Discovering that your roof requires repair can be a stressful situation for homeowners. Unless you have the money available to make the repair, you may find yourself letting the issue progress. Soon enough, there is visible water damage that costs even more money to fix. When roof damage is extensive, many homeowners rely on their homeowners’ insurance to cover the costs. Homeowners’ insurance may cover the cost of roof repair if the damage is caused by a covered peril. Learn more about insurance and roof repair claims and why you should hire professional roof repair contractors.
Wind and Hail Damage
Some of the most common causes of roof damage are weather-related. Harsh wind and hail, in particular, can cause extensive damage during a storm. Most of the time, these perils are covered by a standard homeowners’ insurance policy. However, in some areas of the country where these hazards are more frequent, coverage may be limited. The age of the roof and the extent of the damage will be considered when approving or denying a claim. For example, if a wind storm caused just a few shingles to come loose, the claim will likely be denied.
Before making a claim for wind or hail damage, take note of your deductible. If the damage is minimal, you may find that your deductible is more than the total damage cost. In this case, it may not be worth it to file a claim. Also consider how your deductible is charged. Many times, wind and hail deductibles must be made in flat dollar amounts. However, in some situations these deductibles are offered as a percentage of the insurance policy’s total property coverage. For example, if you have $100,000 in property coverage and the deductible is 1 percent, you would be responsible for $1,000 in out-of-pocket costs.
Roof leaks may start off small and insignificant. However, over time these leaks can become larger leaving substantial water damage in its path. Your homeowners’ insurance policy may cover the cost to repair the leak under certain circumstances. First, the leak will likely be covered by your insurer if the roof leak was caused by a peril that is covered in your policy, such as theft, vandalism, fire, explosion, or “acts of God.” The damage may also be covered if it was sudden, swift, and did not accumulate over many years.
However, there are some exceptions which could result in a claim denial. In some cases, a roof leak may come as a complete surprise to a homeowner but is not related to an underlying peril. In these cases, the damage is caused by neglect by the homeowner. For example, say you live in an area that gets heavy snow each year and your roof has suffered extensive wear and tear. Instead of maintaining the health of your roof, you neglect it and a large storm comes through resulting in a leak. Although the final cause of the leak is the storm, the years of neglect that preceded it was likely the real culprit.
Age of the Roof
The age of your roof will play a pivotal role in your insurance company’s decision to approve or deny your claim. After submitting a roof repair claim application, your insurance company will send out an insurance adjuster to your home to determine the extent of the damage. In addition to checking the damage and the overall quality of the roof, the adjuster will also determine how old the roof is or will ask for this information.
Many insurers will deny a roof repair claim on a roof that has surpassed its life expectancy. For most homes, this is between 15 and 20 years. You may also find that insurance companies will refuse to renew your existing insurance policy if the age of your roof has surpassed 20 years. The exception to this is a well-cared for roof that has passed inspection. Some insurance companies will agree to write a policy for your home but will specify that only the actual cash value of the roof is covered. That means that if your roof is damaged, the insurer will only pay the value of your roof after years of depreciation. Therefore, it is important to understand what is covered by homeowners insurance.
Damage Not Covered
There are some types of roof damage that your insurance company will usually not pay for, including damage caused from normal wear and tear. As your roof nears or surpasses its life expectancy, you can expect problems to arise. From loose shingles to leaks and water damage, this type of damage is common when a roof is ready to be replaced. As the insurance company expects you to maintain your roof and perform the occasional roof replacement when needed, this type of damage is usually not covered.
Your homeowners’ policy may not cover certain types of perils also. Most policies do not cover earthquakes, mudslides, or floods with the exception of policies that contain additional coverage or special endorsements. Damage caused by pests like squirrels or birds may or may not be covered. Homeowners’ insurance may cover the cost to repair holes made by pests if you have the right type of coverage. Dwelling coverage typically protects the roof from pests that cause damage. However, damage to the home’s interior and any personal belongings are not usually covered by dwelling insurance.
Contact Roof Repair Contractors
If you are dealing with a leak in your attic, broken shingles, water damage, or similar roofing problems, you may be wondering if your homeowners’ insurance will cover the cost of repair. The short answer is yes, but only if the damage is not caused by normal wear and tear. Proper home maintenance and routine inspections performed by an experienced professional can go a long way towards keeping your roof in good condition. It can also help you spot damage and leaks before they become more costly to repair. For more information about roof repair insurance claims, contact the expert roof repair contractors at Beyond Exteriors.