When roof damage occurs, many homeowners turn to their insurance company to help cover the repair costs. Unfortunately, not all types of roofing damage are covered by insurance. The easiest way to know what is covered and what is not is by contacting your insurance provider directly. The level of coverage you have will depend on a number of factors, such as the age of your roof and the area where you live. Carefully read through your insurance policy to determine if your roof damage may be covered.
Roof Damage Covered By Insurance
Most homeowners’ insurance policies will cover roof damages to a certain extent if the type of damage meets certain eligibility requirements. Dwelling coverage is a common component of homeowners insurance that generally protects the home’s structure, including the roof. If the home’s structure is damaged by a covered hazard, dwelling coverage may help to pay for the repair or rebuilding of the physical structure. While policies can range from company to company, most types of dwelling insurance covers damage from fire, smoke, lightning strikes, theft, falling objects, aircrafts, explosions, vandalism, motor vehicles, as well as weather-related damage.
Roof leaks are a common occurrence that can develop over time due to normal wear and tear, or more swiftly during a storm or accident. Oftentimes, your insurance company will cover the cost to repair a roof leak if the damage was caused by a covered peril. A peril is a type of risk that may damage your home and can generally be found listed in your policy. While covered perils are often a broad category, some of the most common perils generally covered by insurance include windstorms, hail, fire, lightning, fallen objects, water damage, weight of snow or ice, theft, and explosions.
The age of your roof plays a major role when determining whether or not your roof will be covered by insurance. Most home insurance policies will cover roof damage caused by vandalism, fire, and “acts of God,” such as tornadoes and hurricanes. However, they may not pay for more common types of damage such as hail, rain, and wind depending on the age of your roof. For example, if your roof is less than 10 years old, your insurance company will likely cover the repairs or replacement in full as the average lifespan of a roof is between 20 and 30 years.
Roof Damage Not Covered By Insurance
Most homeowners’ insurance policies do not generally cover roof damage caused by normal wear and tear. If your roof is near or has surpassed its expected lifespan, the cause of the damage is likely associated with its age and the insurance company likely will not repair the damage. While every insurance company is different, most insurers will not write a new policy for a home with a roof that is more than 20 years old. In some cases, the insurer will pay only the actual cash value for older roofs to receive a roof replacement after suffering damage.
Unresolved maintenance issues are also a common cause of denied insurance claims. The insurance company expects homeowners to maintain their roofs over time to reduce the risk of damage from occurring. This may include undergoing routine roof inspections or fixing problems as they arise. If the insurance company discovers that you have not performed routine maintenance or that you allowed a leak or other issue to progress, resulting in more extensive damage, then your claim for roof repair may be denied. Depending on the unique situation, the insurance company may reimburse you partially, fully, or not at all.
Tips for Filing an Insurance Claim
Discovering that your roof has suffered damage can be highly stressful for homeowners. Just one simple repair can result in hundreds of dollars in out-of-pocket expenses. If your roof needs to be completely replaced, you are looking at thousands. To avoid the high costs of roof repair, many homeowners turn to their insurance company. However, navigating the insurance claim process is not always easy. Before a claim can be paid out, you will likely need to deal with multiple visits from insurance adjusters and roofing contractors.
To help increase the odds of a successful turnout, there are several things you want to do. First, look for damage to your roof immediately after a storm. If you suspect that your roof has suffered damage, contact a professional roofing contractor to inspect your roof as soon as possible. Many insurance companies have stipulations that detail how long you can file a claim and still have the damage covered by your insurance. Take pictures of any damaged areas following the storm or accident and submit them with the documentation to show the extent of the damage. Provide as many details as possible.
You will also want to contact your insurance company directly to find out exactly what your policy covers. Do not wait too long to make this phone call or you may not be able to submit a claim. Having a copy of your insurance policy at home can be handy, but it may not always be clear what your policy covers. Your insurance agent can help you determine if the damage is covered by your policy and if so, to what extent. When you submit your claim to the insurance company, an insurance adjuster will be sent to your home to inspect the damage and determine the estimated cost to pay out.
Contact Roof Repair Contractors
If your roof insurance claim is found to be covered under your existing homeowners’ insurance policy, you will be provided the funds to repair the damage. As the homeowner, you have the option to choose a roofing contractor to complete the repairs or replace the roof. Be sure to select reputable and professional roof repair contractors who are both licensed and insured. For more information about submitting a roof repair insurance claim or for roof inspection assistance, contact your local roof repair contractors at Beyond Exteriors today.