How To Get Homeowners Insurance To Pay For A Roof Replacement
Unfortunately, if you dont follow the proper steps when filing a roof claim, your insurance company may deny your claim because of an administrative error. So its very important to know exactly how to get homeowners insurance to pay for your roof replacement.
Know Your Roofing Insurance Coverage
When you first notice damage to your roof, look at your homeowners policy and the roof coverage it offers.
This may take a bit of time if youve never paid much attention to your policy. But the information will help guide your financial decisions about roof repairs. You can also request a copy of your policy from your insurance agent.
The majority of insurance agencies offer two types of roof insurance: repair coverage and replacement coverage. Repair coverage usually reimburses the homeowner for a certain percentage of repair costs.
Replacement coverage provides for the replacement of a roof thats beyond repair. These policies are more expensive and make it harder to get a claim accepted. Thats why its so important to document the damage and submit a claim as quickly as possible.
Unfortunately, not all roof damage will be covered by homeowners insurance. Your coverage depends on your specific policy, your location, and the cause of the damage. For example, a hail storm that damages a roof may qualify for coverage because its an unusual and unpreventable event.
If you have questions about your roof coverage, call your insurance agent, and request more detail.
Should You Claim Roof Damage On Insurance
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.
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.
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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:
Damage Caused By Outside Elements
Another time insurance companies will pay for roofing repairs is when damage is caused by outside elements, such as fires. Of course, youll need to prove that the outside elements were outside of your control and that they werent your fault.
In the case of repairs or replacements, the insurance company would have to consider other factors to assess how much of the total costs they will cover. In some cases, the insurer will pay for everything, but more often than not theyll only cover part of the repair costs.
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Does My Home Insurance Cover Roof Damage Caused By A Hurricane
Home insurance for hurricane-related damage can be a bit tricky. Home insurance generally covers wind damage to roofs, but some insurers exclude certain types of hurricane-related damage. For example, some insurers in Atlantic coastal states will exclude wind-related damage, meaning roof damage wont be covered by a standard home insurance policy.
You might need windstorm insurance as an endorsement to your home insurance policy or as a standalone policy. If you live in an area thats prone to hurricanes, talk with an agent to make sure there are no gaps in your coverage. A good hurricane insurance plan is typically a mix of homeowners insurance, flood insurance and wind insurance .
Five: Find The Right Roofer
Most times, material defects and consistent repairs trace back to poor installation or workmanship. Finding the right roofer for your roof replacement or repair is one of the most important steps you can take. Compare different quotes, check references, and beware of low offers, which can be a red flag.
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Limitations Of Roof Insurance Coverage
Many possible policy exclusions, according to Investopedia, include improper maintenance, neglect or old age. If you didnt keep up with your regular roof maintenance or tried to DIY-it instead of calling a pro, many insurance companies will deny your claim.
The use of certain expensive roofing materials like slate or recycled shake shingles, roofs with more than two layers of roofing material, and even your homes geographic location can also affect whether an insurer will cover a roof claim.
Filing A Roof Replacement Home Insurance Claim
You need to know what your homeowners insurance covers on your roof before you begin the insurance claim process.
The timeframe which an insurance company allows you to file a claim can depend on the type of damage and the companys policy. Generally speaking, its best to contact your insurance company as soon as there is damage.
Here are steps to take if you need to file a claim because of roof damage:
Buyer beware! Insurance claims against hail damages happens to be one of the most scam filled industries on earth, and everyone is in on it. Even the insurance companies.
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.
Be Aware Of Disaster Deductibles
Whenever you file an insurance claim, you have to pay a deductible. Its the amount of money you pay on an insurance claim before your coverage kicks in and pays the rest.
Its standard for wind, hail and hurricanes to be covered by homeowners insurance flood and earthquake policies are typically purchased separately. But each of these disasters can have its own deductible rules, depending on the insurance company and where you live.
For example, hurricane deductibles tend to be higher than other homeowners policy deductibles and usually take the form of a percentage of the policy limits, according to the Insurance Information Institute. So if you live on the coast or in an area thats prone to hurricanes, you may end up paying a deductible thats completely different from the one you choose.
Being aware of these various types of disaster deductibles, from hurricanes to wind and hail, will prevent surprise costs down the road. Check your policy and talk to your insurance company to learn exactly how your deductibles work.
Best Ways To Pay For Your New Roof
Youve decided you need a new roof, now you need to figure out the best way to pay for it
Payment for roof replacement and roofing repairs can be handled in a variety of ways with each option offering pros and cons to the home owner and the roofing contractor .
Which choice is best for you and your home depends on a the following factors:
- The amount of funds you have on hand
- How many hoops youre willing to jump through to save money
- Your yearly income
- Your credit rating
- Whether your home has roof damage because of a major storm
Well discuss each of your options in detail below.
But before we do, here are the 7 most popular ways to pay for a roofing project:
Spotting The Signs Of A Damage Roof
Spotting a damaged roof can be hard to the untrained eye. Here are a few ways to spot a damaged roof.
- Water Damage: Look for cracked paint or peeling wallpaper inside your home. Take a look in your attic for any signs of damp or a possible leak. If there is a draught, follow it until you find the hole and feel the area for dampness.
- Roof tiles: Look for cracked, loose, or frailed roof tiles. Repair or replace them as soon as you spot the damage, as leaving them can cause more damage in the future and are a possible hazard to people or property, as if winds pick up, they can fly off and injure someone.
- Vents: Check your properties vents, ensure they are open and unblocked. Having blocked vents can cause moisture to build up leading to dampness in the attic and then, in turn, damaging the roof.
- Flashing: Missing or damaged flashing can lead to leaks in the roof. Flashing is a watertight seal usually made from metal or cement, that is positioned around your chimney and roof valleys to protect them.
Will Homeowners Insurance Replace My Roof If Its Damaged By Wind Or Hail
Wind and hail are two of the most common culprits of roof damage, and most of the time these hazards are covered by a standard homeowners insurance policy. But some states that experience frequent wind and hailstorms â like Kansas and Oklahoma â will have to pay separate wind and hail deductibles.
If your roof is blown off in a bad storm and you have a wind deductible, for example, youâll need to pay that instead of your regular deductible. Typically you are given the option to set your deductible at 1% to 10% of your homeâs dwelling coverage limit. That means if your home is insured for $300,000 and your wind and hail deductible is 1%, youâd have to pay $3,000 out of pocket before your insurer will cover the remainder of the roof and/or structural damage.
Dont Forget About The Deductible
You will be required to pay the deductible first when you file a claim. If you have a $1500 deductible for your home insurance, the total cost of the claim will be deducted from that. If the cost of repairing the roof is $5,000, the insurance company must cover the cost minus the premium which would be $3500. Overall, its important to remember that insurance companies deal differently with roofing claims. The coverage can largely depend on the cause of the harm, the roof age and the type of homeowner policy you have. To understand exactly what coverage you have and if making a claim, new roof is your best option, it is best to speak with your agent.
State Law Regarding Homeowners Insurance Claims
When one or just a few tiles or shingles are damaged on your roof, and you file an insurance claim, state law mandates that your insurer must replace the material in adjoining areas if its not possible to repair the damage so it matches the undamaged portion in quality, size or color. Florida roofing tends to fade over time due to constant exposure to the elements and UV radiation, and roofing material manufacturers discontinue profiles and colors on a regular basis. Unless your roof is virtually new when the damage occurs, it may be impossible to simply replace a single tile or shingle without the repaired area standing out glaringly against the remainder of the roof.
Are There Insurance Coverage Limitations On My Roof
Home insurance policies can include coverage limitations for roofs.
Scott deLuise, president of Matrix Business Consulting in Broomfield, CO, suggests that homeowners read the existing or proposed policy carefully to look for that information.
“Coverage scope and exclusions are a big deal. Ask another insurance company for a policy bid at renewal if it contains a wood shake endorsement or an exclusion for roofs over 20 years old,” says deLuise.
He also suggests getting a qualify roofer to inspect the roof and provide a written report, so you know the condition before theres damage.
“That way, if wind or hail strike your house, you can show the insurance company that there was no pre-existing damage. You can also request a cost estimate for replacing the roof so that you can decide if the cost of a new roof outweighs the risk of being denied home insurance coverage, deLuise says.
deLuise says many insurers on the West Coast are adding new endorsements at renewal for the area’s popular wooden shingle roofs. A wood shake or shingle endorsement is a written document attached to an insurance policy that excludes or restricts coverage of wooden shingle or shake roofs.
deLuise has also seen many companies limit appraisal for wind and hail roof damage during the claims process.
If the policyholder demands an appraisal, some insurance companies try to limit the appraisals scope to damages that they’ve agreed to instead of all of the damage that the insured might find.
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Beyond The 10 Year Mark
When a roof is beyond the 10-year mark, a homeowner will usually receive reimbursement on the diminishing or the depreciated value of the roof. Depreciated value simply means that the insurance company evaluates a roof by its age and the wear and tear it has experienced. The insurance carrier then places a decreased value on a roof before damage has taken place.
New Roof Insurance Discounts
Dont be surprised if the estimates for a new roof cost between $6,000 and $10,000 depending on the size of your home or the extent of damage thats already been done to the existing structure.
Theres no denying that a new roof can be an overwhelming cost for most homeowners, but it begs a simple question: will a new roof lower my insurance premiums? The short answer is yes, upgrading your roof should at least save you some money on your monthly insurance costs.
Your insurance company will want to take the material of your new roof into consideration, in addition to proper installation before telling you how much of a discount you qualify for.
On average, insurance providers may discount your policy by 20 percent for completely replacing your roof, which could save you hundreds of dollars a year.
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 homeowners 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 wasnt correctly installed, it can be difficult to assess the exact cause of damage. Its 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 dont 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 wont 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.