There is nothing more frustrating than stepping outside after a storm to find shingles on the ground or buckling around roof penetrations. The good news is that most homeowners’ insurance policies will offer coverage for roofing damage under certain conditions. However, you must show that the damage was caused by unforeseen events, such as fire, vandalism, or “acts of God.” Learn what steps to take to determine if your insurance policy will cover roof damage and learn why you should promptly speak with reputable roof repair contractors.
Speak With Your Insurance Provider
If you have discovered damage to your roof, you may be relying on your insurance company to cover the repairs. Unfortunately, if your roof damage does not meet the strict qualifications set by the insurance company, it may not be covered and you may be responsible for the partial or full repair cost. One of the first things you want to do after spotting damage is to speak with your insurance provider. Find out exactly what type of roof damage your insurance policy covers and how much your deductible is.
Know What Your Insurance Covers
While homeowners’ policies can differ, most contain similar amounts of coverage for roof damage. Hail and wind are some of the most common causes of roof damage and are perils typically covered by most home insurance policies. Individuals who live in parts of the country that experience these hazards more regularly may have an increased policy cost due to the higher risk of damage. The extent of the damage will be considered when determining whether or not your roof is covered. If the damage is minimal and does not affect the function of the roof, it may be considered “cosmetic.”
Roof leaks are another common occurrence and one that most home insurance providers will cover. However, the leak must have been caused by a peril that is covered in your policy. The damage must also have had occurred suddenly and should not have accumulated over many years. Your roof may not be covered in certain situations, such as if the damage came as a complete surprise. This often indicates that the homeowner was somewhat neglectful of roof maintenance and did not the red flags early on. Gradual damage caused by neglect may only be covered partially or not at all.
The age of your roof makes a big difference in whether your insurance provider approves your request. If your roof has surpassed its expected lifespan, than any damage that occurs is then considered normal wear and tear and will likely be denied for coverage. In fact, many insurance companies will refuse to renew an existing policy if the age of your roof has surpassed 20 years, especially if it does not pass inspection. Those insurance providers that do will likely only cover your roof under an actual cash value (ACV) policy, which means that if your roof gets damaged the company will only pay out the value of the roof after 20-plus years of depreciation.
Understand Limitations to Roof Coverage
While your insurance policy will cover a number of perils, there are some things that the average homeowners’ insurance policy will not cover. In addition to normal wear and tear, most policies will not cover earthquakes, floods, and mudslides unless the policy includes additional coverage or special endorsements. Hurricane damage is also not commonly covered without a separate and higher deductible. Damage to your roof caused by ice dams may be covered by your insurance policy. However, any damage caused to personal property inside your home will not be covered.
Pests like birds and squirrels can cause extensive damage to your home. Although these pests are small, they can leave behind hundreds to thousands of dollars in damage in a relatively short amount of time. Homeowners’ insurance will generally cover the damage caused by a family of squirrels that caused leaks and other issues. However, dwelling coverage will generally not cover the cost to replace damaged personal property on the inside of your home. Your insurance provider may also deny your claim if the damage occurred over a number of months or years.
Filing a Roof Damage Insurance Claim
As previously mentioned, you should always contact your insurance provider after discovering roof damage. The insurance company will likely send someone over to determine the extent of the damage and provide you with an estimate for your roof damage insurance claim. Before calling your insurance company, gather up as many relevant documents as you can, including your current home insurance policy and any receipts for work completed on your roof. Having before and after photos to show the insurance company can also be very helpful and streamline the claims process.
While the insurance company will send out an adjuster to inspect the damage, it is often a good idea to have your own professional evaluate the condition of the roof. By hiring professional roof repair contractors, you can get a more detailed assessment on the extent of the damage and the roof’s current condition. With a thorough evaluation from a respectable roof repair company, you can help ensure that you receive the right amount of money for your roof damage. The roof repair contractors can also help you get your roof repaired or replaced quickly before the damage gets worse.
Schedule a Free Roof Repair Evaluation
Part of being a responsible homeowner is keeping up with essential home maintenance, such as important roof repairs. Unfortunately, there may come a time when damage occurs through no fault of your own. This is when your insurance company should step in to help cover the cost of the damage. If you have found signs of damage, it is vital that you act fast and never ignore it. The longer that you let the damage go, the more damage that will occur. Schedule a free roof repair evaluation today with a professional roof repair contractor to determine if your roof damage may be covered by insurance.