Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Roof Replacement?
A home insurance policy covers damages to your roof depending on the procedure and the damage. Whether or not your insurance company will pay for repairs depends on several factors. Insurance companies will make exceptions for natural disasters like hurricanes or tornadoes in most cases.
How Does Roof Insurance Coverage Work?
Roofs are the first line of defense for protecting your home. Their design is to endure the influence of the outside elements. While not all roofs are the same, most are made of wood with a roofing material on top, like asphalt shingles or metal. Because of this, many policies will cover the roof’s repair and replacement.
The insurance carrier will pay for any damage caused by a covered hazard. However, each insurance carrier has a different definition of covered hazards and what’s considered normal wear-and-tear. In most cases, insurance covers roof damage but might exclude some hazards from your claim.
Most home insurance policies may decline roof coverage if your roof is older. Some insurance companies may also refuse your claim if your roof does not have proper maintenance or if the damage occurs before an insurance claim. But in some cases, you may have to pay a higher premium yearly.
Types of Damages Covered by Insurance Companies
Some of the most common perils covered under your homeowner’s insurance include the following:
- Fire and smoke damage
- Lightning strikes
- Earth movement
- Damage caused by motor vehicles or aircraft
Causes of Insurance Claim Denial
Regardless of your policy, insurance companies won’t cover certain damages. Insurance carriers will deny your claim if it does not fall in line with the terms and conditions of your policy or if acts of nature did not cause the damages.
1. Typical Wear-and-tear
Insurance carriers usually allow for some damage due to wear and tear. However, if the damage is more than normal, it will likely be denied. If your roof has a lot of water damage or algae growth that isn’t being cared for, they will reject your claim. Home insurance will also deny your claim if your roof is older than 20 years because of its exposure to natural elements.
2. Your Roofing Material Isn’t Covered
Some homeowners’ insurance policies cover different roofing systems and will likely deny your claim if your material is considered substandard and high-risk. It is essential to make sure that you check with your carrier to ensure they will cover a replacement of the type of materials used to construct your roof.
3. Partial Damage
A policy might also deny your claim if only part of the roof was damaged. For instance, if a shingle breaks and only damages the middle section, the company may not cover the damage.
4. Homeowner Is at Fault
Most insurance policies won’t cover roof damage if the inspector believes the homeowner is at fault. Most policies don’t cover damages caused by a homeowner or their careless actions and negligence. For example, if they failed to maintain their roof correctly and created a moisture problem, their insurance carrier may not cover the damage.
5. Claims Filed Too Late
In most cases, insurance companies won’t cover damage if you waited too long to file a claim. Most homeowner’s policies have an expiration date of 24 hours when you can file a claim after discovering damages. Waiting too long after finding the damages to file a claim could make your claim ineligible.
How to File an Insurance Claim for a Damaged Roof
When filing a claim, be sure to follow these steps:
1. Assess Your Roof Damage
Always check the damage to your roof before contacting an insurance company. It’s important to note that although your policy covers the replacement of a roof, it might not cover all of the work needed for repairs. Typically, a contractor will need to look at your home, estimate the damage, and provide a price quote.
2. Find Out What Your Insurance Covers
Some insurance carriers may offer replacement coverage for your roof, but the terms of your policy will dictate what else you can get. It might include a down payment on a new top or some help with expenses related to temporary housing while your home gets rebuilt.
3. Document Your Roof Damage
If your roof has suffered damage, do not attempt to file a claim without first documenting the extent of the damage. Take pictures and videos of your roof, and note the type of damage before it’s repaired. It’s also essential to document the timeline of events before and after you discover the damage. It will allow you to verify the necessary costs of repairs and easily prove you have a legitimate claim that needs to be covered by an insurance company.
4. Contact Your Insurance Carrier
Once you’ve documented your roof damage, it’s time to contact your insurance carrier and file a claim. However, some conditions may apply to filing for coverage. For example, you might need to have a roofing contractor complete an inspection and make repair estimates before filing your claim.
5. File a Claim
Once you’ve gathered all of the appropriate documentation, get in touch with your insurance company and file your claim. The insurance company will then contact your roofing contractor and go over the damage to the roof.
6. Meet With an Insurance Adjuster
Once your insurance company has received all of the necessary reports from your contractor, it will have a professional adjuster review the damage and compile a report. The adjuster will also discuss your claim with representatives from a contractor and agree on what you should do to fix your roof.
7. Replace Your Roof
Once the adjuster has determined that you can repair your roof, a contractor will estimate the repair cost and provide you with a quote. If the settlement quote is sufficient to fix the damage properly, you can proceed to hire a local roofing company of choice.
How to Prevent Roof Problems
Roof problems can be frustrating and challenging to fix. However, there are some ways to help prevent roof damage at home and avoid costly repairs in the future.
1. Schedule Yearly Maintenance
A lot of homeowners put off maintenance until it’s too late. A yearly inspection of your roof should be part of your home maintenance schedule. This simple action can be the difference between a minor repair and a complete replacement.
2. Clean Your Gutters
Frequent gutter cleanings can help prevent water damage to your roof. Most gutters have aluminum which is an excellent conductor of heat. Water will pool in your gutters during the summer months which can cause mold and mildew to build upon your roof.
3. Trim Your Trees
Overgrown trees can also cause significant damage to a roof. Trim and prune any trees regularly if you have any trees close to your roof. It will reduce the risk of branches falling onto your structure and causing damage.
4. Consider Drip Edge
If you live in a cold climate, drip edge might be something worth adding to your roofing system. Drip edge provides an extra line of defense against snow and ice build-up during the winter months.
Roof replacement is a significant investment that you shouldn’t take lightly. If you need help with the process, you can rely on the services of Landmark Roofing. We are a local roofing contractor who specializes in all types of roofing repairs and replacements. We also offer other roofing solutions including roof coatings, roof inspection services, and complete roof restoration.
We serve residential and industrial customers in the Greater Hickory and Charlotte areas. We offer affordable prices, quality artistry, and complete customer satisfaction. Contact Landmark Roofing today and our team of professionals will answer any questions you may have.