If you’re new to homeownership, one of the first things you’ll need to learn is what your homeowners’ insurance covers and how to make claims. This is especially important when it comes to roofs, which are sometimes damaged due to bad weather. Scroll down to learn when roof damage is covered by homeowners’ insurance and how to file a roof insurance claim.
When Homeowners’ Insurance Covers Roof Damage
Each year, you pay a sizable amount to protect your home and belongings from unexpected events. Homeowners’ insurance varies from policy to policy, but almost all policies will cover roof repairs and replacement. However, whether your insurance will pay to repair or replace your roof depends on what caused the damage. If your roof is suffering from the general wear and tear that affects all roofs as the years go by, you can’t expect insurance to cover it. In addition, you can’t expect insurance to pick up the slack if you’ve been neglecting your roof and disregarding maintenance. Finally, roof insurance doesn’t typically cover pest infestations, flood damage, or earthquake damage.
So, what does homeowners’ insurance cover? Check your specific policy for details, but in general, most homeowners’ insurance covers certain nature-related events. For example, if a tree falls on your roof, insurance may cover the damage. Other commonly covered events include wind damage, hail damage, storm damage, snow and ice damage, and fire damage.
Note that the age of your roof will likely be taken into consideration. If your roof is very old, an insurance company may not even agree to cover the home until the roof has been replaced. And if your roof is past a certain age, its depreciated value will be taken into consideration when your insurer calculates the claim payout you will receive.
But again, it’s important to check your specific policy. In coastal areas, some insurance companies exclude windstorm and hail damage. In some cases, they’ll have a separate wind/hail deductible. If your area experiences frequent tornados, your policy may take this into consideration when it comes to covered perils. The only way to truly know if specific damage is covered is to review your homeowners’ insurance policy.
How to File a Roof Insurance Claim
If your roof is damaged by a covered peril, use the following steps to file a claim:
- Gather evidence. Assess the damage, take photos, and make notes. Detail the damage to the best of your ability while keeping your personal safety in mind. Do not clean up or temporarily repair the damage until you have lots of photos documenting the damage and you’ve submitted your claim.
- Review your policy. Check to see if the damage is covered in your policy. In addition, is there a separate deductible? Will you receive actual cash value or replacement cash value? If you have any questions, contact your insurance company for help.
- Submit your claim. Different companies have different procedures, but these days, you can often submit claims by phone, online, or using an app. Do this ASAP following the damaging event. You will need to provide information about the damage and provide evidence of it.
- Temporarily repair your home. To prevent further damage, if it is safe to do so, temporarily repair your roof after you’ve submitted your claim. You may need to place a tarp over the affected area and/or set down buckets in your home to collect leaking water. Keep receipts for any products you purchase, as your insurance company may reimburse you for them.
- Meet with the insurance adjuster. Your insurer will send out an adjuster, who will visit your property, evaluate the damage, and provide an estimate.
- Get a second (or third) opinion. Don’t rely on the insurance company for an estimate; hire a roofing professional to provide a second opinion. You can use this estimate to counter the adjuster’s report if needed. Make sure that you receive a written estimate on the roofing company’s letterhead that includes their contact information.
If you live in southwest Missouri, contact Taylor-Made Roofing for help. With over 20 years of experience in residential and commercial roofing, Taylor-Made Roofing is a company that you can trust with all of your roofing needs. Our family-owned business offers quality services, a reassuring warranty, and free estimates. For more information, please give us a call at 417-326-8778 or contact us online. We look forward to hearing from you!