Insurance companies understand that your roof is one of the most essential structures for protecting your home. When your roof becomes damaged due to unpreventable circumstances, most insurance companies will pay the cost of roof replacement either partially or in full. However, not all types of damage are covered by standard homeowner’s insurance. It is important to understand what scenarios are generally covered and which are not. Learn more about paying for roof replacement through an insurance claim and why you should speak to professional roofing contractors if you know or suspect damage has occurred.
Roof Damage Covered by Insurance
Homeowner’s insurance is designed to cover most types of roofing damage that has unforeseen or unpreventable causes. Missing shingles are a common type of damage that can result in significant water damage. Shingles often blow off in wind storms, and when they do they can pull off the tar seal with them. While some insurance companies will only pay for a patch job depending on the extent of the damage, others will pay for total roof replacement. Professional roofing contractors can inspect your roof to determine if the damage is bad enough to justify a roof replacement insurance claim.
Another common roof replacement claim relates to hail damage. These frozen balls of ice can fall at speeds exceeding 20 mph for marble-size hail or as fast as 100 mph for baseball-size hail. When these chunks of ice hit your roof at these speeds, you can expect significant damage to roofing materials. Asphalt shingles can break, gutters can fail, and components like skylights and chimneys may be affected. If your homeowner’s insurance covers such incidents, your insurance company may cover the cost to replace the roof or make any necessary repairs.
Your roof is not the only part of your home that can be damaged from weather, vandalism, or accidents. Your gutters and flashing can also suffer damage that may be covered by your homeowner’s insurance. Your gutters can blow off your home during strong windstorms or be broken when tree branches fall on your home. Although flashing is designed to protect the structure of your roof, harsh winds can pull flashing away from your roof, leaving your home vulnerable to damage. After a thorough inspection of the damage, your insurance company may choose to approve your claim for a roof replacement.
Another common cause of roof replacement claims is fallen trees or branches. Wind, hail, snow, and even rain can cause branches to break or trees to fall over onto your roof. This type of damage can range from a few missing shingles to large holes punched into the roof surface. Depending on the severity of the damage, your roof may be eligible for roof replacement with full or partial payment from your insurance company. If only a small portion of the roof was damaged from the tree, the insurance company may choose to patch the damaged portion or provide partial payment.
Snow and ice can have a major impact on the health of your roof. Ice damming in particular can cause significant damage. As snow and ice start to build, they create a barrier that prevents moisture from properly draining from the roof. When melted snow and rain has no way to escape from the roof, it can find its way underneath the shingles. When the water refreezes under the shingles, it can create even more damage. If you fail to remedy the problem, it can happen again and again. Professional roofing contractors can help you target the underlying problem and determine if it is covered under your insurance policy.
Roof Damage Not Covered By Insurance
Homeowner’s insurance can be a lifesaver when it comes to paying for a roof replacement. Unfortunately, not all types of damage are covered by insurance. Roof leaks may not be covered in certain situations. As a general rule of thumb, leaks are usually covered when the leak was caused by a peril that is covered in your insurance policy. Leaks may also be covered if the damage that occurred was found to be sudden and did not accumulate over a number of years.
The age of your roof is a major factor when determining whether or not a claim for roof replacement is approved. Many insurance companies will deny a roof replacement claim on a roof that is more than 15 to 20 years old unless the roof passes an inspection that proves that it has been well-maintained. Some insurance companies will approve a claim but will only provide an actual cash value. That means that if your roof is damaged but surpasses the 20 year mark, the insurance company will only pay out what would be the value of the roof after 20 years of depreciation.
If the damage to your roof was done by pests like squirrels, the insurance company may also deny your roof replacement claim. While squirrels may be small in size, they can cause extensive damage. In some instances, homeowner’s insurance will cover the cost to repair large holes caused by pest infestations. However, these types of claims are often denied due to maintenance issues. If the damage is found to be caused from years of neglect, the insurance company may not approve your claim. Another common reason for claim denials is the presence of “superficial damage.” If the damage is not actually causing problems, your claim may be denied.
When to Contact Roofing Contractors
The typical homeowner’s insurance policy will cover the cost of roof replacement, regardless of age, if the damage was caused by an act of nature. However, roofs that have surpassed their expected lifespan are generally not eligible for roof replacement as these maintenance projects are considered to be the responsibility of the homeowner. If you are not sure if the damage done to your roof will be covered under your insurance policy, speak with a roofing contractor. Professional roofing contractors can inspect your roof to determine the severity of the damage and provide insight on whether or not it will be covered by insurance.