Your roof is one of the most important parts of your home. Not only does it protect you from harsh weather elements, but it also provides structural support to your house and enhances its curb appeal. Since your roof is exposed to elements, it’s highly susceptible to damage, and replacing it can be costly.
The good thing is that your home insurance protects your roof from a multitude of perils. However, your insurance won’t protect your roof against all types of damages, especially if it’s considered cosmetic.
Many things can determine whether or not your home insurance will pay for your roof replacement, including the type of policy, the cause and extent of damage, the age of your roof, and many more. If your roof needs replacing, here’s how to know if your home insurance will pay for it:
1. Review Your Home Insurance Policy
To know whether your insurance covers roof replacement, review your policy to understand what is covered and what isn’t. That’s because home insurance policies don’t provide coverage for all perils.
In most cases, your policy will cover roof damages caused by events like high winds, storms, and other natural disasters, but it won’t cover perils such as earthquakes and flooding, requiring you to buy additional coverage. Your mortgage company may also require you to purchase additional home insurance if you live in an area prone to these perils.
It’s also crucial to ensure your insurance covers your roof since most policies pay replacement costs for roofs made of specific materials. That means if your roof is made using a non-approved material, your policy won’t cover the replacement costs.
Your insurer may also require you to comply with additional maintenance requirements or pay some additional money if you had previously repaired your roof using non-approved methods or materials. Be sure to confirm that your insurance covers roof replacement.
2. How many Insurance Claims
The number of times you’ve filed an insurance claim in the past three to seven years can affect your claim for roof replacement. Insurance companies keep a record of your insurance claims. If you’ve filed more than two claims on your policy in the past five years, it could increase your premium costs.
This can reduce your chance of getting coverage, especially if the claims were high each time since they carry a bigger liability claim. As such, you become a bigger risk to the insurance provider, making it hard to qualify for coverage. It’s always best to file a roof claim only if the type of damage is valid and the damage is extensive.
3. Know the Age of Your Roof
Knowing your roof’s age can help you determine if your insurance provider will pay for roof replacement costs after it gets damaged. That’s because it’s one of the factors that your insurer considers when assessing the extent of damage to your roof and whether they’ll provide coverage. Generally, most insurance providers consider roofs less than ten years old as new.
However, if your roof gets old and worn out beyond repair, your insurer may refuse to cover replacement costs. Some insurance companies may even refuse to renew your policy until you replace or repair the roof. This may require you to cover the cost of replacement out of pocket. The older your roof is, the more it’s susceptible to damage not caused by a sudden event.
4. Cause of Damage
The cause of damage to your roof is the first thing your insurer takes into consideration when determining whether to cover your roof replacement costs. Once you file a claim, your insurer will send an adjuster to assess the extent of damage to your roof and establish whether the damage was caused by natural events like wind, hail, and other weather conditions.
They will also look for other signs that could indicate damage from algae growth. This includes dark streaks, cracked or accelerated shingles, or even granule loss. Most insurance companies will only pay for damages caused by unexpected events like natural disasters and unexpected disasters but not regular wear and tear.
Check with your insurance provider to understand which causes they cover and the ones they don’t cover. This way, you’ll know whether they’ll pay for your roof replacement if you file a claim.
5. Condition of Roof
Your claim for roof replacement coverage can be approved if you’ve been performing regular maintenance in the past several years before the damage. Most insurers require you to maintain your roof according to the roofing material manufacturer’s recommendations. Performing regular roof maintenance can also help keep your roof warranty valid.
Not doing roof maintenance can make your insurer think the damage was caused by an existing problem that wasn’t addressed. Thus, they may deny your claim to avoid the costs of replacing your roof due to damages resulting from your neglect.
It’s crucial to have your roof inspected and maintained several times a year and save all relevant documents, including quotes, warranties, receipts, and other maintenance records. This ensures you have something to prove you’ve been performing roof maintenance, making you stand a better chance of qualifying for coverage when an unexpected event damages your house.
As you’ve seen, many factors can affect your chance to negotiate with your insurance provider for a roof replacement. Insurance policies are different, so it’s important that you read through your policy to know if it covers roof replacement.
It’s also best to have a roofing professional inspect and maintain your roof regularly to increase your chances of your claim getting approved when a natural event damages your roof.
Before you file a claim, ensure you document everything, including photos of the damages on your roof, maintenance and inspection records, and estimates of replacement costs from a reputable roofing company. This way, you’ll have everything you need to negotiate for roof replacement with your home insurance provider, ensuring you get the full benefit of your claim.