generally consider those roofs to be past their life expectancy and could choose to reimburse only a portion of any repairs or replacement or nothing at all.

Tips For Protecting Your Older Roof

Regardless of your roofs age, regular maintenance will help to ensure it stays in excellent shape. The following are a few things you can do to protect it and ensure its longevity:

  • Get regular inspections. Hiring a professional to inspect your roof regularly will help you stay on top of potential issues and address them before they become serious. If the inspector does note a problem , get it fixed right away.

  • Keep current photos. While insurance companies want pictures of the damage after an event, submitting pictures of the roofs condition before the event occurred will show them that it was in decent shape before you filed your claim.

  • Cut back trees. Tree limbs that hang over your roof present potential hazards. A strong wind could knock a limb down. Animals could use the limbs to get onto your roof and cause damage. Cutting them back reduces your risk of roof problems.

  • Maintain records. Keep track of all of your repairs and inspections. Should you need to file a claim, they can be helpful for demonstrating the condition of your roof before the event.

When Your Insurance Policy Wont Pay For A New Roof

Many people just assume that their homeowners insurance will cover their new roof. It seems like a safe assumption to make. However, there are situations when you will not be reimbursed for the cost of your new roof.

This is important information, especially if you have paid for your new roof installation out of pocket only to find that your policy will not repay you. While every insurance policy is different, most agree on these points.

Before undertaking any roofing project, it is very important that you first speak with your insurance company to determine if your insurance policy will cover the work. Understanding your policy and what it will cover will help you to make smarter, more informed decisions when you speak with your local roofing company to arrange the job.

Again, all policies are different. It is imperative that you clarify with your agent what your terms and conditions may be.

What Your Insurance Policy Commonly Covers: In general, your insurance coverage will pay out on roof repair and new roof installation which was made necessary by a situation which was out of your control. Therefore fire, vandalism, or damage caused by a major storm are all likely to be covered. In Florida, windstorm protection is a standard part of any homeowners policy, and should cover damage from any of our severe weather.

This is why it is possible that if a hurricane rips off your 30 year old roof, your insurance policy may not pay for full value.

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Tips To Save On New Roof Costs

The average price range for a roof replacement can run from $260 to $700 per square foot depending on the roofing material used. Someone might be able to help you out for as low as $150 to $350 per square foot for asphalt shingle repair. For metal roofs, expect between $350 and $1,000 for tile and metal roof repair. Here are some tips on how to minimize your repair and replacement costs:

  • Do your research: Know the size and complexity of your roof and the exact materials you want to have installed before talking to contractors.
  • Shop around: Get quotes from several roofers and always request and check local references before hiring someone. Be wary of extremely low bids, which could mean subpar work, and make sure roofers offer a warranty on materials and installation.
  • Time it right: Roofers are busiest in late summer and fall. Scheduling your roof replacement in late winter or spring may yield lower prices or off-season discounts.
  • Do it yourself: Consider doing part of the work yourself. If you have the time, the proper equipment, and a stomach for heights, removing old roofing before the installer arrives could help cut costs.
  • Other Things Not Covered

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    Additionally, since its your responsibility to maintain your home, policies dont cover damage caused by a lack of maintenance. So repairing your roof due to wear and tear, or replacing it because its lifespan is over, wont be paid for by insurance.

    Lack of maintenance could also come back to bite you after a storm. If your roof was old or not well-maintained before the storm, you could have trouble getting full reimbursement.

    Homeowners insurance also wont cover damage caused floods or earthquakes, including roof damage. If you live in an area at risk for these disasters, consider flood insurance or earthquake insurance.

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    Actual Cash Value Vs Replacement Cost Value

    When it comes to insurance for your roof, your homeowners policy is designed to protect you against a variety of types of losses, such as a damage from a tree falling, weight of snow and ice, fire, lightning, ice dams, wind and hail.

    How youre protected from a loss is dependent upon whether you have actual cash value coverage or replacement cost value coverage. Lets take a look at the difference between the two:

    Filing A Homeowners Insurance Claim For Roof Damage

    Your insurer and policy provide the timeframe to file a claim. Its best to contact your insurer as soon as there is damage.

    Here are steps to take if you need to file a claim because of roof damage:

    • Contact your insurance company immediately and find out whats covered by your policy.
    • If possible, provide before and after photos to your insurance company so they can evaluate the damage.
    • Schedule a time for an insurance claims examiner to review the damage.
    • Find a qualified roofer as soon as possible. A damaged roof is not properly protecting your home, so you should get it repaired quickly.

    Delaune says replacing a roof can cost anywhere from $9 to $15 per square foot. He suggests that homeowners visit the Roof Consultants Institute‘s website to find a qualified roof consultant to assess the roof or National Roofing Contractors Association for a qualified roofing contractor before making this major investment.

    Also Check: How Often Does A Roof Need To Be Replaced

    Tips: What To Do If You Get Roof Damage

    Protect the home from further damage. If a tornado rips through your neighborhood and tears part of your roof off, protect your home from further damage. In fact, preventing further damage when possible is often a requirement in homeowners policies, and further damage may not be covered. You may need to put up a tarp while you alert your insurer.

    Dont let the insurance company boss you around. Insurance companies are a business and may not have your best interests in mind when it comes to paying out roof damage claims. If youre not doing a good job of explaining what they should be paying you, they have no fiduciary obligation.

    Youre entitled to fair trade pricing, so make sure you have a solid repair estimate. If you have a large or complicated claim, consider hiring a public adjuster to work on your behalf.

    Dont get multiple estimates. If you get multiple estimates, your insurance company will want to see all of them and may only accept the lowest one. The lowest estimate may not be the best quality.

    Consider roof material that can get you an insurance discount. Research materials that will be more durable than your past roof. Your insurance company might be willing to offer a discount for impact-resistant roofing. Check with the insurer on roof material discounts before you make a final pick.

    What To Do If Your Insurance Is Canceled Because Of Your Roof

    How to Read The Insurance Estimate For a Roof Claim & How it Can Help You Sell Even More!

    If you receive a policy cancellation notice, youâll have around 60 days to replace your roof or find a new home insurance policy.

    Provided that your roof isnât badly damaged, youâll likely be able find a company to insure your home. But ultimately, youâll have to weigh the costs and benefits of keeping the roof as is and paying higher rates versus investing in a new roof and paying lower rates.

    But if you donât get a new roof, you face having to pay significantly higher rates with a company that is willing to take on that risk. Roof replacement also lessens the chance of further damage to your home down the road.

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    Choose A Roofer That Has Experience In Insurance Roof Repair

    Once you have received the final word from your insurance company and a green light for a roof replacement, you will be given money for the damage. The next step is finding a reputable roofing contractor to complete the roofing repair or replacement. So, where do you even begin selecting someone to complete the work? In a sea of roof repair contractors, how do you find one that you can trust and does high-quality work?

    Find a roofing company you trust by doing some preliminary research, ask around, look on the internet, and read reviews that previous customers have left. It is always okay to shop around and explore all your options, after all, most roofers will have different prices and certifications. One thing to always look for is a roofer who is licensed and insured. You can also discuss the cost and get multiple estimates, this way you know up front if your insurance money will cover their work.

    Another thing to consider is that not all roofing contractors will provide you with guidance when it comes to dealing with your insurance, but there are some who will help throughout the entire process and may even have insurance adjusters on staff to help streamline the process.

    Squirrel And Pest Damage

    In terms of their propensity for damage and outright peskiness, squirrels are your roofâs version of kitchen cockroaches. They may be small, but they can cause a lot of expensive damage.

    Will homeowners insurance cover the large holes that a family of squirrels gnawed on your roof, causing countless leaks and water damage? Typically not, since squirrel-inflicted loss, like other types of pest damage, is gradual and preventable with proper home maintenance.

    But if a squirrel causes sudden damage â for example by gnawing on your homeâs wiring and causing a fire, that would likely be covered.

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    Roof Insurance: What You Need To Know

    Homeowners insurance may pay to replace your roof, but only if it is damaged by a covered hazard, like fire or bad weather. If a tornado rips your roof off, for instance, you can file a claim with your homeowners insurance, pay your deductible, and then your insurer will kick in the remaining costs to replace your roof.

    Below are some examples of covered perils that commonly damage or destroy roofs.

    • Weight of rain, ice, or snow

    • Fire and smoke

    • Hurricanes

    • Lightning strikes

    There are some exceptions and limitations to roof coverage, depending on the severity of the damage. For example, if a few shingles on your roof had slight nicks in them after a hail storm, your home insurance company may classify it as âcosmeticâ damage â a common dwelling coverage exclusion.

    Ready to shop home insurance?

    Hire A Roofer That Will Fight For You

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    If the insurance companys offer doesnt pay for a replacement roof of the same quality, engage a good contractor to be your advocate. They will contact your insurer and press for more money so that they can do the job right.

    Youd be surprised how well this strategy works. No insurance company wants contractors to spread the word that it wont take care of its customers.

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    What If I Lose My Discount Or Worse

    Depending on the scenario, losing a discount or losing coverage isnt necessarily a bad thing. A little simple math can help you decide what makes sense for your situation.

    For instance, what if your insurance covers $20,000 towards your new roof, and you lose your $200 annual discount as a result? How many years would you have to use that discount to outweigh the benefits of the $20,000 new roof?

    101 years! Thats hardly worth quibbling over.

    Without that discount, your rates will only go up $200 per year. Based on the math, you still come out ahead.

    And if the insurance company decides to drop you because of the claim, theres always another insurance company that will insure you at reasonable rates.

    In fact, theyll likely appreciate the fact that your roof has been replaced and is less likely to need work in the near future which means your rates wont go up as much as you fear.

    Get A Detailed Report From An Independent Roofing Contractor

    Ask for a written evaluation from the roofing contractor that addresses the issues listed above The extent and cause of the damage and the condition of the rest of the roof.

    The inspection and report will cost up to $500, but it is money well spent if it is instrumental in getting your homeowners insurance claim paid.

    If it comes to arbitration or court, it will be the word of an inspector against a roofer. If your roofing contractors report is credible, you will be in good shape.

    Dont Settle for an Inferior Roof

    This takes a little explaining, but it should be clear in the end.

    When an insurer accepts a claim, it offers the homeowner a chunk of money.

    It should be enough to replace your roof with materials of the same quality as the original roof including professional installation.

    Heres the warning: It is the common practice of some insurance adjusters to offer a settlement that will only pay for inferior replacement materials.

    Lets say your home has dimensional shingles, which is the most common type of asphalt shingles. Well, dimensional shingles come in basic, better and best quality.

    Take CertainTeed or GAF shingles, for example. Both brands are the largest manufacturers of dimensional asphalt roofing shingles.

    Here are three lines of shingles from CertainTeed that serve as an example:

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    Preparing for Future Claims

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    Special Considerations For Roof Coverage

    If a dramatic event causes dramatic damagethe roof comes crashing down, has a major hole, or is torn off entirelycoverage is likely. More problematic are instances when the damage is less dramatic, even if an act of nature caused it. Let’s say a violent thunderstorm nicks a bunch of your roof’s shingles. The insurance company may classify that as cosmetic damage, and not cover it. Or let’s say that, after the aforementioned storm, you notice your roof has become leaky. Even though the rains triggered it, the insurance company might claim that’s a general wear-and-tear problemreflecting your roof’s gradual deteriorationwhich is never covered.

    Ironically, any water damage caused by the leaking roof to your walls, floors, or furniture probably would be covered under the all-perils section of your policy. However, the roof repair itself would not be.

    Hire A Roofing Contractor That Handles Insurance Claims

    Will Your Insurance Company Pay for a New Roof?

    As soon as your insurance claim is approved, youre ready to start the replacement process.

    If youre replacing your roof through homeowners insurance, its crucial to hire a roofing contractor that has experience handling insurance claims. Theyll know the insurance claim process, how to read your claim correctly, fight to make sure everything is correct, and how to do the work in compliance with your insurance company.

    Hiring someone that has experience working with insurance claims is just one thing you need to look for in a roofing contractor. To help you find a great roofer for your replacement, check out this article on the top 8 questions to ask a roofing contractor.

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    An Ounce Of Prevention

    Your roof, like the rest of your house, needs periodic maintenance to keep it in good condition. One way to do that is a maintenance agreement with a professional roofing contractor.

    • A maintenance program is proactive . It can help to identify problems in their early stages when they can be corrected and before they become catastrophes.
    • Regular maintenance can reveal and address sources and causes of leaks before they occur. Too many owners have their roof systems examined only after a leak occurs.
    • A maintenance program allows for a planned, organized approach to management of a roof asset and allows for responsible, timely preparation of long-term capital expenditures. Response time to address leakage problems is greatly improved.

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    Age Of Roof And Insurance

    When it comes to roof coverage, age is a big factor, and time is not really on its side. During a home inspection, insurance adjusters make a special note of your roofâs age and quality. If you indicate that your roof is over 20 years old in your application or at renewal, most insurance companies will require it to pass an inspection. Other insurers simply wonât write new policies for homes with 15 to 20-year-old roofing, and if they do, theyâll specify that itâs only covered at its actual cash value.

    Replacing a roof is expensive, but you may not have much of a choice if your roof is older â doing nothing could make it difficult to insure your home.

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