Homeowner’s insurance is a wonderful thing to have when disaster strikes. Insurance companies know that the roof is the protector of the home, and failure to properly care for the roof can lead to damage elsewhere in the home. Insurance policies typically cover roof damage and replacement for certain situations, but the homeowner has a responsibility to maintain the roof’s condition as well. Knowing how most insurance companies deal with roof issues can reduce the chances of you getting stuck with a costly liability.
Insurance policies differ when it comes to repairing or replacing damaged roofs. Severe damage that is out of the homeowner’s hands such as fire, vandalism, tornadoes and hurricanes is covered under most plans. General weather like wind, rain and hail may or may not be covered depending on the policy’s parameters and the roof’s age. In the eyes of an insurance agency, damage caused by improper maintenance is the fault of the insured. Your policy will also determine if the damage will be partially or fully covered.
Renewing Policies for Old Roofs
New roof materials and installation technologies allow for longer roof lifespans, but roofs older than 20 years are typically past their life expectancy. Unseen issues could exist such as moisture collection that leads to water damage. Because of this, most insurers will require an inspection before writing a new policy or renewing an old one for homes with older roofs. If the roof does not pass inspection, it is the homeowner’s responsibility to have a new roof installed.
Take Precautions to Get the Most Out of Your Insurance
Home insurance agencies want to see homeowners taking the proper precautions to maintain their roof. In the case of a damaged roof, showing proof of regular maintenance and care can help your case to have the cost of the repairs covered.
Have an Inspection Performed
Hire a contractor to inspect your roof, even if you don’t think anything is wrong. This is especially important for roofs over ten years old. Having an assessment of the roof’s current condition on file in case of an unfortunate event shows an insurer exactly what damages were done. Otherwise, it could be hard to determine what damage was caused by the event and what was due to negligence. Take before and after pictures of your roof’s condition as well for visual proof.
Deal with any minor issues as they come up. One broken shingle may not seem like a big issue, but it is a weak spot that could gradually worsen and spread. Water and debris could seep in, causing mold and mildew to form. Sometimes insurance inspectors check on homes without the owner’s knowledge. If an inspector sees broken shingles on your roof, they may take note and even go so far as to cancel your policy.
Pay Attention to the Trees
Falling trees and branches are a common cause of roof damage. If there is an overhanging branch near your roof or a dying tree in your yard, it is best to take care of it as soon as possible. In the event that the tree causes damage to your roof, you could be at fault for failing to take the proper precautions.
Filing a Roof Replacement Claim
Just as it is important to take pictures of your roofs condition prior to an incident, it is also important to document the damages afterward. Get your camera out to record as much as you can from the ground, and call an inspector to assess the damage from up top. Experienced contractors will know what to look for. Get an estimate from the contractor to submit to your insurance company.
Call the insurance company right away to find out exactly what they will cover. Depending on the age of your roof, the extent of damage or the condition prior to the destructive incident, your insurer may only cover part of the cost. If a full replacement is needed, the insurance company will most likely send an inspector out to determine the necessity.
Roof protection is vital when it comes to keeping your home safe. Proper maintenance and awareness of your roof’s condition can prevent you being stuck with large expenses in the case of an emergency. Get familiar with your homeowner’s insurance policy to know what to expect and how to optimize your coverage.
If you think your roof might be damaged, or you just want to take the proper precautions, call Mr. Roof for a free estimate. We want to make roofing affordable and easy for you. We will work directly with your insurance company, and we offer easy financing. Our roofs are high quality and backed by a lifetime warranty, so there is never a good reason to put of roof maintenance.