Does Your Homeowner’s Insurance Cover a New Roof?

Understanding Your Insurance Policy

If you’ve had damage done to your roof, you may be wondering whether your homeowner’s insurance covers a new roof. While the answer to this question is complex, we’ll take a look at some general situations that may apply to you. As a rule, coverage of a new roof will depend on the cause of the damage, the extent of the damage, and the perimeters of your insurance coverage.

Common Insurance Coverages

Homeowner’s insurance may cover the cost of a new roof if the damage is caused by certain covered events outlined in your policy. These are sudden and unexpected events such as an act of nature or an unusual and unpreventable accident. For example, a tree falling on your roof due to a storm.

Your standard homeowner’s policy typically covers damage caused by the following:

  • Fire and Smoke
  • Lightning
  • Windstorms
  • Hail or Ice
  • Explosions
  • Aircraft or Other Falling Objects
  • Riots of Civil Unrest
  • Vehicles
  • Vandalism or Malicious Mischief
  • Theft
  • Volcanic Eruption
roof with patch of missing shingles

Sudden & Accidental Coverage

Additional coverage may include damage caused by the accidental water overflow from home systems, accidental failure of a water heater, air conditioning, or fire-protective system, freezing, and sudden, accidental damage from an electrical current.

Most homeowner’s policies cover only the “perils” or causes of damage listed on the policy. However, some policies have an “open peril” policy. This is a more comprehensive policy and usually covers all damage with a few exceptions.

Insurance Coverage Exclusions

Insurance companies may require you to purchase additional coverage for such events as earthquakes and flooding if your home is in a susceptible area. In fact, most mortgage companies require this additional coverage.

Cosmetic Damage Exclusion

If the roof damage is determined to be cosmetic, such as the marring or a metal roof, the insurance company will not cover it. The damage to the roof from a covered event must be major enough to cause issues with the roof’s structure or functionality.

Two Types of Homeowner’s Insurance Policies

Insurance companies offer policies with two types of roof coverage: repair and replacement coverage.

  1. Repair Coverage – the insurance company reimburses you for a percentage of the roof repair cost.
  2. Replacement Coverage – the insurance company pays for a full replacement if a repair is not possible.

In addition, deductibles and percent coverages can vary as well based on the policy.

It’s important to read your homeowner’s policy carefully and understand your coverage. You don’t want any unexpected surprises if you find you need to file a claim.

Will my homeowner’s insurance cover the cost to replace an aged roof?

No, homeowner’s insurance will not cover a roof replacement undertaken simply due to age. A leaking roof is also not likely covered. Nor is damage caused by pests. These situations are considered maintenance issues or preventable damage.

 

Insurance companies place responsibility for regular roof maintenance on the homeowner. Regular roof maintenance will usually prevent significant damage before it occurs and prolong the life of your roof. All roofs will eventually need replacing due to regular wear and tear caused by exposure to the elements.

 

For additional protection, you may want to consider a home warranty. Home warranties provide coverage for certain events not covered by standard homeowner’s policies. You may want to consider coverage for a leaky roof for example for added peace of mind.

 

Warranties generally will not cover a full roof replacement but will help to provide some level of coverage for unexpected repair costs.

Will my aged roof be replaced if the damage is caused by a covered event?

The type of policy you have will determine if an older roof is covered when damaged by a covered event.  If your policy has a 100% roof coverage clause, it will usually be covered regardless of the age. 

If your policy has an adjusted replacement coverage percentage, having an aged roof may make it harder to get the damage covered. If your roof is aged, regardless of the damage caused by a covered event, your homeowner’s insurance may not cover the full cost of a roof replacement.  This is because an aged or neglected roof is more susceptible to damage.

warped and damaged shingles on roof

If your aged roof is damaged due to a sudden covered event, the insurance company might reimburse you for the actual cash value of the roof. This means the insurance company subtracts depreciation from the replacement cost for a new roof. The homeowner would not get the full amount needed for a new roof, only what the roof is worth at the time of the loss.

 

Generally, even policies with a 100% coverage will only pay the depreciated amount for the roof once the homeowner has provided proof of the roof replacement being completed.

 

Homeowners also risk non-renewal of their homeowner’s policy if their roof is aged. Insurance companies typically will require homeowners to make roof repairs prior to approving a renewal.

 

When you need a roof replacement, it’s important to work with local, reliable roofing contractors to be sure you get the best service and warranties. 

 

Check out our full list of questions to ask your roofing contractor.

What should I do if my roof is damaged?

  1. File a claim with your insurance company.
  2. The insurance company will send out an insurance adjuster to inspect your roof and assess the damage.
  3. Make sure you have all your documents ready. You’ll need a copy of your homeowner’s insurance policy and any photos of the damage including date of occurrence. If you can’t take photos yourself, call a roofing company and request an inspection. If you’ve had previous repair work done make sure to provide this documentation as well.
  4. After you have submitted your claim, call a trustworthy roofing company to complete your new roof replacement.
replacing roofing shingles for new roof

You will need to pay your deductible before your homeowner’s insurance will kick in. Any reimbursement you receive will be less your deductible. This may be a consideration when determining if you need a full roof replacement or if an out-of-pocket repair will be sufficient. Deductibles may vary depending on the cause of the damage and your insurance policy.

CALL ALLIED CONSTRUCTION AND RESTORATION AT 248-238-8132

Give Allied Construction and Restoration a call.  We’ll provide a FREE roof inspection and consultation. Our expert roof installers will inspect the damage and file a report to your insurance company. Even if the insurance company sends out an inspector, it is always advisable to hire an outside roofing contractor to inspect for additional damages. You want to give yourself the best chance that your claim is accepted for reimbursement.

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