When your roof is damaged, the first thing many homeowners do is check their homeowners insurance policy. Many extra and unexpected costs can occur due to how your policy is laid out and any limitations within the policy.
Here are a few things to know when it comes to homeowners insurance and roof damage.
Check for any exclusions or perils in your policy. Insurance companies can exclude certain circumstances from coverage in a policy. For example, if you neglect to take care of your roof and it falls into disrepair, insurance will not cover repair costs. Other things that are not usually covered include power failure, negligent accidents, or power failure.
If you’re eligible for coverage under your policy, there might be exclusions on certain roofing materials. Slate or recycled materials probably won’t be covered as they require extra labor costs compared to shingle or metal roofs.
If your roof is older than about 20 years, most insurance companies will not cover the costs of repairs. If your roof is less than 10 years old, you will most likely be covered. Companies view this coverage as “impractical” and do not want to pay out a policy. Some companies have age restrictions on roof coverage. When researching if you can file a claim, check to see if your insurance company has a roof age limit. The limit is calculated based on the age of the bottom layer of shingles, so if you have a metal roof installed over old shingles, the roof age is the age of the shingles, not the metal roof.
Full roof replacement or Repair
Most of the time, homeowners insurance will cover repairs only and not an entire roof replacement. Insurance typically covers mild damage after a storm such as missing shingles or hail damage. If the damage is extensive and requires a roof replacement, some companies won’t pay the entire bill.
Certain types of damage from weather or fire cannot be avoided. The best way to keep your roof safe is regular maintenance by:
- Having a professional conduct yearly inspections to check for any damage.
- Cleaning off debris.
- Cleaning gutters.
- Removing dead trees.