It Depends On What Caused Your Roof Problems
A typical all-perils homeowners insurance policy does cover your roof and the cost of replacing it if it gets damaged. That’s the good news. But usually, you’re covered only if the damage or destruction results from a sudden accident or act of nature. Problems that ensue from general wear and tear or from a roof that has exceeded its intended life span are not eligible for reimbursement because they fall under the general maintenance responsibility of the homeowner.
Does Home Insurance Cover Wind Damage To A Roof
We had a serious windstorm with hail last week. My husband noticed some missing shingles on our roof. We suspect a branch may have scraped them off, but it could be more serious. Will home insurance cover wind damage to our roof?
your homeowners insurance should cover wind damage to a rooffile a claim
- Documenting the damage if it is safe to do.
- Accessing your companyâs claims portal .
- Submitting the photos and descriptions to your insurance company.
Getting Reimbursed For Roof Replacement
Age is not your roof’s friend. Unless it’s made of a material with famed longevity, like slate, a roof depreciates with each year many insurers won’t cover those that are over a quarter-century old. Other possible policy exclusions could include improper maintenance or neglect, the use of certain expensive roofing materials , or roofs with more than two layers of roofing material.
To give yourself the best chance of having your insurance company pay for a roof, the first step is to call them out for an inspection. Before they arrive, gather up as many documents as you can, including a copy of your current home insurance policy, any home inspection reports, receipts for any repair work youve done, and photos of any damage that has occurred. All will be helpful in the claims process. The insurance company will send out an adjuster to inspect the damage and offer their own assessment.
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What About Damage Resulting From Flaws In Building Materials
Generally speaking, damage due to manufacturing defects in your roofing materials or siding materials are not covered by homeowners insurance. Neither are errors made during installation by your contractor. For this reason, making sure you work with materials and companies that offer warranties can be useful.
What Exactly Is Wind Damage
Damage from the wind is known as an unavoidable loss as a result of high-force winds. It can also be due to debris or foreign objects, such as tree branches. If wind causes a foreign object to create a hole or opening in your home, any further harm to your property or belongings will be classified as wind-related damage. Research shows that homeowners filed more claims between 2014 and 2018 due to wind and hail damage. In other words, this was more than any other type of loss, including fire, water damage or theft.
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Get An Estimate For The Repairs
Have a few contractors or roof repair companies assess the damage and provide a cost estimate for repairs. If the damage is minimal, and the cost of repairs would be less than your insurance deductible, its probably not worth filing a claim. If the cost of repairs was $1,000 and your deductible was also $1,000, you would have to pay the full amount out-of-pocket in either case. However, if the cost of repairs is substantially higher than your deductible, you should continue with the claims process and take the reimbursement from your insurance provider.
Wind Hail And Fallen Trees
If a strong storm roars through, you may find your siding damaged by hail and shingles that the wind ripped off the roof. Homeowners insurance typically covers wind damage. Coverage also usually includes damage from hail, wind-driven rain or snow that gets inside the home when a roof or wall is damaged due to wind. Most policies also offer some coverage for fallen trees that damage your home, provided the tree broke because of a storm or wind.
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If Repairs Arent Urgent Get Approval Of The Work From Your Insurer
Your insurer needs to agree to any repair work on your home that youre claiming for, before you get in contractors and start paying for materials.
But if you have a roof leak, you may need this fixed as an emergency. In cases like this, insurers are usually understanding and should reimburse you.
Compare home insurance quotesBuy home insurance with us and well refund your excess if you make a claim. Excludes accidental loss and damage claims^
How Does The Roof Damage Insurance Claim Process Work
When the unexpected happens, our industry-leading claims service is always focused on getting your home, and your life, back to normal as soon as possible.
The fastest way to file a claim for roof damage to your home is with the MyAmFam app or by logging in to My Account. You can easily file your claim anywhere, anytime, just have these things on hand when you do:
- The date and time of the event.
- A brief description of what happened.
- Any photos of damage done to your roof.
- The insurance and contact information of any others involved.
You can also give us a call at to report your claim.
One thing to remember, if you have damage to your roof and you have replacement cost coverage settling losses for replacement cost coverage is a two-step process. First, well make an initial payment to you for the actual cash value of the roof. Then, once you repair or replace your roof, well pay the balance of the cost of the repair or replacement.
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How Long Does A Wind Damage Insurance Claim Take To Get Approved
Its difficult to say. Each case has its own set of factors and variables. Initially, if your wind-related home insurance claim is cut-and-dry, it can take up to 48 hours. However, if your claim is more complex, it may require more time and expertise to assess it. As a result, it can take up to 12 months for more complex cases.
Tips For Protecting Your Property From Severe Weather
- Check your policy: Be aware of any exclusions and coverage limitations. If your home is in an area prone to severe weather, make sure you have the right storm insurance coverage in place. If youâre unsure about whatâs covered, reach out to your insurance company.
- Be proactive: Donât wait to purchase the proper protection until a disaster occurs. If thereâs a hurricane watch in your area, it may be too late to buy homeowners insurance, as most insurers wonât offer policies if thereâs an impending hurricane.
- Make sure your deductible is within your budget: As mentioned, storm and wind deductibles can be expensive. Be prepared to pay more in out-of-pocket expenses for situations where your policyâs percentage deductible is more than you can afford. If you have the option for a flat deductible amount, you may want to choose the lowest deductible in exchange for paying a bit more on your monthly premium.
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Roof Repair Vs Roof Replacement
Does home insurance cover roof repair or replacement? Well, both. The scale for roof repairs ranges from minor DIY repairs and upkeep to full roof replacement. The price range is equally as wide. Here are a few details on what types of repairs you may have to do on your roof and the potential costs.
- Minor repairs: $150-$400
- Major repairs: $1,200-$3,500
- Roof replacement: $7,500
Minor repairs include regular, routine maintenance, like sealing small leaks or fixing a small area of damaged or missing shingles. Depending on your skill and comfort level, you could do this work yourself or ask the professionals to help out.
Moderate repairs include replacing a medium-sized area of shingles and flashing and fixing/sealing fixtures.
Major repairs include repairing chimneys and skylights, replacing a large area of shingles, and replacing damaged wood.
What Is A Storm
You might think weâre teaching granny to suck eggs, but itâs an important question. Especially if youâre an insurance company.
The Financial Ombudsman Service deals with a lot of home insurance complaints. Many of those are about storm claims that insurers have rejected.
One of the main reasons for this was because insurers disputed that there was a âstormâ to begin with.
So, what counts as a âstormâ?
The Financial Ombudsman defines a storm as:
â generally involves violent winds, usually accompanied by rain, hail or snowâ.
Some insurers, but not all, define storms in more detail on their policy documents.
These definitions usually have a specific wind speed eg itâs considered a storm if the wind is more than 54 mph.
Others may refer to the Beaufort Scale. The Met Office uses this scale to describe wind speed. Based on this, a storm is a 10 on the Beaufort scale, with wind speeds of at least 55 mph.
Itâs worth looking at the specific wording of your home insurance policy to check what they consider a storm to be.
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What Will I Be Asked To Provide As Proof
It truly depends on the insurance company. Some home insurance providers tend to send their own roof repair specialists and investigate whether the damage was caused by the lack of maintenance or whether it was truly outside of your capacities.
Other home insurance providers will require you to provide a document, a letter from an inspector, or other kinds of proof from a roofing specialist that certifies that the damage was assessed and that it was not caused due to neglect on your behalf.
Finally, some home insurance companies will be very thorough and require you to do both. They would send their own specialist and require you to hire one on your own and they will cover the expenses only if both specialists agree that the damage was not caused by your lack of maintenance.
Learn How Your Policy Covers A Roof Leak
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If youre sitting in your home during a thunderstorm and you notice a stream of water trickling down the wall, chances are your roof has sprung a leak. Roof leaks can cause major damage to your home and personal belongings, so its important to understand if your home insurance covers the losses.
The most common forms of homeowners insurance typically cover damages to roofs caused by falling tree limbs, hail, and wind. But a standard home insurance policy might not cover all roof leaks. Learn which types of roof leaks your homeowners insurance covers.
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What Kind Of Roof Damage Is Covered By Home Insurance
Your roof is an extension of your house both literally and figuratively.
So anything that is covered by your home insurance policy also applies to your roof.
Here are the most common perils:
- Fire, smoke, or explosion
That last one is probably the one peril that only applies to your roof and not the inside of your home.
The most common hail or wind claim is shingles being blown off or hail putting holes in it.
This coverage also extends to detached private structures, meaning your backyard shed or separate garage.
As a rule, if youre covered for something IN the house, you can assume the roof is covered too.
How Does Hail Damage Insurance Work
A standard homeowners insurance policy offers four kind of coverage to protect the policyholder from sudden, unexpected losses associated with four areas of risk:
Dwelling coverage, which pays for damage to the interior and exterior of your homeâs structure, including the foundation and the roof. This component of your home insurance also pays for your house to be completely rebuilt after a disaster.
Personal property coverage, which reimburses you for your personal belongings when they have been damaged, destroyed or stolen
Loss-of-use coverage, which pays for your living expenses when you are forced to evacuate your home due to a peril that your home policy recognizes
Liability coverage, which covers the bodily injury and property damage a visitor incurs while on your property
The dwelling component of your homeowners policy covers the damage that results from hail and wind-related loss events. You can also extend your dwelling insurance to include a higher payout for hail damage. While not all home insurance companies offer this additional coverage, a hail-related âendorsementâ will provide a higher level of protection than your policy stipulates.
Any standard homeowners policy covers hail damage, but not all hail damage is covered by a standard homeowners policy.
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Other Things Not Covered
Additionally, since its your responsibility to maintain your home, policies dont cover damage caused by a lack of maintenance. That means 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 by floods or earthquakes, including roof damage. If you live in an area at risk for these disasters, consider flood insurance or earthquake insurance.
No Two Plans Are The Same
Dont be fooled into thinking that home insurance plans are interchangeable. In Ontario, there are close to 200 insurance companies, all offering a range of different coverage options and conditions. This is because the home insurance industry is not regulated in the same way as auto insurance, and so protection really depends on the individual plan.
Given how many companies there are, you should do a thorough job of researching different options in order to choose the best plan for your home. For instance, you may discover that one plan charges extra for things that are simply included as part of another plan. Its your job to thoroughly compare these sorts of factors and to ask questions before you make a purchase. Ask questions like, does home insurance cover repairs and how many shingles need to be missing for insurance to pay for a new roof?
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Is Water Damage Covered
In a word, yes! A standard homeowners insurance policy will cover water damage and roof leaks unless theyre the result of gross negligence on your part. Even if the roof leak is caused by a windstorm or a tree crashing through the shingles, youre covered.
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Roof leaks are typically covered if a windstorm damages a home and creates an opening in the roof, says Stacey A. Giulianti, a lawyer in Boca Raton, FL. Homeowners insurance doesnt cover any preventable damage to a property, so the key here is determining if the leak is caused by a sudden and unexpected event. For example, rain that drips in through a pre-existing hole is generally not a covered loss, because the insurance company would likely say you should have fixed the hole.
If a broken or frozen pipe turns your basement into a swimming pool, you can file a claim with your homeowners insurance and the policy will cover damages. Of course, each policys terms may include specific coverages and exclusions, so always read the fine print.
Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Wind Damage To Roofs
Depending on the type of policy you have, your homeowners insurance likely covers wind damage to the roof of your home. If you have other structures coverage, you may be covered for wind damage to roofs on other structures on your property, like a shed or free-standing garage.
Your policy will explain coverage for roof damage repair or replacement due to a wind event. Certain things like the age of your roof or unresolved maintenance issues may factor in to how much of the costs will be covered to repair the damage or replace the roof. Your insurance carrier will evaluate the damage, including any damage that may have existed prior to the wind event, and determine the appropriate reimbursement. Talk to your Travelers representative if youd like to know more about the process.
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Does My Home Insurance Cover Water Damage From A Leaky Roof
A standard home insurance policy covers water damage and leaks for certain types of accidentsfor example, if a fallen tree branch causes a roof leak.
Home insurance wont cover a leaky roof thats been neglected or poorly maintained. For example, if your roof is old and needs to be replaced, your home insurance most likely wont cover water damage from leaks.
I Need A New Roof Now What
A new roof is a significant investment. The average cost of replacing a roof is as much as $11,420. Start by searching for a quality, reputable roofing company. Referrals from friends or family can be helpful, but it is always a good idea to confirm that the company is licensed, bonded and insured.
Besides choosing the right company, the type of material you choose can make a big difference in how long the roof will last. As mentioned, asphalt shingle roofs have an average life span of 20 years. Modernize.com claims there are 18 types of roofing shingles available. Depending on the area you live in, you may choose:
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