Your roof is damaged. Perhaps it was the wind that ripped off part of your roof, or maybe heavy snow was to blame. Now, there are holes in your roof and you’re wondering if homeowners insurance will be enough to cover it?
Unfortunately, many factors can weigh into whether or not insurance companies will pay for roof replacement or repairs. The most important factor is simply if the damage is an insurable loss. That means that it must have been caused by a covered peril. Today, we will discuss when insurance is likely to cover the cost of damages, and when they may not cover any costs.
When Might Insurance Help Solve My Roof Problems?
There are some instances when homeowners insurance claims will cover roof repair costs. Unfortunately, there are more cases where they won’t help you than when they will. Usually, roof insurance is reserved for storm damage and damages caused by natural disasters, as well as damage from unique and unpredictable events.
Storm Damage From Weather
If you’ve had a severe storm and several tiles blew off or if your shingles need to be replaced, then there’s a good chance that your homeowner’s policy will cover the cost of the missing shingles without many questions. This is especially true if you have comprehensive coverage, which is almost always part of a standard homeowners plan. Storm damage is by far the most common type of roofing insurance claim we see.
However, in some instances, if your roof damage is from a covered peril but you fail to take steps to fix it as soon as possible, then those damages may not be eligible for reimbursement from your roofing insurance provider. For example, if there’s a major storm and the shingles blow off your roof but you don’t hire a roofing company to come out, conduct a roof inspection, and replace them soon after, then the insurance company probably won’t cover these costs because the damage would have been avoidable.
Unpredictable events like fire or theft are usually covered by homeowners insurance claims. Some policies don’t cover these kinds of damages, but if there is a specific clause for your roof in the policy, then it’s likely that you’ll be reimbursed even though the damage was technically avoidable.
When Might My Provider Deny My Roof Insurance Claim?
Not every damaged roof is eligible for reimbursement through the insurance claim process. There are several instances when homeowners insurance either may not cover the cost of roof damage, or they will offer enough to pay for a full replacement or repair job if something happens. Faulty construction and repairs, policy coverage limits, high deductibles, sketchy claims, and homeowner neglect can all impact your coverage.
Faulty Construction and Repairs
For example, if local building codes were not followed when it was installed, but you only find out about it later, then you may not be covered by an insurance company because this would not be considered a covered loss. Sometimes, the assumption is that homeowners and contractors skip building codes or illegally construct areas on a property to save money. In that case, your insurance may not cover damages.
In addition, homeowners insurance is unlikely to pay for roof repairs or replacements that have already been taken care of in some way. This might be due to an initial restoration attempt that was unsuccessful or simply because a hole wasn’t fixed right away after a covered peril took place.
An important thing to note here is that you must hire a reputable roofing contractor to make repairs after damage occurs, or if you notice some shoddy workmanship going on from the previous owner. You could be denied coverage in the future if your roof is not in good order. Peak to Peak Roofing & Exteriors is a wonderful example of a local Denver area roofing company that does excellent work for its customers. They will guide you through the whole process and educate you along the way. And, if you are having insurance pay for roof damage, they will work directly with your insurance to sort out the details and get you back on track.
Policy Coverage Limits
Sometimes, it’s simply the case that the damages fall outside of your policy’s guidelines. If your shingles aren’t considered standard and you live in an area where strong winds and heavy rains take place, such as the Midwest, then you might need to look at buying extra coverage for specific wind-related damages. Also, keep in mind that some homeowners insurance companies may put a limit on how much they are willing to pay for roof repairs. For example, if you have $10,000 worth of coverage but the damage costs $20,000, then you would only receive up to $10,000 in reimbursement.
High Insurance Claim Deductibles
It’s also important to remember that homeowners insurance will usually only pay for damages beyond what your deductible is. Anything before that must come out of pocket or through personal savings until you reach whatever deductible limit is included in your policy.
Sketchy Roof Repair Insurance Claims
Another instance would be if there were no witnesses to an event that caused roof damage; this means that it could be impossible to prove whether or not the damage was actually caused by a covered peril.
Lastly, homeowners insurance may not pay for roof damage if it’s related to a covered peril that hasn’t occurred yet and your roof is in bad shape. For example, if you have a rotting roof and the siding underneath is starting to become a fire hazard, then this could be considered an “occurrence” by your insurance company and they might not offer reimbursement for those damages. Quick tip: If you are in the process of buying a home, make sure the inspector you hire (they inspect the home before you actually buy it) conducts a roof inspection from the inside in the attic, as well as a visual inspection on the outside of the home.
In general, homeowners insurance will cover some or most of the cost of repairing the roof damage rather than replacing your roof as long as everything was done correctly according to local building codes, and if the damages fall within your policy guidelines, like storm damage and unpredictable events.
While insurance doesn’t cover normal wear and tear to roofs that don’t result from external forces like wind or rain, it can help pay to fix the damage that does occur due to these common events. After all, that’s really the intended purpose behind insurance in general. It’s for the unpredictable and mainly unpreventable accidents in life. Even most regular homeowners insurance policies should provide some sort of roof repair or replacement coverage.
If you’re in the Denver area and you have experienced damage to your roof recently, contact Peak to Peak Roofing & Exteriors today to get a free estimate and to find out more about how their construction company will work with your insurance provider throughout the whole insurance claims process to help pay for your roof damages.