One of the most common question roofers get from customers is “Will my insurance cover this?” This, like all questions related to all types of insurance, is a complicated one. If you’re looking at your damaged roof and asking this question, you need to do three things: get an inspection from a qualified roofer, read over your homeowner’s policy and find all your paperwork for the roof. This will give you the knowledge you need to answer this and – if they are a good roofing contractor – give your roofer the ammunition they need to go to bat for you with the insurance company.
Roof Repair vs. Roof Replacement
Homeowner’s insurance is designed to protect your home and to cover the costs of repairs to it. So when your roof is damaged – whether it loses a few shingles to a scattering of hail or is gutted by a house fire, it’s there to cover the cost of repairs or replacement. Can you get your roof repaired or replaced? It depends on the damage to the home. Insurance companies ideally want to repair as the less costly measure, so it’s up to you and your residential roofer to make the case of a full replacement as the only sound measure.
In addition, your homeowners’ policy’s exact wording and the age and condition of your roof are significant factors in your coverage. Learn more about them below.
Know Your Homeowners’ Policy
Homeowner’s policies come with many different forms of coverage, exclusions, and endorsements, so it’s important to know what your policy has to say on the matter of your roof. Three examples of parts of your policy that can cause your roof to not be covered:
- Named Peril Policy: if your Homeowners’ insurance has a named peril clause, then it will only provide coverage to those specifically named incidents, such as hail or lightning damage. If it’s not named on the policy, your insurance won’t cover it.
- All Risk Policy: if your policy contains this proviso, it works the opposite of a named peril policy. Any instance named in the policy is exempt from being covered, while all those which are not mentioned should be covered.
- Cosmetic Damage Exclusions: More and more policies are being amended with endorsements: modifiers to your policy that increase or restrict coverage. In this case these endorsements exclude coverage from events that only cause superficial damage to your roof, such as hail or wind. If your policy includes these endorsements, talk to a roofer before you write off the damage as only cosmetic.
Age and Condition of Your Roof and Policy
One of the major sticking points for the agency is the state of your roof before damaged was caused. If your roof is 10 years or older (and past its warranty), you may only get coverage on the depreciated value of your roof and have to pay the difference out of pocket. If the insurance company believes that your roof was in poor condition before the incident, or not caused by the incident but by the decay of your roof, they may not provide any coverage, citing negligence on your part.
Before you can get your insurance claim, you need to get your roof inspected by a professional roofing contractor. Make it All Weather Tite, expert certified and insured roofers dedicated to serving Central and Eastern Massachusetts as well as parts of greater New England. Contact us to learn more, and get your free estimate before you contact your insurance company. We will work with you and your insurer to get you the coverage you deserve!