Getting a new roof is a significant investment for most homeowners. If you’re considering replacing yours, you may be wondering if you can cut down on costs with your homeowners insurance. The quick answer is that it depends. While some home insurance policies cover roof replacement, there are various conditions that may come with it. You must understand the specifics of your policy if you want to know if your insurance provider will cover the replacement and what you can do if they don’t.
How Roof Insurance Works
As the structure that shields your home from the elements, roofs are susceptible to harsh climatic conditions. Over time, daily wear and tear can break down roofing components, but this process may be accelerated by extreme weather events and other issues.
While the terms and conditions will vary from one policy to the next, most home insurance policies will only pay for roof damage if it occurs due to a covered peril. As a homeowner, it’s up to you to prove that the damage your roof faces resulted from a covered peril for your home insurance to cover the entire amount. Insurance covers common hazards such as windstorms, rain, and hail damage in most situations. If your roof needs replacement or repairs simply due to old age, the insurance company may decline your claim.
Considerations for Insurance Coverage
It would help to look out for specific perils when considering a good insurance policy. Examples of these include:
- Hail damage
- Fire and smoke
- Wind damage
- Natural disasters
- Snow and ice buildup
- Falling branches
- Vandalism and other deliberate destruction
- Water damage
- Damage from a vehicle or aircraft
- Lightning damage
When Is Roof Replacement Not Covered by Insurance
If your roof is damaged and you can’t pay for it, your insurance provider may be willing to help. However, there are certain situations where they will not cover roof replacement.
1. Wear and Tear
If your roof is older than 20 years, your insurance typically will not cover repairs or replacements, especially if the damage can be attributed to regular wear and tear. Some policies will still cover an older roof if it is damaged due to a covered peril, but that coverage may be reduced to the roof’s actual cash value, rather than the cost of a replacement.
2. Partial Damage
Simple damage such as loose or broken shingles is not covered by your homeowners insurance. These types of issues must be paid for out of pocket.
3. Previous Damage
Insurance covers roof damage caused by a covered peril. However, insurance will not pay for any existing damage due to wear and tear or damage caused by a non-covered incident that occurred before the covered peril.
4. Manufacturer Defects
Manufacturers try their best to maintain the quality of products, but defects can still be present on new roofing materials. If a manufacturer’s warranty covers your roof and there is evidence of defects in their products, insurance will not cover it, but you should be able to receive some compensation through the existing warranty.
5. Homeowners Fault
If the homeowner is at fault for causing the damage to the roof, then the insurance company will not cover it. For example, if you use your home to store dangerous or flammable items and cause a fire, you will not be covered for this damage.
6. Claims Filed Too Late
Claims for roof damage filed too late are not covered by insurance. For example, the amount you will pay for the damage isn’t usually covered unless it is part of a claim submitted before your policy’s expiration. It’s essential to submit your insurance claim as soon as possible and pay attention to your policy’s fine print to see how long you have to file a claim after damage.
Getting Reimbursed for a New Roof
When it comes to getting reimbursement for a new roof, your refund may depend on the severity of the damage. You could file a claim for the damage caused by a covered peril listed in your insurance policy. Insurance will most likely reimburse you for the amount that exceeds the deductible stated in your policy. The deductible is the amount you have to pay before home insurance pays for damages. Here are some steps to follow while applying for a claim.
1. Hire a Contractor to Inspect the Roof
You should hire a contractor to examine the roof and inspect it to determine the cause of the damage. They will estimate what repairs are needed and how much they cost, including materials and labor. Take photos or make a video so that your insurance company can see the damages. The pictures and videos should show where each problem is.
2. Make Temporary Fixes
If roof damage is causing other issues in your home, you may need to hire a roofing contractor to temporarily repair the damage before you receive any insurance reimbursement. However, if the damage is caused by a covered peril, you should receive reimbursement once the claim is accepted.
3. File a Claim With Your Insurance Company
To file a claim, you need to describe the damage and what caused it. Ensure you have all the evidence of damage, including photos, receipts of the repairs that were made, and repair work estimates.
4. Schedule a Visit With an Insurance Adjuster
After the insurance company agrees to your claim, they will send an adjuster to assess your damages. Remember that the insurance adjuster is on the insurance company’s side. Be sure to have documentation of all damages with photographs, videos, and estimates.
Saving on New Roof Costs
Even if your insurance is covering most of the costs of a new roof, you will still want to save as much money as possible. You can save on your new roof by considering the following tips.
1. Do Your Research
You can save some money by being prepared and doing your research. Make sure to have a list of roofing contractors in your area with prices and recommendations. Looking for roofing materials in advance will also help save you time and money.
2. Shop Around
It’s always a good idea to compare prices for your roofing needs. Be sure to get estimates from multiple contractors, and compare those estimates with each contractor’s reputation to get the best service for your money.
3. Consider Doing an Overlay on Your Current Roof
You might be able to save money by applying an overlay to your existing roofing shingles. Overlays are new shingles and roofing materials that are installed over the existing roof. An overlay will not work in some cases, so it’s important to discuss this with your contractor.
4. Consider Other Materials
While most homes in the United States use asphalt shingles, these are not the longest-lasting roofing material. You may be able to save money over the long term by investing in another roofing material. Some of the more durable options that are still affordable include metals such as steel and copper.
Keeping Your Roof Safe
Once you get a new roof, you’ll want it to last as long as possible. As a homeowner, it’s up to you to properly take care of your roof to avoid damages that will incur unnecessary costs. You can do some things to ensure a safe and secured roof.
1. Clean and Repair Your Gutters
To prevent extensive damage, make sure you fix any leaks in your gutters and clean them. If you neglect to repair them, leaves and other materials may cause clogs that back up and allow water to seep through the roofing materials.
2. Schedule Professional Inspections Annually
If you are looking to avoid a roof replacement, it will help to schedule a professional inspection. During an inspection, a roofing contractor can identify any issues that need to be addressed before they turn into serious, costly damage.
3. Trim the Trees Hanging Over and Near Your Roof
If your roof is vulnerable to falling branches, prune or trim the ones hanging over your roof. Tree branches rubbing against the roof for a long time will also displace shingles and weaken the roof surface.
Installing a new roof requires skilled workers and certified building contractors. At Indy Roof Company, we provide roof replacement and repairs for residential and commercial clients in the Indianapolis area. Our team can help you with insurance claims, and you can count on us to offer manufacturer and labor warranties whenever possible. Call us today, and our dedicated team of professionals will gladly answer any questions you might have, offer a free estimate on your roofing project, and guarantee your satisfaction.