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.
Can You Afford A New Roof If Not You Might Not Be Able To Find Home Insurance
South Florida Sun Sentinel Ron HurtibiseDate: July 25, 2021
Tony Lilly cant find a private market insurance company willing to insure the house he bought last August because, he was told, at 16 years, the structures cement tile roof is too old.
Its a problem millions of Florida homeowners could soon face, thanks to insurance companies efforts to avoid paying for skyrocketing numbers of roof replacements. Homeowners will have to shell out tens of thousands of dollars to replace their roofs regardless of whether or not those roofs are failing if they want to remain insured.
For many, that will be a financial hardship. Asphalt shingle roofs typically cost about $12,000 to $15,000 to replace. Tile roofs cost about $30,000 to $35,000.
And theres no quick fix on the horizon to the issues that have brought us to this point.
Lilly was stunned to learn that he couldnt get coverage because of his roof. His house was built in the 1990s. Its roof was installed in 2005. An inspector who looked at the roof and a roofer who replaced a handful of broken tiles last fall both told Lilly that the roof should be good for another 20 years. Its cement tile, after all.
That apparently doesnt matter to Florida-based home insurers, reeling after five years of collective operating losses they blame on a combination of factors:
But that leaves honest homeowners who would never file an insurance claim except in an emergency stuck with higher premiums and forced to replace good roofs.
Its All About The Bottom Line
In order to stay in business, your insurance company needs to mitigate its losses. And one of the ways it does that is by refusing to cover roofs that it believes are prone to severe damage.
If youve received a notice from your insurance company that your roof is too old, you have two options: 1) have your roof replaced or 2) find an insurance company who will cover it. There are a few insurance companies who will insure 16-year-old standard shingle roofs, but no insurance company will cover your roof forever. At some point, you will simply have to replace your roof.Yes, even if theres nothing currently wrong with it.
However, a new roof is a good opportunity to get a wind mitigation inspection. In addition to giving you the peace of mind that your home can better withstand the next big storm, youll also save on your insurance premiums.
If you have received a notice that your roof is too old or if youre looking for homeowners insurance, . We pride ourselves on building a customized, comprehensive network of policies so each of our clients feel protected, listened to, and safe.
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Can An Insurance Company Deny You Coverage If You Dont Repair Or Replace A Bad Roof
To get coverage for your roof, youll need to file a claim with your insurance company. Youll need to submit evidence to support it. Photos of your roof before and after the event can be particularly beneficial. If your roof is more than ten years old, you may also want to consider getting it inspected . You can submit the inspection to let your insurance company know that the roof was in good condition before the incident. The insurance company will also send out an inspector to survey the damage and determine if its covered.
Lets say that a severe storm tears through your area and destroys your roof. If your roof was in good condition beforehand, youre likely to get coverage. If your roof was more than 15 to 20 years old, however, the inspector may determine that it was the damage was the result of deterioration over time. In such cases, your claim is likely to be denied.
The Location Of Your Home
Where you live can also affect insurance rates, especially in high-risk areas like California with wildfires, Oklahoma with tornadoes, and Florida with hurricanes and tropical storms. Insurance companies in those states have stringent regulations and often require homeowners to add additional coverage for things like hail damage, tornadoes, and floods. Then when those disasters occur, the roof replacement costs are offset by the higher premiums paid by homeowners.
In fact, there are eight different insurance policies that cover different property types and coverage needs.
The eight types of homeowners insurance are:
- HO-1: The most basic type of insurance policy for single-family homes.
- HO-2: This policy is an upgrade from HO-1 policies, covering six more types of damage.
- HO-3: Most homeowners have an HO-3 policy with broader coverage than the previous two.
- HO-4: This policy type is for renters, not homeowners.
- HO-5: The most comprehensive policy and is the second most popular policy type for single-family homes.
- HO-6: This policy type is strictly for condominium owners.
- HO-7: This policy type is for those who own mobile or manufactured homes.
- HO-8: For homeowners who dont meet any of the other standards, they can get an HO-8 policy that focuses more on the homes actual cash value vs. the cost of replacement. It also covers much fewer instances of damage.
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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.
Is Roof Insurance Included In Your Homeowners Insurance Policy
Most standard homeowners insurance policies include coverage for your roof, but specific perils may be excluded. If you live in an area prone to windstorms, for example, you may have a wind exclusion on your policy, meaning that wind damage will not be covered.
Insurance policies also do not provide protection for general maintenance of roofs, such as wear and tear. If your roof is in poor condition or past a certain age, your insurance policy may not cover it at all. Talking to your licensed insurance professional is a good way to determine how, and if, your roof is covered.
How Does The Age Of The Roof Affect 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 more than 20 years old. Or, theyll only pay actual cash value for roof replacement for older roofs when theyre damaged. This means they will only pay the depreciated value of the roof, not the cost of a new one.
“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, Texas. Chances are that at that point, there are issues within the roofing system that cannot be seen , which could potentially deteriorate the deck 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.
From A Realtors Perspectivewhy Would You Put Your Buyer Through An Upcoming Nightmare
Let us say you did find an Insurance Agency that said, they have a market that can do it. You want to close the home and the buyer wants the home. A Win, Win situation! Going with this scenario, the agency binds coverage and it gets sent to home office for backend underwriting. The insurance carrier orders an inspection and the inspector finds that the roof has less than five useful years left. The underwriter then will send a letter to your client telling them that the roof must be replaced in thirty days or they will cancel the policy. Bad News for your client that now must shell out $10,000 or more on a new roof!
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How Much Is Your Roof Worth
Just like a car, a roof will depreciate with age. A 15-year-old roof that was rated for 20 years isnt worth as much as it was when it was new.
When reviewing your policy, check to see if youre covered for the Actual Cash Value or Replacement Cost Value .
Lots of people opt for the Actual Cash Value coverage because the monthly premiums are lower. But that coverage will only pay for what the roofs worth at the time of the loss. The savings might not be worth it if a bad storm leaves you needing a new roof.
When Will Insurance Pay For A New Roof
Every insurance company is a little different, but most homeowners insurance policies will pay for a new roof in a few circumstances, including:
- If roof damage was caused by nature
- If roof damage was an accidental event
- If the roof is less than 20 years old
Examples that might fall into these circumstances include:
- A tree falls onto your roof during a hurricane and creates a hole.
- Your newer roof suddenly crashes in during a storm.
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How To File A Roof Insurance Claim
First of all, you must be aware of the timeframe in which you must file an insurance claim. The insurance company has a particular timeframe that you cannot be late with unless you want to pay for any repairs or roof replacement out of pocket.
When you need to file a roof insurance claim, here are some necessary steps to follow :
Contact your insurance immediately and find out what is covered in your policy
Schedule a time for an insurance claims examiner to review the damage
Provide all necessary documentation, including before and after photos of the roof if you have them
If you don’t have them now, take the before pictures as soon as possible
Contact a qualified roofer as soon as you can to begin assessing the damage and strategizing the most efficient plan to fix or replace your roof so that your home’s interior is affected in the most minimal way possible.
The key to filing an insurance claim is doing so quickly and efficiently. Be sure you have all of your paperwork and documentation in order and ready for the claims examiner, and do not delay in contacting your insurer.
How Do I Claim Insurance For Storm Damage
Anyone lucky enough to never file an insurance claim can find it to be a daunting task the first time they do it. Here is how you can claim insurance for a storm-damaged roof:
1. Maintain a Photo Album
We cannot stress how important it is for you to keep a photo album of your roof for insurance claims. This record helps your insurance company track your roofs condition over a period of time, making it easier to diagnose what caused the damage.
Pro Tip: Make sure that you take photos of your ceiling inside as well.
2. Call a Professional Roofing Contractor
Immediately inform a professional roofing contractor of the damage as soon as it occurs so that they can come out and inspect your roof to make sure that the damages will exceed your deductible before you file a claim.
This is important as we do not want you to file a claim that is not needed as it will go against you when it’s time for renewal, even if the claim is denied.
Also, a professional roofer can mitigate any further damages by installing a tarp or making a temporary repair until the work can be scheduled.
3. Call Your Insurance Company
4. Call a Local Roofer to Meet the Adjuster
After the insurance company has assigned a field adjuster to come out and document the damages, call your local roofing contractor to come out with the adjuster to review the damages together to go over the scope of work on your behalf.
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Jacklyn Walters is a personal finance writer. She has a bachelor’s degree from SUNY-Buffalo and specializes in home insurance, striving to help customers make informed decisions about their insurance policies.
Does The Age Of Your Roof Affect Insurance Rates
Your roofs condition and age are two factors that are assessed by virtually all insurance companies. Newer roofs in better condition are less of a risk and provide the best savings for homeowners. Older roofs can lead to higher premiums and if your roof becomes too old, you may be required to replace it or face losing your coverage altogether.
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How Long Do Roofs Last On Average
The average lifespan of a roof is 20-25 years. However, this varies depending on the type of roof and the materials used. For example, a metal roof can last up to 50 years, whereas a shingle roof may only last 15-20 years. The quality of the material and the level of professionalism that was used during the time of installation are also contributing factors.
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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Your Roof Is 20 Years Old So Heres What You Need To Know
When considering investments, your roof is one of the largest and most important investments you will make. Your roof will age, as everything does, so there are some things that you need to keep in mind when you have an old roof.
Homeowners InsuranceHomeowners insurance is one of the greatest factors you need to be mindful of, as your insurance provider may not allow you to renew your policy due to the age of your roof. In some instances, homeowners insurance providers may force you to replace your roof as an older roof can be a hazard or liability for the insurance provider, especially with the inclement weather in south Florida.
Something else to keep in mind is that you will be unable to file an insurance claim for an older roof as these claims typically only cover incidental damages and not normal wear and tear. In most cases, a 20 year old roof is assumed to have reached the end of its lifespan.
Roof MaintenanceWhile it is suggested that you keep your roof clean, if your roof is older than 15 years, you should not pressure clean the roof as it may cause additional strain which could lead to new leaks. At this point of your roofs life, it is also possible that the tiles or shingles are already compromised and the water pressure may lead to damages..