We’ve all experienced the dread that comes along with working with any type of insurance company. Every time you go to pick up a prescription or go to the doctor, there always seems to be a dozen phone calls involved to find out what your insurance will or will not cover.
It’s incredibly frustrating but especially when it comes to home repairs. When a bad storm rolls through or a tree falls down on your house, you want to make sure you are covered.
Rescue My Roof has been there, done that, countless times. We work with homeowners every day to help guide them through the insurance process. And we’re here to help you, too.
In this article, we will go over what insurance will cover, and what they won’t. So when you have to go through insurance to get a roof repair, you won’t be so frustrated.
Why Won’t Insurance Cover My Roof Repairs/Replacement?
Insurance companies are tricky. Every company is different, and there are often multiple levels of insurance coverage. So when it comes to covering roof repairs and replacements, every insurance company is going to have a different policy.
However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t general standards throughout the industry that are a good guide to follow. Here are four reasons why insurance won’t cover your roof repairs:
1. You Live in a High-Risk Zone
Weather happens. Unfortunately.
But when you live in areas that are known for hurricanes and earthquakes, or other acts of nature that can severely damage your home, insurance companies get pretty picky about what they will and won’t cover.
For example, after hurricane Katrina, insurance companies were loaded with a massive amount of insurance claims for home damage. They added a new addition to their policies that affected “high-risk” areas where hurricanes often hit.
This new policy created a Hurricane Deductible. (Link to hurricane deductible article). The average deductible is the amount that the policyholder must pay before insurance will begin to cover any costs. This price is determined by the insurance company.
Hurricane deductibles work the same way. It is a minimum price set by the insurance company that the policyholder must pay before insurance will cover costs for hurricane-related damage on top of their existing deductible.
You can get a better sense of whether or not you live in a high-risk area here. So if you determine you do live in a high-risk area, prepare yourself to potentially shell out more money before insurance will cover any roof repairs.
2. Your Roof Just Has Cosmetic Damage
Damaged shingles that are no longer in production may lead to insurance covering your roof replacement.
Because your roof is an integral part of your home, insurance will cover a roof repair or replacement if it impacts the safety of your property.
However, insurance won’t cover most cosmetic issues like small areas of missing or loose shingles. They will cover loose and missing shingles, but if it is a very small area the cost of the deductible may be equal to or higher than the cost of the minor repairs.
If you are missing a few shingles and want to get them replaced but it is not causing any serious issues, you may have to repair those on your own.
3. General Wear and Tear on Your Roof
Like everything, roofs deteriorate over time. When you see signs of general wear and tear like loose shingles or visible flashings, you might have to pay to repair these.
Even if the damage is caused by storms blowing through your area causing your roof to become leaky over time, insurance may still claim it is general wear and tear damage that was bound to happen.
Of course, this is dependent on how severe the damage is. If a storm damages 20-30% of your roof, you may have a case for an insurance claim. Or if you have 7-10 hail-damage hits in 100 square feet, that may be another instance where they will cover storm damage.
It is important to check with your roof inspector and insurance adjuster on what is and is not covered when it comes to general wear on your roof.
4. Your Roof Was Improperly Installed
A tornado just wreaked major havoc on your roof, and you immediately called the insurance adjuster to assess the damage.
Except you don’t get the news you were planning on hearing and your insurance won’t cover the damage. But why?
When your roof is not installed with proper roofing techniques, it leaves it susceptible to preventable damage. This is why it is so necessary to do thorough research about the contractors you hire to complete your roofing project.
But if you find yourself in a situation similar to this where you don’t have insurance coverage, it may be time to check out financing options.
So, When Will Insurance Cover My Roof Replacement or Repairs?
As picky as insurance companies are, there are still moments when they will be there to save the day (and your wallet).
There are three main reasons why insurance companies will cover your roof replacement or repairs:
1. It’s an “Act of God”
While hurricane deductibles and high-risk zones exist, that doesn’t mean insurance is out of the question completely.
Most insurance companies classify things like storms, hurricanes, and fallen trees as an act of nature or an “Act of God”. This means the damage is entirely out of the policyholder’s hands, and insurance will cover it.
If you are unsure what your insurance company considers an “Act of God,” contact them. Every policy and company is different, so you want to talk to a trained professional.
2. Your Roof’s Shingle is No Longer in Production
Insurance may not like to cover cosmetic damage, but if you have an area of your roof that is covered by the policy from wind or hail, and your roof’s shingles are not in production anymore- you’re in luck.
If the current shingle on your roof is no longer in production – meaning the manufacturer no longer makes that color or style – insurance will cover the costs of a roof replacement.
This means you’re not left with a Frankenstein roof made up of multiple different shingle types, and you get a new roof in the process!
3. The Amount of Roof Damage Meets the Policy Criteria
Every insurance policy and company is different, so what they will cover will vary from person to person.
However, depending on the amount of damage or general wear and tear on your roof, insurance may cover repairs or a total roof replacement.
Make sure to go over your policy thoroughly, and find an accredited roof inspector to assess the damage properly. You want an inspector who is going to catch all of the damage that may not be immediately visible.
Then contact your insurance adjuster to make sure it meets the criteria, and file a claim to reimburse you for the cost of your roof repairs.
Are You Ready to File that Insurance Claim?
While cosmetic damage, improper installation, and high-risk zones, and general wear and tear may not make the cut, perhaps you found yourself on the ideal side of this article – insurance will cover your roof replacement or repair.
Now that you know some of the key things they will and will not cover- it’s time to double-check. Every policy is different, so you want to talk to an expert that knows the ins and outs of your specific policy.
Check your insurance card, and then call the company’s number and talk to an insurance representative. Using the list above, you can ask them questions on what they may or may not cover.
If insurance won’t solve your problems, you can read about further financing options with our article “How Can I Finance My Roof Replacement.”