Tips For Protecting Your Roof
Protecting your roof is a great way to help prevent a costly claim from ever needing to be filed, even if your insurance policy covers roof damage. Here are some roof protection tips:
- Hire a roof inspector: Its a good idea to hire an inspector once a year or so to assess the roofs condition and recommend repairs, especially if it is an older roof. They can also help determine if and when it is appropriate to replace the entire roof.
- Take pictures of the roof: Take pictures of the homes roof from the outside, or have an inspector take pictures while on the roof especially prior to hail or hurricane seasons. Having recent pictures of the roofs condition before the damage occurred helps adjusters assess a claim.
- Keep up with regular maintenance: Once per year, have a roofing company survey the roof and make necessary repairs. Even a few broken or loose shingles can cause major damage and jeopardize future claims.
- Avoid DIY solutions: Unqualified homeowners should avoid fixing roof damage themselves. Its typically a much better idea to hire a licensed professional to make roof repairs to prevent additional damage and to ensure future claims are not denied due to improper installation.
- Prune overhanging trees: Large trees that hang over a roof can fall and cause major damage. Keep trees and branches pruned year-round to protect the roof in storms or high winds.
How To File A Claim For Roof Damage
There are a number of key steps to take in filing a claim with your homeowners insurance company for roof damage. Throughout the process, it is best to be both thorough and prompt.
How Different Roof Coverings Affect Your Home Insurance In Florida
If you are in the market for a new roof, you might be caught off guard by the different options available. In this episode of Waypoint Real Talk, we sit down with Tracy Hampton from Key Palm Insurance in Pinellas County, FL to talk about how different roof coverings can affect your home insurance and how long you can expect them to last.
You can listen in or scroll below to read the blog.
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Can A New Metal Roof Lower Your Insurance Premiums
May 31, 2021 by Neumann Construction
Metal is steadily becoming a popular choice for roofing materials because of its excellent benefits. It can withstand whatever Mother Nature throws at it, from strong winds and heavy rain to wind-carried debris and hailstorms. It is also moisture-resistant and doesnt suffer significant damage from long-term sun exposure. It also has a unique aesthetic that can boost the appearance of your home, regardless of its architectural style.
What many people arent aware of, however, is that metal roofs may help reduce homeowners insurance premiums, but not always.
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.
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Insurance Company Requirements For Roof Replacement
In Marion County, the median home price is $125,000. The housing market in Indianapolis is booming, and that means theres a high demand for quality roofs. Whether you buy an old home or a new home, you might need a roof replacement. Before you do, there are a few things you should know about insurance company requirements for roof replacement. Learn the basics and find out if you have roof repair insurance or roof replacement insurance.
Why Your Roof Damage Might Not Be Covered By Insurance
Roof replacement can be prohibitively expensive for many homeowners. A new roof costs just over $7,000 on average in the U.S. but could cost up to a whopping $30,000 if your home has an expensive roofing material, is especially large or possesses a complicated roof shape or slope.1
In the event of a storm or falling tree, you would hope your homeowners insurance would cover basic roof damage. However, your insurance company may deny you coverage precisely because roof replacement is one of the costliest home repairs.
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When Is Roof Damage Not Covered
Homeowners insurance doesnt relieve you of the responsibility of maintaining your home. If procrastinating minor repairs leads to roof damage, the insurer may deny your claim.
Many home insurance companies wont issue a new or renew an existing policy if your roof is more than 20 years old. Some types of roofs last longer than others. For instance, a metal roof can hold up for 30 to 40 years, while asphalt shingles may need to be replaced after 12 years. In some cases, insurance companies will only pay actual cash value to repair or replace an older damaged roof, leaving you to foot the bill for the bulk of expenses. To avoid costly repair or replacement costs, periodically have a licensed roofing inspector check your roof.
If an insurance adjuster decides that neglect caused your roof damage, the insurer may deny your claim. For example, if you fail to replace a few shingles that blew off during a storm, further water exposure could rot your roofs structure. Your insurance provider likely wont cover that damage. Likewise, the carrier may also decline a claim if neglecting to make timely repairs causes damage to other parts of your homes structure or your belongings.
Avoiding roof damage goes beyond proper structural maintenance. If you have trees in your yard, remove limbs that extend over your roof and dead trees that could fall in a windstorm.
How Your Home Insurance Company Can Help
Several home insurance companies offer policyholders access to a network of approved and qualified contractors, and working with them could save you money. The contractors typically don’t charge for an estimate, and insurers usually provide a warranty for work completed by an approved contractor.
Below, we list some home insurance companies that offer policyholders special access to contractors.
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Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Roof Leaks
An insurer may cover a leaky roof. However, insurers also believe homeowners should prevent leaks and subsequent damage. Its up to the homeowner to take the necessary precautions to maintain the property. If a leaky roof isn’t fixed properly, an insurer might not cover the damage.
Home insurance policies usually cover roof damage caused by fire, vandalism and acts of God, such as hurricanes and tornadoes. Whether they will pay for damage caused by wind, rain or hail is determined by your policy and your roofs age.
A damaged 10-year-old roof will likely get coverage for a full replacement. A 20-year-old roof or older might only result in an insurer reimbursing you for what an older roof is worth at the time of the damage — after decades of wear and tear.
Whether youre reimbursed partially, fully or not at all depends on your policy, so check with your insurance company if you experience any damage.
How Do I Claim Roof Damage On Insurance
As a commercial property owner, you know how important your roofing system is. Its an investment, and in order to protect your investment, you need to make sure your commercial roof is in good shape. However, things can happen, which can cause damage to your roof. When damage develops on your roof, one of the first things you need to do besides call a roofer for repair or replacement service is to call your insurance company. Depending on the type of damage you have on your roof, your insurance company will be able to cover the complete or partial cost of repairs or a replacement. But what roof damages are covered by insurance? Damages known as covered perils are covered by your insurance company. Covered perils would be hail, fire, and wind damage. So if you have hail damage on your roof or some of your roofing was torn off because of strong winds, your insurance provider can cover it.
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Industry Standard Testing For Hail/impact On A Roof System
The industry standard, UL 2218 Standard for Impact Resistance of Prepared Roof Covering Materials, exists to test a metal panels resistance to puncturing or failing when it comes into contact with items, including hail.
The method of testing provides impact resistance data for the evaluation of prepared roof covering materialsThe test evaluates the effect of impact from a steel ball at locations on the assembly selected to be most vulnerable, such as edges, corners, unsupported sections, and joints.
Four steel balls of different sizes are dropped from varying heights onto the metal panels . They drop the ball twice on the same spot of the metal roof, and if it doesnt structurally go through the metal panel, doesnt crack it, or doesnt cause the roof system to fail, then it passes.
Rating is determined on a scale from Class 1 to 4, with Class 4 being the toughest and least likely to fail when in contact with objects. In other words, it will pass as long as the objects damage doesnt stop the roof from serving its structural purpose. For reference, Sheffield Metals sheet and coil have a Class 4 rating.
How Long Does The Average Roof Last
How long your roof lasts depends on several factors, such as:
- The roofing material
- Quality of the roofing material
- Whether the roof was properly installed/repaired
- Inspection and maintenance frequency
- Damage due to fire or natural disasters
- Regional climate or weather conditions
The roofing material is one of the biggest factors in how long your roof lasts. For instance, asphalt shingles can last 20 to 30 years. Metal roofs can last up to 50 years. Tile can reach a 100-year lifespan, surpassing the life of your house. Insurance companies may adjust your homeowners insurance rates based on the material you use and how long it is expected to last.
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Hail Damage Waiver & Insurance Coverage Definitions
Now that weve covered the design considerations of a metal roof as it applies to protection from hail damage, the next thing you should do is take a look at your insurance policy. We get hundreds of questions per year about homeowner/property insurance coverage and metal roofing. We understand that it can be a complicated subject that differs from policy to policy, but we think its critical to talk through the topics that we hear most often.
Lets go through some of the common phrases or words used by insurance providers.
Metal Roofing And Homeowners Insurance
A new roof should be favorable towards your homeowners insurance coverage, at least in theory. A new roof, after all, can make the house less susceptible to the kind of damage covered by homeowners insurance, such as storm and hail damage.
However, this is not always the case. There are some factors that some insurance providers consider when updating their clients homeowners insurance coverage. For example, some types of roofing systems are more resistant to damage than others. A wood shake roof is at greater risk of catching on fire than a metal roof. An insurance provider might not approve or even discontinue coverage if the home happens to be located near a wooded area.
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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.
Q If None Of The Other Houses In My Neighborhood Have Metal Roofs Wont My House Look Out Of Place
With the large variety of metal roofing choices available, your roof can look like every other roof in the neighborhood, if that is what you want. On the other hand, if you want to make a splash and stand out from the crowd you can choose a metal roof that will do that also.
Hopefully, these metal roof FAQs have answered any questions you may have, but if not, please feel free to contact us for further information.
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How Do Insurance Companies Calculate Coverage
Insurance companies have compiled data on roofs and roofing material over several decades. Your insurance carrier has detailed data on how long your roof is expected to last, the most common causes of roof-related claims and which types of roofs are most resistant to fire or storm damage. Having the funds available to pay for claims is entirely dependent on the insurance company collecting the right amount in premiums.
If your insurance company can predict which roofs are subject to an insurance claim, they can increase premiums for risky policies so that they can pay out when you file a claim. If the insurer sends you a notice to replace your roof, it is because the age of your roof is now a major factor in whether you can get insurance coverage.
Will My Homeowners Insurance Premiums Go Down If I Get A Metal Roof Installed
It Depends. The real answer to this question is that it really depends on your personal circumstances whether or not this change is going to lower your insurance premiums.
The first factor you need to consider is the type of roofing that you have currently. If it is something like wood shake roofing, you are at a greater risk for a fire with that than you would be with metal roofing. In fact, we had one customer we worked with to replace his shake roof with metal because his insurance company would no longer even cover him due to the potential for fire.
You are also at more risk of water damage to your home if you have wood shake and certain other roofing. By swapping tougher metal roofing for the wood you would be making your home far more durable and less prone to fires. In that instance, many insurance companies would be inclined to lower your insurance premium.
With that said, not every insurance company will give you a discount even if it makes sense for them to do so. Some companies pay close attention to the type of roofing that your home has, others arent as concerned about it. Thats why its so important to talk with your insurance agent for more specific information.
Ask Your Agent or Insurance Company Rep
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Document The Damage And Contact Your Insurance Company
Once you determine that your roofs damage is covered under your homeowners insurance , the next step is to document the damage. Take plenty of photosnot only of the outside damage, but also of the interior of your home. If you have a tall enough ladder, and feel safe doing so, carefully climb it to take photos, or you can use a drone with a camera, which would be an even safer method. However, if you cant assess all the damage safely, call an experienced roofing company for an inspectionyoure better off safe than sorry.
Note the date of the damage, as well. If your roof was damaged by a storm, such as a tornado or hurricane, find articles online matching the date of these damaging events to back up your claim.
After that, check your insurance companys website for information about how to submit a claim. Many policies require the homeowner to file their claim within a certain time frame after the event. Youll want to know the protocol for your insurance company, as your claim may be denied if you wait too long.