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.
Should You File A Claim For A Roof Leak
Whether you should file a homeowners insurance claim for a roof leak depends on the significance of the leak, the size of your deductible and whether you’ve filed any other claims in the past few years.
Additionally, filing a claim may incur a premium increase when you renew your policy, as insurers will view your home as riskier to cover. So, unless your repair costs are significantly higher than your deductible, it might cost less over the long term to pay for it yourself.
Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the authors opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.
Make An Appointment With An Insurance Adjuster
Your insurance company will schedule an appointment for an adjuster to come out to your home and assess the roof damage. The adjuster will go on the roof, assess the damage, determine what is and is not covered for your roof claim and give you an estimate to provide to the roofing contractor. Ask the adjuster to share any documentation with you.
When Should I File A Claim For My Roof Repairs Or Replacement
As soon as you suspect or identify a problem with your roof! Leaking or otherwise damaged roofing can cause a wide range of problems, some of which may not be covered under insurance if you wait too long.
Even if you dont immediately see a problem as a result of damages on your roof, its always a good idea to get an inspection. Contractors have tools that can examine the full extent of the damage, and see things you may have missed.
Do You Want To Exclude Wind And Hail
Usually homeowners want good and broad coverage for their homes. But wind and hail is a different ballgame in many states. Insurers pass along the costs of past wind and hail claims to current homeowners. You may be able to choose to exclude wind and hail from coverage in the interest of saving money.
For example, in Florida, State Farm offers these choices:
- Keep the wind and hail coverage offered in the homeowners policy.
- Exclude wind and hail damage from coverage in order to save money.
- Take a separate, higher deductible for wind and hail damage from hurricanes in order to save money.
How To Ensure Your Insurance Company Pays Out Your Claim
If you have a wind or storm damaged roof, youll likely be anxious to get it repaired or replaced and want to ensure a payout and subsequent repairs as soon as possible.
Therefore, the first person you call up should be your public adjuster.
You should also be aware that your insurance company can withhold depreciation or part of your payout in order to ensure that you actually do the work on your roof with the money, since people sometimes spend their payout on something else, especially if their propertys roof isnt a total loss.
Note that if the roofing contractors you contract give you estimates that are significantly greater than your potential insurance payout or vice versa, they likely missed something in the scope of work and youll need to work with your public adjuster to have the estimates revised to be more accurate for your needs.
But what if your insurance company denies your claim? You can appeal with the help of your best advocate your public adjuster.
Problems With Home Insurance Roof Claims
Disputes can arise when an insurer decides that an insured event has caused the damage, but that your roof would have survived the event if it had been in better condition.
For example, high winds cause tiles to blow away, but that happened because the roof hadnt had regular maintenance to check them.
So if your house has suffered weather damage you should contact your insurers as soon as you can and its a good idea to keep proof of any repairs or maintenance work youve had done, to show youve been keeping your roof in good condition.
If youre unhappy with your insurers decision to make a claim, you should complain to your insurer. If youre still unhappy with its response after eight weeks you can ask the Financial Ombudsman to look at the facts and make a decision over whether your claim should have been paid or refused.
Does Home Insurance Cover Roof Leaks
This really depends on your insurance policy and what caused the leak.
Most home insurance providers will cover the cost of repairs if roof leaks are due to a sudden, unexpected event, like storm damage or a falling tree.
But you wont be covered for roof leaks that are due to wear and tear. Or leaks that result from a lack of maintenance its your responsibility as the homeowner to keep your roof in a good state of repair.
- Your home insurance should cover roof claims that are for something unexpected
- You wont be covered for wear or tear or problems caused by lack of maintenance
- Keep receipts of any work thats been done to your roof so you can prove it was well maintained
Document Everything And Do It All The Time
Document early and document often. When you acquire a new property or make significant renovations , take detailed photos and videos of its condition and store them in multiple safe places .
This will make any insurance claims process go faster and your public adjuster will thank you and just in case youre required to attend an examination under oath, your public adjuster and you will be well prepared.
Its a great practice to regularly take pictures of your roof and the rest of your property. This is particularly important after any type of maintenance is completed; of course, this in addition to when you first bought it and after any major disaster like a hurricane or a wind damage, especially one that involves heavy winds, which can cause significant long-term weaknesses that may not be immediately obvious.
Be sure that your images and videos are clearly stamped with the date and time there are apps for that of course on iPhone, Android, and Windows phones and take multiple pictures from as many angles make sense for your home or building.
Video walkthroughs can help you capture everything as well. The more details you have, the more valid your arguments will be when its time to make a roof-related damage claim with your insurance company.
How Does Roof Insurance Work
Roofs can be considered the frontline of defense when it comes to keeping your home and its contents safe. This is because they are built to withstand the elements, including sun, wind, freezing temperatures, hail, rain and more. However, a roof no matter how well it is built weakens over time, making it more vulnerable to damage.
Repairing or replacing a roof can be costly. Insurance carriers will pay for the damage if it occurs due to a covered peril. To reduce the risk of taking on a significant damage claim, however, insurance companies may be hesitant to fully cover an older roof and may even require an inspection to confirm it is capable of withstanding the elements.
An insurance company could decline coverage if the roof is older or lacks maintenance. Instead, the carrier may decide to provide actual cash value insurance, which only pays for a portion of a claim based on the roofs age and condition. The Texas Department of Insurance explains how actual cash value for a roof that will cost $10,000 to replace works:
Why Are Acv Policies A Problem For Homeowners
Most homeowners dont realize this endorsement exists and are surprised when they find out they have it.
Real life example. We inspected a leaking 3-tab composition roof in Boyd, TX and it had signs of wind and hail damage. The insurance company verified the damages and agreed to pay for the roof. The 3-tab roof has a lifespan of 20 years and was 16 years old. Instead of paying full replacement cost, the insurance company depreciated the roof 75%. If the homeowner had filed the claim the previous year, then they would have received full coverage for their roof. Instead, they were given the Actual Cash Value and lost 75% of the coverage.
This is what the endorsement looks like in an insurance policy.
Real life example. A homeowner in Plano, TX had a metal roof. It was damaged during a hail storm and the insurance company agreed to pay for the damages. According to Xactimate, the estimating program, his metal roof had a lifespan of 35 years and was 15 years old at the date of damage. The insurance company kept 40% of the money because of the age of the roof. The homeowner was shocked!
In most cases, the homeowners have to pay out of pocket for the lost costs. One option is to finance the roof replacement with affordable monthly payment plans.
When Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Roof Damage
The typical homeowners insurance policy includes “dwelling coverage.” Dwelling coverage helps protect the homeowner from loss when the home’s structure is damaged, and that includes the roof. Major disasters — like damage due to a fire or tornado — are covered. So if a bad storm moves through the neighborhood and knocks a tree on the homeowner’s roof, that would be covered. If the storm strips the roof of its shingles, that would be covered too.
There are two important things to remember:
Does Insurance Cover Roof Replacement
In 2013, there were more than 5,400 major hail storms, according to the National Climatic Data Center. Thats more than five thousand opportunities for hail to cause roof damage. High winds, hail storms, heavy snow and other naturally caused roof damage are an unfortunate risk of homeownership. Luckily, however, insurance will cover roof replacement in many these cases.
Does insurance cover roof replacement is one of the most common questions our team is asked. Needing a roof replacement can be a stressful process, but knowing that insurance will cover the cost can add some serious comfort to the project.
Each homeowners insurance policy is different. However, working with insurance companies for more than 20 years has taught us a few things about how the whole process typically works.
How Can I Protect My Roof From Damage
Preventing roof damage starts with regularly checking the condition of your roof. This is as simple as just taking a look when you leave in the morning for work are there any trees leaning a little too close to the house or do your gutters need cleaning out? If you notice anything out of the ordinary, its best to get it taken care of immediately to prevent damage from occurring to the inside of your home.
Missing or damaged shingles after a storm, icicles forming on the edges of your gutters or a downed branch sitting on your roof can all be signs of impending disaster. So in what ways can you protect your roof?
For those in colder climates or with homes surrounded by leafy trees, a roof rake is a great investment to help you sweep snow and debris off your roof without leaving the ground. And if there are trees growing close to your home on your property, be sure to keep them trimmed either by pruning them yourself or hiring a professional. Make sure flashing is snugly in place and flush to the shingles if its not, get a professional roofer out ASAP to seal it up before weather or rodents do damage to your interior.
Does The Age Of My Roof Impact If Insurance Will Cover It
The age of your roof is not typically a deciding factor on if your roof damage will be covered. However, it is increasingly an aspect used to determine how much an insurance policy will reimburse you and what repairs will be covered. And, it can impact if the insurance company will cover a full roof replacement or only repairs.
For some policies, roofs older than 10 years will received the depreciated value of the roofing as a reimbursement rather than the full cost of a new roof. Additionally, some insurance companies are requiring roof inspects upon policy renewal if a roof is older than 20 years. And, insurance experts anticipate this trend continuingwith additional stipulations being added to policies upon renewal, depending on the roofs age.
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.Â
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.
What Information To Collect Before Making Roof Insurance Claims
Youll want to ask for their pictures of the damaged areas along with a written explanation of what needs to be fixed and the estimated costs associated with the repairs.
In the case that you have some damage but not enough to make an insurance claim worthwhile, your contractor can likely work out a repair plan with you .
More extensive damage or even a total loss will require you and your public adjuster to work with your insurance company, which includes taking steps like providing proof of the damage , measurements of the roof and damaged areas, the event that caused the damage, and the dates and times associated with those events.
Want To Learn The Homeowners Insurance Claim Process
Now you know your homeowners insurance will cover your storm damaged roof and 3 things you need to know about replacing your roof with insurance. Remember, an improperly installed roof wont be covered.
You also need to hire a roofing contractor that has experience doing insurance work when you get your roof replacement. And dont forget to show them your paperwork.
After reading this, you know your homeowners insurance covers your roof, but what about the actual claim process? It can be overwhelming if youve never been through it before.
Luckily, weve thought about this. To prevent you from being overwhelmed, we broke down the process and everything you need to know.
The team at Bill Ragan Roofing has been working with homeowners like you deal with insurance claims since 1990. We effectively deal with insurance companies to ensure our customers have a positive experience, even during a stressful time in their life. We work for you, not the insurance company.
Roof Warranty And Life Expectancy
Its also important to understand a roofs warranty versus its life expectancy. Say your roofing warranty says that your roof is a 30-year roof. What exactly does that mean?
Warranties typically warrant the product for manufacturing defects for a specific amount of time. The warranty doesnt state that the manufacturer guarantees the product will last for that specified time period. The exact coverage period will vary depending on the manufacturer. For example, most architectural shingles carry a 30-year, 50-year or lifetime limited warranty against manufacturing defects, while most 3-tab shingles carry a 20-, 25- or 30-year limited warranty against manufacturing defects.
Certain roofing materials can also extend your roofs lifespan. Using impact resistant roofing can help prevent damage from hail and falling objects more readily than other types of roofing and you can even reduce your premium on your homeowners insurance from American Family Insurance if you install it.
Each warranty has its own specific terms and conditions, so its important to read each warranty carefully.
What Happens When You Claim
You usually have between 30 to 60 days to claim from your insurer, if you dont, then they can deny you the claim and you could be stuck in a considerable amount of debt. Once your claim has been accepted, they will usually send out someone to assess the situation and ask you a lot of questions to make sure you are not committing fraud. You can request the opinion of an independent roof expert before you submit the claim, then show it to the insurance company. Hopefully, this will help stop the insurance company from giving you the runaround.
When submitting your claim make sure to include as many before and after photos as you can, this will allow the insurance company to assess your claim quicker and shows you have proof that the damage was caused when you said it was. Once your claim has been passed, its time to find a trustworthy roof contractor to repair your damaged roof.
Always Keep A Copy Of Your Roof Insurance Policy On Hand
It should practically go without saying that you should always have a current copy of all your insurance policies on hand, as well as contact information for your public adjuster and an experienced contractor .
This will help you determine not only what is covered, but the statute of limitations in place as far as the timeline for reporting damage and what types of leaks or damage are or are not covered.
Most insurance policies will lay out exactly what is covered and what is not, but of course you can ask your public adjuster if you have any questions about what exactly is included in your roofing insurance policy.
For instance, if you have an older roof , your insurance company may only pay out a percentage or portion of your roof repair or replacement cost, since the overall value of your roof would have depreciated over the years.
Note that when you submit your roof insurance claim, the insurance company will send out their own adjuster to inspect the damage to your roof and decide the amount that the insurance company will provide for your roof repairs.
This is another reason why its essential to talk to your public adjuster before the insurance company, so you can be prepared from their inspection and the eventual results.
The Importance Of Your Roof To Home Insurers
Your roof is the key shield for the rest of the structure of your house. It’s the primary defense against damage from the elements. A roof leak can cause water damage to the bones of your house, which in turn can lead to mold.
These types of damage can build up to a huge roof replacement claim that your home insurance company would rather not pay out for. According to our research, the average cost of a roof replacement can be upwards of $15,000, making it one of the most expensive parts of your home. To avoid potentially paying out such a high claim, your home insurer looks at many of your roof’s features. These include the roofing materials used, the age of your roof and its current condition when you file a claim for it.
Roof Insurance: What You Need To Know
Homeowners insurance may pay to replace your roof, but only if it is damaged by a covered hazard, like fire or bad weather. If a tornado rips your roof off, for instance, you can file a claim with your homeowners insurance, pay your deductible, and then your insurer will kick in the remaining costs to replace your roof.Â
Below are some examples of covered perils that commonly damage or destroy roofs.Â
Weight of rain, ice, or snow
Fire and smoke
There are some exceptions and limitations to roof coverage, depending on the severity of the damage. For example, if a few shingles on your roof had slight nicks in them after a hail storm, your home insurance company may classify it as âcosmeticâ damage â a common dwelling coverage exclusion.Â
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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 1-800-MYAMFAM 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.
Did You Get Hit By A Recent Storm
Well work with you and your insurance company to help make your roof replacement project as smooth and painless as possible. Call the roofers you can trust to bring you peace of mind.
Visit us online or call us at 1-855-494-7406 to get a price estimate, schedule a free in-home consultation and find answers to your roofing questions.