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Does Homeowners Insurance Pay for a New Roof?

Published on Wednesday October 25, 2017

Damaged Roof

Your house is one of your biggest investments, so it’s not fun to think about how it can be wiped out in a matter of minutes. You want to make sure that your insurance will pay for a new roof in the instance that a tree comes crashing down on it.

Whether it’s theft, an unfortunate accident or a catastrophic weather event, it’s important to make sure you’re covered when disaster strikes.

But when it comes to roof damage, the lines can get a little blurry, making it unclear whether or not insurance will pay for your new roof should you need it.

Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Roof Replacement?

In many instances, homeowners insurance will pay for a new roof if it is damaged by an extreme weather event such as a lightning strike or snow storm. Most policies do not cover a roof repair or replacement from normal wear and tear.

Each situation is unique, and there isn’t necessarily a one-size-fits-all answer as to whether insurance will cover a new roof.

New Roof on a House

Roof insurance is part of your homeowners insurance and covers your roof in cases where it is damaged to the point that it needs major repair or even a replacement. This mainly includes roof damage caused by reasons outside of the homeowner’s control, such as a fire or vandalism.

According to Allstate, damage from extreme weather or “acts of God” including hurricanes and tornadoes are also usually covered. 

However, Kanner & Pintaluga accident attorneys have noted that many companies are moving away from roof insurance policies that cover hail and wind damage.

Insurance companies don’t often want to pay up on their claims, much less have multiple claims to pay in the same area at once. When hail and wind come through an area, the damage is widespread and many homes would likely be affected. 

Does Insurance Cover Roof Leaks?

In most cases, homeowners insurance will cover roof leaks if the leak was caused by a circumstance that’s covered in your policy and the damage caused was sudden. Damage that has accumulated over time is often denied coverage when a claim is filed. 

It’s important to understand that proving the cause of the leak can be a difficult and contentious process — what the homeowner considers a sudden event may be perceived as a result of neglect by the claims inspector.

For example, a homeowner files a claim for a roof caving during a large snowstorm. They can technically be denied coverage if the inspector concludes that years of accumulation of snow on the roof led to a gradual weakening which ultimately caused the roof to collapse. 

Double checking your policy to remind yourself what is and isn’t covered at least once a year is always a good practice to help prevent unpleasant surprises that can make a bad situation even worse. 

Does Homeowners Insurance Cover a New Roof if it’s Just a Maintenance Issue?

A lot of the time, the answer is no. 

Not all roof insurance covers all roofing needs. There are many other factors at play.

For example, if you have an older roof, say more than 20 years old, insurance companies generally consider those roofs to be past their life expectancy and could choose to reimburse only a portion of any repairs or replacement – or nothing at all.

Limitations of Roof Insurance Coverage

Many possible policy exclusions, according to Investopedia, include improper maintenance, neglect or old age. If you didn’t keep up with your regular roof maintenance or tried to DIY-it instead of calling a pro, many insurance companies will deny your claim. 

The use of certain expensive roofing materials like slate or recycled shake shingles, roofs with more than two layers of roofing material, and even your home’s geographic location can also affect whether an insurer will cover a roof claim.

Signing Insurance Forms

Tips for Filing a Roofing Insurance Claim

To begin the process, call your insurance company so that they can inspect your roof to determine if damage has occurred. They can then give you an estimate for your roof insurance claim.

Be sure to gather up as many documents as you can before you call your insurance company.

A copy of your current home insurance policy, any home inspection reports, receipts for any roof work you’ve done and before-and-after photos of any damage that has occurred are all helpful in easing the claims process.

Other Financing Options 

One alternative financing option for repairing and replacing your roof is out-of-pocket payment, although not everyone can afford to put down a large sum all at once.

Another option is company financing. Long Roofing has secure and convenient financing that fits every homeowner’s budget with multiple payment options, including online payment.

Signs of Damage That May Indicate You Need a Roof Replacement

According to the National Roofing Contractors Association, homeowners should perform a regular roof inspection twice a year – once in the spring and once in the fall – to diagnose potential problems early. Homeowners should also inspect their roof after any major storm or weather event to make sure everything is still where it needs to be.

Here’s what you should be looking for:

  • Shingles: Look for old or worn out shingles that are curled, buckled, split or missing. 
  • Gutters: Make sure gutters are clear of obstructions. Inspect gutters and downspouts for any granules from your shingles.
  • Water Damage: Indoors, look for cracked paint, discolored plasterboard and peeling wallpaper as signs of damaged roof areas. Check the insulation in the attic – if it’s damp, there could be a leak.
  • Flashing: Check the flashing around vents, skylights and chimney seals to ensure there are no cracks or breaks.
  • Venting: Make sure all sources of roof ventilation are open and unblocked. Without proper ventilation, heat and moisture can build up in the attic and lead to various types of roof damage.

Did You Get Hit by a Recent Storm?

We’ll work with you and your insurance company to help make your roof replacement project as smooth and painless as possible. Call the roofers you can trust to bring you peace of mind.

Visit us online to get a price estimate, schedule a free in-home consultation and find answers to your roofing questions.

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**Excludes labor. Subject to credit approval.

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