Is roof damage covered by insurance? The age-old insurance answer depends on your coverage. In many cases, roof damage can be covered by insurance. What you need covered and what coverage you have will determine the answer. If you are worried that you may experience roof damage due to no fault of your own, you may want to consider changing your insurance coverage. Use this guide to determine where your insurance coverage stands, and whether it is time to talk to your broker.
How Expensive Are Roof Repairs?
Roof repairs can cost over $10,000 depending on what you need and what roofing service you use. A local roofing company may be able to perform simple roof repairs, for sloped roofs and flat roofing as well for five thousand dollars or more. It will all depend on the kind of roof that you have, the materials that you use, and what kind of repairs that you need.
In many cases, you can have your roof repairs handled easily with some shingle replacements. In worst-case scenarios, the entire roof needs to be replaced or a new roof installation must occur. In all situations, the cause of the roof damage is going to determine your level of insurance coverage, if you have any at all.
Most roofs are said to last for over a decade, and in some cases, several decades. That’s the goal when you are pouring thousands of dollars into your roof. But a single act of nature can bring all of those hopes to the ground. You can learn about the different kinds of home coverage once you ask, “Is roof damage covered by insurance?” Damage can be covered by something that isn’t called roof coverage.
Consider the Elements
The elements are a deciding factor when it comes to the answer to your question, “Is roof damage covered by insurance?” The general rule of thumb with roofs and homeowner’s insurance is that an act of God must have caused the damage. If you are hoping to use insurance to cover some shingles that have gotten a little old or a metal roof that has a sudden ping or warp to it, you will be out of luck.
If sudden weather has damaged your roof, or a tree has fallen on it during a weather crisis, your roof damage will likely be covered. In most cases, the damage must have been caused by something like this. Insurance riders have clear explanations of types of winds, types of storms, and types of damage. Your insurance adjuster will know what they are looking for when they come to assess the damage to your property.
That’s good news for homeowners. While it may feel that you are the only one going through this crisis, you are not alone. Your insurance company wants you to be covered for fallen trees or limbs, damage to the shingles, and any roof structural issues caused by storms or severe inclement weather. In the end, you won’t determine the answer to your question, “Is roof damage covered by insurance?” Your insurance company will determine what kind of damage it is, and whether a repair or replacement is covered or necessary.
The age of your roof will play a role here as well. A roof that has survived over 20 years may not have the same kind of coverage that a brand-new roof will have. Still, it will depend entirely on how much coverage that you have.
What Happens After Roof Damage Occurs?
After roof damage occurs, the first thing you need to do is call your insurance company. You can call for roofing estimates if you wish, but in most cases, your insurance company will be calling the shots. Call your insurance company, and they will let you know what they want you to do from there.
Then, you will either begin to call for quotes for the roof damage or an insurance adjuster will come to take a look. This adjuster will be experienced and knowledgeable on roof damage issues, the kinds of roof damage, and what is required for the repair. They will perform an inspection and this is the key to your entire claim.
After this, the insurance company will let you know if your claim has been approved. You may find out that day, but it is unlikely that an adjuster will give you that answer right away. They may tell you that day that there are no signs of damage. Or, they may have lengthy discussions with you about the kind of damage and what caused it.
If your claim is not approved, some insurance companies will allow you to request a second adjuster. Again, this is someone that the insurance company will select for you. This person will come to your house and inspect the damage and may find things the first adjuster overlooked or missed. You may still get your claim approved.
In the worst-case scenario when you know you have roof damage caused by weather, you may still have options. Some homeowners will have an engineer come to look at their homes after an adjuster has denied their claim. The advantage of this expense for an estimate is that an engineer will be able to provide proof of the damage and their opinions. If you are certain that your premiums on your homeowner’s insurance should qualify you for roof repairs, you still have options.
Know What Needs Replacement
When you are asking, is my roof damage covered by insurance, part of the answer relies on what kind of damage you have. In the case of inclement weather, you may have more damage to your home besides just the roof. You may also have garage door repair, or even need a full site excavation if damage to your entire property occurred. Your roof may be only one of your worries.
If your roof damage is caused by inclement weather or an accident, it is likely that your roof will not be the only thing that needs repair or replacement. Where once you had the best home design, now you have a disaster that needs insurance coverage.
You don’t always need to have complete devastation for roof coverage or coverage to other areas of your home. Even wind can create a serious problem that requires a call to the insurance company. Water damage may play a large role in what kind of coverage you have.
Understand Water Damage
Before you ask, “Is roof damage covered by insurance?”, understand what kind of damage you are dealing with. Water damage may be an entirely different matter when it comes to dealing with your insurance company. For many homeowner’s policies, water damage is an entirely different kind of coverage.
You can still get insurance coverage for water damage, but it may be a different kind of coverage than coverage for a wind or weather event. If you need emergency plumbing repair for any part of your home or have estimates from an emergency water damage company, you will want to have water damage coverage on your homeowner’s insurance policy. A simple roof leak may not be covered.
“Is roof damage covered by insurance?” Maybe, it depends on what the leak is about. The cause of the leak could determine what kind of coverage you will get and if your claim will be approved. If nature created the leak, then your claim will likely be approved.
Still, it is never too early to begin talking to your insurance company about additional water damage coverage for your homeowner’s policy. Water is not your friend in a crisis if you are a homeowner. And, water damage isn’t the same from one problem to the next. Heavy rain leaks and plumbing pipes bursting because they are too old are two very different kinds of coverages.
Some sources say that water damage accounts for as much as 50 percent of all homeowner claims. Before you ask your insurance company “Is roof damage covered by insurance?”, know what kind of water damage you are dealing with. At the same time, know that water damage claims are common. Your insurance company will know exactly how to take care of you here. Get the coverage now if you don’t already have it as there are many affordable insurance brokers that offer it.
Water damage insurance will often give you a yes to the question “Is roof damage covered by insurance?” Water damage offers a little more leeway than homeowner’s insurance and will only cover accidental acts to your roof. With water damage, you may have additional accidental damage coverage that can cover things like leaks, overflows, or severe weather damage. You may even be able to get coverage for future mold remediation if that damage is covered and a problem arises months down the road.
Maintain Your Roof Before and After Damage Hits
Before you reach a crisis that has you asking, “Is roof damage covered by insurance?”, invest the time in some basic home maintenance tips. Roof maintenance can save you a lot of money on home insurance and on roof replacement or repairs. A little bit of research will go a long way when it comes to replacement as well.
As a homeowner, get into the habit of seasonal roof maintenance. You want to inspect the roof every fall and spring. De-clutter your roof and your eaves from anything that doesn’t belong there, like leaves or branches. Clean the eaves twice a year, or have someone come and clean them for you. If you see any branches at all overhanging onto the roof, remove them as soon as you can.
Inspect your roof or have it inspected for pest damage before you call an insurance company with a claim. Pest damage can have your claim denied almost instantly, as insurance companies do like to find other agents responsible for giving cause to deny a claim. If you can resolve a pest issue on your roof, you may be able to avoid a leaky roof caused by high winds and rain, this is how your insurance company would think.
Maintain any loose or falling shingles twice annually as well, to ensure that your roof always looks good and is structurally sound. Whenever you are in doubt, contact a roofing expert or contractor to inspect your roof twice a year and tell you what insurance companies will need to hear. An experienced professional can give you the best idea of what to do when it comes to roofing maintenance.
Invest in Good Materials
If you are hoping to avoid an insurance claim in the future, invest in good materials for your roof. Your insurance company will love it, and you’ll save money in the long run. While asphalt shingles are the most common kind of roof to have, they will only last up to 20 years. They will however be the easiest to repair.
Metal roofs will last the longest, and have a durability of up to 50 years. If you are replacing a roof, this is an investment that will pay for itself in time. Where you have heavy snow, you reduce your risk of serious structural damage. A clay or concrete roof will come in second place here, lasting up to 30 years.
If you are wondering, “Is roof damage covered by insurance?”, because you haven’t made a decision about your new policy, roofing material will matter. The more durable your roof, the less likely you will need an insurance claim down the road. The more durable your roof, the lower your overall insurance is likely to be.
When you are worried about roof damage, either before a crisis or after, there are many things to consider. Water damage coverage is an important thing to prepare for if you haven’t experienced a roof crisis yet. Roofing materials will also help you down the road if you are just selecting your new roof today. Talk to an affordable insurance broker about the best option for your needs.