Is It Worth Filing A Claim For Minor Roof Damage
Your damages must exceed your deductible before your insurance will pay to repair a damaged roof. Homeowners insurance deductibles can vary significantly and if the cost to repair the damage is less than your deductible, it may not be worth filing a claim.
Make sure to get a quote for any repairs because what may look like minor damage could turn out to be more costly. For example, if your entire roof needs replacement, the cost of the deductible could become a negligible expense. On the other hand, if you only need to replace a few shingles, paying out of pocket may be your best bet.
How Much Does A Roof Leak Cost To Fix
The cost of roof repair depends on the extent of the damage. For minor repairs, the cost ranges from $150 $400.1 Moderate repairs like fixing and sealing fixtures, replacing shingles and flashing can range from $400 $1,200.
Major repairs, like repairing the roofs outer layer, and replacing damaged wood in other parts of the home, like outer walls, can range between $1,200 $3,500. This can also include replacing the shingles in a 10-by-10-foot section of the roof, since one roofing square is 100 square feet.2
Homeowners typically spend $300 $1,200 on a roof repair in total, creating an average expenditure of $650 $850 for each step in roof-related repair.
Costs above $3,500 for roof repairs are possible, but at that point you may just consider replacing your roof entirely. Roof replacement can cost over $7,500, but it does give you a fresh start.
Roof Repairs That Your Insurance Will Pay For
Considering filing a homeowners insurance claim for a damaged roof? Homeowners insurance may cover your roof repairs if a fallen tree damages it. Your policy may also cover roof damage caused by fire, a hurricane or tornado.
Below are other things to consider when it comes to homeowners insurance and your roof damage.
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What To Consider When Claiming For A Roof Repair With Your Insurance Company
A roof repair can be stressful because not only can repairs be costly but the overall issue can affect your day to day living. The latter means that the roof damage repair is not something that you can delay. For this reason, insurance companies can help you out with the costs. However, several things need to be considered before your insurance claim is granted.
What If You Have A Newer Roof
Even if you have a roof that is less than 20 years old, you might find that you have to replace your roof. Natural disasters, fires, and vandalism are some of the most common reasons that homeowners have to replace a newer roof.
Certain US states, including the state of Florida, for example, are more susceptible to natural disasters, mainly hurricanes. A hurricane can definitely destroy your homes roof if it is strong enough. However, there are plenty of other things that can damage your roof aside from natural disasters. Sometimes, normal weather can lead to damage.
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What If You Do Not Have A Copy Of Your Insurance Policy
You can contact your insurance agent and they will be able to provide you a copy of your insurance policy. If needed, you can go through your insurer directly to obtain a copy of your policy. It is important to note that you want to obtain a copy of your actual insurance policy, as opposed to just the declarations page. The declarations page shows you how much coverage you have, whereas the policy itself is much lengthier and describes in detail what you are insured against.
Damages Excluded By Your Home Insurance Policy
Every insurance policy is a little different, but most of them will come with a list of named exclusions. Depending on your specific roof coverage policy, you can pay an extra premium to include some of the exclusions, and many of them may be worth adding, depending on your area. Common exclusions are earthquakes, floods, storm damage, or hail damage. One of the most common exclusions to affect homeowners is neglect. If an insurance adjuster determines youve been neglecting your roof, they may deny you coverage, and the cost of replacing your roof will have to come entirely out of your pocket.
A professional roofing contractor can help you keep up with routine maintenance and help you prolong the life of your roof, and you should keep a record of every transaction on file to show your insurance adjuster if the time comes that you do need to initiate the roof insurance claim process for repair and reimbursement purposes. Routine roof maintenance will also allow your contractor to keep an eye out for leaks and other issues so you can prevent water damages and other issues caused by a leaky roof. Additionally, a well-maintained roof can lower your energy bills and keep your house more comfortable throughout the year.
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How To Find A Roof Leak
Its important to spot and locate a roof leak as early as possible, to limit damage to your home and possessions. But its not always obvious how the water is coming in.
Here are some simple ways to help you find your leak:
- Identify visible signs If you can see evidence of a leak indoors, even if the water coming in is not immediately above this area, the source in the roof is likely to be nearby
- Head to the loft Look inside for any dark stains or obvious signs of moisture or mould on your roof timbers, or loft insulation, that may be caused by water
- Look for daylight Turn off torches and any lights in the roof, so you can see if any area has daylight coming in through holes or cracks
- Choose a rainy day Take a torch with you into the loft space and see if you can spot where the rainwater is entering the property
- Test with a hose If no wet weather is forecast, try gently spraying a hose onto the area you think has the leak. Have a second person inside to spot any water leaking in
- Watch for missing tiles Stormy weather can often cause tiles to become damaged or loose. A missing or cracked roof tile can mean water getting into your roof space
- Check your flat roof Look for any visible cracks in the tar or coating of your flat roof. And check along the seams of the roofing material to make sure the seal is still tight
Issues That Can Affect A Claim
Its not always the damage itself that can determine whether a claim is approved or not. Most insurance policies cover the use of like kind materials.
If the shingles on your roof have been discontinued and are no longer available, the insurance company will have to replace all the shingles on your roof even if only one shingle was missing.
If the insurance company cant replace that one shingle with like kind material, the only way to resolve the damage is to replace the whole roof, and theyll likely approve the claim.
That appeal on a claim is valid with most insurance companies, but most people have no way of knowing if their shingles have been discontinued or not.
Choosing a roofing company you can trust is key to navigating any roofing project. They know the industry and can help you understand the options available to you.
Another thing to consider is how your roof is ventilated.
Ridge vents are installed along at the peak of the roof. A slit is cut all the way across the roofs ridge under the vent to allow for air flow. However, this essentially separates the two sides of the roof.
Technically speaking, those two slopes are not connected to one another.
When damage is limited to one slope of your roof, its possible your insurance company will only cover the slope thats damaged.
When deciding if you should file an insurance claim, knowing how your roof is ventilated can be a major factor to consider.
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Will Homeowners Insurance Cover Your Roof Replacement
Imagine this scenario. A strong storm is blowing through your area. Before you know it, you have to get into your homes safe space because of a tornado warning.
Its so loud you can hear the strong winds and feel the thunder shake your home. But as soon as the storm comes, it starts to die down. You and your family are safe. But what about the damage outside?
You go outside expecting the worst, and you get it with extensive roof damage. There are full sections of shingles missing and a tree limb landed on your roof.
No matter what kind of damage the storm caused, your roof is now compromised. This situation is stressful enough, but youll also have to call your insurance company to figure out the next step. Your stress keeps rising because youre wondering if homeowners insurance will even cover your roof damage.
This situation can happen to anyone. Thats why its crucial to know if homeowners insurance covers a roof replacement.
We understand how stressful storm damage and dealing with insurance can be, thats why were going to break down if you can get a new roof through your insurance.
Since 1990, Bill Ragan Roofing has handled hundreds of roof damage insurance claims for the residents of Nashville. We do everything we can to give you the best experience possible during this stressful time. Thats what makes us the insurance experts in the Nashville area.
Keeping Your Roof Safe
A roof in good condition can withstand extreme weather and damages better than an older roof. To keep yours in its best condition so it can continue protecting your contents for years to come, consider the following maintenance:
- Schedule a periodic inspection: Hiring a roof inspector to take a look at your roof every few years could help find issues early. Finding a reputable inspector you can trust is essential some roofing companies may claim there are issues simply to encourage you to replace your roof.
- Prune nearby trees: A tree too close to a rooftop can cause damage in a couple of ways. If there is a strong wind or ice storm, a tree branch can break, falling on the roof and causing damage to the structure. A tree branch can also rub against the roof for prolonged periods, deteriorating the surface or dislodging shingles. It is best to keep trees too close to a roof trimmed and clear of the area.
- Keep gutters clean: Gutters are meant to carry water what could be a roofs biggest enemy away from the rooftop. If a gutter is filled with leaves or debris that clogs the gutter, water can overflow onto the rooftop, weakening the structure or causing interior leaks.
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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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What Roof Damage Is Not Covered
Standard home insurance covers a wide array of damage. However, some exclusions tend to be consistent across most policies:
- Wear and tear: Insurers consider roof maintenance to be a homeowner’s responsibility. If roof damage occurs as a result of something you could have taken care of, such as a rotted shingle, they will not cover it.
- Improper installation: If your roof wasn’t correctly installed, it can be difficult to assess the exact cause of damage. It’s not uncommon for home insurers to exclude poorly installed roofing from their policies.
- Some roofing materials: Due to their replacement cost or protection ability, some roofing material is excluded in a standard homeowners insurance policy. For example, wood shake roofing may not be covered due to its high flammability. Talk with your insurer to find out which roof materials they don’t cover.
- Rot, mold and vermin: Damage due to problems such as rot, mold and animals often happens over time. Home insurance only covers sudden and accidental damage, so these perils usually won’t be covered.
- Flood and earthquake: Standard home insurance does not cover these perils, but separate insurance policies are often available to provide coverage for them.
- Multi-layered roofs: Roofs made of more than one layer of material are costlier to replace. Also, the weight of a multi-layer roof increases the chance of collapse. Home insurers may have policy exclusions because of this.
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When Will Homeowners Insurance Cover Your Roof
Your dwelling coverage in your homeowners policy includes your roof. It usually covers fire, wind, and hail. If your roof sustains damage from one of these causes, your insurance most likely covers it.
However, if your insurance company finds that you could have prevented a problem that caused the damage, they may still deny you coverage.
For example, if you had a dead tree on your property, and it falls on your roof in a storm, your insurer may deny your claim due to negligence.
You have a responsibility to maintain your property, which means removing trees that pose a risk to your home. Therefore, if you knew about the dead tree but chose not to fix the problem, your insurer may decide not to cover it. If you did not know about the tree, your insurer will likely still cover the damage.
Know what your policy covers before disaster strikes. Some have windstorm or hail exclusions, which means that your insurance policy will not cover roof damage caused by these events.
What If You Don’t Know The Cause Of Your Roof Damage How Can You Determine The Cause Of Your Roof Damage
It is very common for you as a homeowner not to initially know what causes the damage to their roof. All you know as the homeowner is that your roof is damaged and leaking water into your house. Most of the time, as a homeowner, you will not be able to see the physical damage to your roof that causes the leak.
This is especially true with smaller leaks. Small leaks can be ongoing for months before the homeowner notices the damage resulting from water leaking coming into the home. For example, a small leak caused by damage from a storm can go unnoticed because the water leaks into the attic where the damage is not visible to the homeowner. Small leaks can result in some of the greatest damage because of the mold that accumulates and the resulting structural damage from the time that the water damage went unnoticed.
Determining the cause of the damage can be tricky, but there are generally telltale signs when the cause of the damage is related to a windstorm or hurricane. For example, on a tile or shingle roof there are nails that affix the shingle tor tile to the roof. Nails are straight and shot straight into the roof. When there is a windstorm or hurricane the force of the wind causes shingles or roof tiles to lift, which causes the nails affixing them to the roof to bend. An experienced roof damage attorney with the proper experts can help determine the cause of your roof damage.
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How Old Is Your Roof
The age of your roof matters. However, an newer roof isnt always better when it comes to filing a claim. You might think your roof is too old to be covered, but actually the opposite may be true.
When your roof is 25 years old, its pretty much at the end of its life. Your expectation might be that your insurance would never cover replacing it. But your insurance company may be more likely to cover a whole roof replacement for an older roof.
To be clear, they wont cover your roof just because its old. However, if you have storm damage from wind or hail, an older roof is harder to repair than a newer one.
Because when a damaged shingle is replaced, the surrounding shingles have to be peeled back so that a replacement shingle can be inserted.
Older shingles arent flexible enough to be peeled back. This means that for every shingle thats replaced, the surrounding shingles will crack and eventually fail themselves.
Your insurance cant pay for a repair thats going to cause further damage to the home. So, the only way to resolve the damage is to replace the whole roof.
A younger roof with same amount of damage can likely be repaired without damaging the existing shingles. In that case, its probably not worth an insurance claim.
If you do file the claim and the insurance company only approves a repair, you might not even meet the cost of your deductible. Now youve just added a claim to your record, and you havent even benefited from it.