The Insurance Bulletin
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Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Roof Damage?

Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Roof Damage?

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Choncé Maddox
Updated March 31, 2022
4 Min Read

Your roof is probably one of the most important parts of your home second to its foundation. When the roof becomes damaged and is no longer strong and sturdy, this creates an emergency situation. Homeowners insurance can cover many crucial parts of your home. But does homeowners insurance cover roof damage?

In some cases, the answer is yes while other times, it won’t be covered. It all depends on what caused the damage. Here’s what you need to know about whether homeowners insurance will cover roof damage as well as how to file a claim.

Types of Roof Damage Covered by Homeowners Insurance

When it comes to natural elements that can damage your roof such as wind, hail, or even fire, dwelling coverage will kick in to cover roof damage costs. Dwelling coverage is a part of your homeowners insurance policy that covers your home’s physical structure. This doesn’t include the land or contents of your home. 

If a tree falls on your home during a storm and damages your roof, dwelling coverage can help cover some of all of the repair costs. However, it’s important to thoroughly read your policy since some have natural weather restrictions especially for wind and hail.

In the event that the inside of your home gets damaged resulting from a covered roof damage claim, personal property insurance could help cover those items. For the roof of a detached garage or shed that’s on your property, Other Structures insurance coverage could cover roof damage in these cases. Other Structures coverage is an add-on to your existing homeowners insurance policy. 

If you find that roof damage is covered due to dwelling coverage through your homeowners insurance policy, it’s still important to know your deductible amount. Coverage will kick in after you’ve paid your deductible. Then, there are still total coverage limits to consider based on your policy.  

When Are Roof Leaks Covered By Home Insurance?

A roof leak could be covered by home insurance if it’s caused by a covered condition such as hail or heavy rain from a storm. After a storm or similar incident involving natural elements, it’s important to get your roof assessed for damage so you can consider filing a claim for a covered roof leak.

When Are Roof Leaks Not Covered By Home Insurance?

Roof leaks are not covered by home insurance if it’s the result of a lack of regular maintenance or purposeful damage. For example, if a roof starts leaking due to the fact that it’s old and has wear and tear, your homeowners insurance won’t cover any repairs. Instead, coverage is usually reserved for accidental and uncontrollable incidents as opposed to an issue that builds up over time. 

Will Homeowners Insurance Cover The Water Damage If My Roof Leaks?

Water damage caused by a leaky roof is a tricky situation because it may or may not be covered. If a leaky roof causes water to damage your interior walls, floors, or items inside your home, this can be covered under the ‘all perils’ section of your homeowners insurance.

All perils insurance will cover almost anything that happens to your things including lightning strikes, wind and hail, fire, theft, falling objects, and water damage. However, the damage to the roof itself that resulted in the leak may not be covered. This means, you’ll be on your own in terms of paying for roof repair or a full replacement. 

Unfortunately, insurance companies haven’t done the best job at drawing a clear line between what is considered the natural deterioration of your roof due to lack of maintenance vs. immediate accidental damage that’s outside of your control.

Tips For Filing A Roof Claim

Let’s say your roof gets damaged and you believe you have a solid claim to file with your insurance company. The first thing you need to do is confirm the level of damage to your roof as well as if it’s covered under your policy. You can assess the damage yourself or get a local roofing company to do it for you. 

Carefully review your policy to confirm the type of damage described is listed under the coverage terms. Then, you can contact your insurance company and submit the documentation they request. This usually includes photos of the damage, important dates, and your policy number. As an added tip, be sure to make copies of all photos and documentation to keep for your own personal records.

Another thing you’ll want to do is communicate promptly with your insurance company to find out if there are timeline restrictions for filing a claim. Further, ask about whether they have limitations on the roofing contractor you choose. Some insurance companies may have a local list or need to approve the contractor in order to do the work. 

Follow up with your insurance and document all communication to find out whether your claim is approved. You can also ask upfront how long it will take to review your claim and make a decision.

FAQ

Will a new roof lower my insurance premiums?

Yes. Roof replacements are expensive and if you’ve already upgraded your roof or have a newer roof, you can save hundreds on your homeowners insurance premiums. Some companies provide discounts based on the existing quality of your roof and where you live that range from 5% to 40% less than the standard premium rate. 

Do you have to pay a deductible for roof replacement?

Yes, you will need to pay a deductible when you file any type of homeowners insurance claim. Once your deductible is paid, your insurance company will cover the remaining costs up to your maximum coverage limit.

Do I pay the roofer my deductible?

No, this is handled between you and your insurance company. It’s illegal for roofing companies to offer to waive your deductible or help you avoid paying it. 

Does my home insurance cover roof damage caused by a hurricane?

Most policies will cover the roof damage caused by a hurricane whether the extreme winds tear off shingles or cause items to fall on the roof.

Summary

Homeowners insurance that covers roof damage is important to have, but won’t replace regular maintenance. homeowners should be sure to have their roof inspected at least once a year and also keep up with proper maintenance. 

Insurance can be helpful with sudden or emergency situations like storms and other weather conditions. But, if you haven’t been taking care of your roof over the years, you could find it harder to file a claim. Read through the details of your homeowners insurance policy to familiarize yourself with the level of coverage.

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