Professional roof service companies will quickly tell you that roof damage most often results from one of three causes:
- Wind damage — not even the sturdiest roof can withstand a severe storm.
- Water damage. This can result from heavy rainfall, but snow buildup is equally problematic, both because the weight of the snow can damage your roof, and because the snow must eventually melt.
- Weak flashing that allows water in and leads to cracks and severe damage.
Whether an act of nature — like a storm, snowstorm, hailstorm, hurricane, tornado, earthquake, or wildfire — damaged your roof, or the damage was done in an accident such as a fire or incorrectly felled tree, it is only natural to panic.
Most smaller roof repairs come with a price tag of between $400 and $1,000, while more extensive damage can cost as much as $3,000 to repair. If your roof needs to be replaced entirely, meanwhile, that is likely to set you back anywhere between $7,000 and over $10,000.
You will, at this point, be praying that your insurance will cover roof repair. The answer? “It depends.”
When Do All-Perils Homeowners Insurance Policies Cover Roof Repair and Replacement?
Your roof will, as an integral and essential part of your property, generally be covered under a regular all-perils homeowners insurance policy. Your insurance will only pay for roof repair in certain circumstances, however.
For roof repair or replacement to be covered by insurance, the damage must have taken place as a direct result of an act of nature or an accident covered under the insurance plan. The cause must be unambiguous, which means that an already mildly damaged or worn out roof that is subsequently subjected to an act of nature or accident is problematic. The insurance company may claim that a lack of maintenance was the cause of the damage. This is one reason why homeowners should consider having an annual roof inspection carried out by a qualified roof service company.
Homeowners who want to increase their odds of having roof repaired covered by insurance must further have the damage documented. This means you’ll need photos detailing the nature and extent of the damage. If you can’t take them yourself, your roofing company can help. If authorities such as the fire department were involved, getting documentation from them can also be helpful.
The repairs must be carried out by a reputable and qualified contractor if you want to make a successful insurance claim. After an act of nature, like a hurricane, rages through a community, contractors of questionable integrity will often pop up to offer “help”. Steer clear, and only work with trusted contractors.
Finally, it is crucial to make your insurance claim within the allotted time frame, as delaying will likely mean that your damage won’t be covered by your insurance company, and you will have to pay for roof repair out of pocket.
When Do Homeowners Insurance Policies Not Cover Roof Repair or Replacement?
The expected lifespan of a roof is 15 to 20 years. After two decades pass, a property ideally needs a new roof. Many homeowners, dreading the cost, delay the step of having their roof replaced. If your roof is over 20 years old, you are unlikely to get insurance payouts for roof repair, even following an act of nature. If you do get a payout, it will be limited.
Any damage that can be attributed to general wear and tear will not be covered by insurance, and homeowners who fail to document the damage or who hire a questionable contractor are also likely to run into challenges.
Don’t hesitate to give us a call here at Zona Roofing for any questions you might have!