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Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Roof Damage?

By August 19, 2021September 29th, 2021Home
A good roof is a crucial factor in the longevity of your home. It keeps moisture out and helps shed it away from the sides of your home and the edges of your foundation. Therefore, for conscientious homeowners, protecting your roof is of paramount importance. Here are some important details that can help you use your homeowner’s insurance policy to safeguard your roof.

Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Roof Leaks?

Whether homeowner’s insurance covers a roof leak depends entirely on the underlying cause of the leak. Covered causes can include circumstances such as an “act of God,” fire, or vandalism.


However, there are some situations where a roof leak will not be covered by your homeowner’s policy. If you’re filing a homeowner’s claim for a roof leak and the leak can be attributed to the roof’s deterioration, then it’s unlikely your homeowner’s insurance will cover the damage. Does insurance pay for roof leaks? Yes, however older roofs often have weak or faulty components that can easily allow moisture to penetrate the home. As a roof gets older, the shingles may shrink or be torn, leaving the roof exposed.


The roof, particularly its edges, can be susceptible to various vermin who want to share your home, and as they burrow into your roof, they may compromise it. Older roofs are far more likely to be infiltrated by creatures, so it’s crucial to have your roof inspected at least twice a year. Here are some things to look out for when inspecting your roof for damage by unwelcome creatures:


  • Holes in the topmost surface of the roof.
  • Gaps between shingles or other roofing components.
  • Evidence of nests under the roof or in an attic.
  • Animal droppings directly under the roof.
  •  Frequent scurrying noises in the attic.
  •  Bees nests attached to roofing components.


Is the Damage Actually From a Natural Event?

The roof may start to leak after an “act of God,” but that doesn’t necessarily mean the damage can be attributed to nature. If your roof starts to leak following a storm, a thorough insurance inspection may reveal it was already in a state of disrepair prior to the storm.


Does Insurance Cover Roof Damage From Wind?

In cases where wind damage can be attributed to an “act of God,” homeowner’s insurance will usually cover it. Whether the expenses are fully covered or covered in part depends on the age of the roof.

Like most assets in and around the home, a roof depreciates as it ages. The drop in value can be attributed to the way the roof naturally weakens with age. When your home is damaged by wind, there’s a chance you may be reimbursed according to the depreciated value of your roof instead of what it would cost to have a brand new roof installed.

In most cases, your insurance company will send an insurance inspector to take stock of your roof. If the damage was due to wear and tear, aging, or your roof’s poor condition, the wind damage might not be covered.


How to Get Homeowners Insurance with a Bad Roof

Securing home insurance with a bad roof can be a challenge, but it’s not impossible. Once a roof sustains damage – whether from aging or a specific event – the entire home can be at risk. However, there are still ways to get your home the insurance it needs, even if your roof isn’t up to standard.

When you apply for insurance, your roof may need to be inspected. If the inspection reveals the roof can’t adequately protect the home, you may be given a chance to repair the roof.

In some cases, your roof may need to be replaced. Your insurance company wants what’s best for your home, so if this is the determination of the inspector, it would wise to follow through on their recommendation.

Replacing a roof may seem like a financial challenge, but the cost may be offset if a weather event impacts your home. As discussed, having an older roof may result in only a portion of the repairs being covered based on the depreciation factor that’s applied to the calculation.

If the damage to your home from a natural event is extensive, and a depreciated roof results in only a portion being covered, you may end up paying more out of pocket than what it would have cost to replace it. A roof inspection is quick and relatively inexpensive. A proper inspection will help you understand exactly what your roof needs and about how much it will cost.


Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Roof Replacement?

In some cases, homeowner’s insurance will cover a roof replacement, but the damage must have been the result of a natural event, vandalism, or other qualifying occurrence.

Generally speaking, insurance only covers damage sustained by occurrences out of the homeowner’s control. The homeowner is responsible for the following:

  • Neglect or maintenance.
  • Using certain expensive roofing materials, such as slate shingles.
  • Roofs composed of more than two layers of shingles or other roofing material.


How to File a Roof Leak Insurance Claim

Filing an insurance claim for a leaking roof is a relatively straightforward process. Before filing a claim, you’ll need to gather the following information:

  • Cause of the leak.
  • Day and time the leak was noticed.
  • Amount of time the roof has been leaking.
  • Damaged items due to moisture from the leak.

For more information about how to insure your roof and your entire home, reach out to the professionals at White Cloud Insurance.