Does Home Insurance Cover Roof Damage?
The situations when roof repairs or replacement may be covered by your homeowners policy
All homeowners hope their home’s roof is built to last. However, even if you have the most durable roof, composed of the most resilient materials, it’s not impenetrable. A house fire, hurricane-strength winds, a lightning strike, or other unpredictable events can cause serious roof damage. It is often extremely costly to repair a roof, not to mention fully replace one, so you’ll want to know if your home insurance will cover this type of expense. The HIG team is here to help you understand what your homeowners policy typically will and will not cover when it comes to roof damage.
What roof damage does home insurance cover?
Since each homeowners policy is written slightly differently, and may specifically include or exclude certain situations, until we have the opportunity to review your coverage details, HIG cannot guarantee that your roof damage will be covered.
However, if your roof is ravaged by any of the following events, most standard homeowners insurance policies will help you cover the costs to repair or replace it:
- Fire and Smoke
- Fallen Tree
- Lightning Strike
- Weight of Snow, Ice, or Rain
When your roof is severely damaged, it can leave the rest of your home and its contents exposed to the elements, such as rain or snow, which can lead to serious water damage to your house and its contents. For this reason, a standard home insurance policy typically includes coverage to help you pay for repairs to or replacement of personal items that are ruined due to a damaged roof as long as the damage is a direct result of the hazards listed above or another covered event.
Home insurance coverage also typically extends to the roofs of unattached structures on your property, like a garage or shed.
When is a homeowner responsible for roof damage?
Now it’s time for some HIG straight talk about one of your main responsibilities as a homeowner—properly caring for and maintaining your roof. Your home insurance company is not going to cover issues related to general wear and tear. To avoid this potential issue, and to keep you as the homeowner safe, we suggest hiring roofing professionals to perform regular inspections. An expert can help ensure that your roofing materials are up to code, that your roof is free of debris and doesn’t have areas where water or snow can collect, and that trees around your home are safely trimmed back.
Finally, keep in mind that any reimbursement for roof damage will typically kick in only after you exceed your policy deductible. If you’re unsure of your home insurance deductible, the best thing to do is to contact a local insurance professional, like HIG, for help understanding these numbers and adjusting them if necessary.
What should you do if your roof is damaged?
We recommend that you pick up the phone and call your local insurance professional as soon as you notice any damage to your roof. At HIG, we first evaluate the situation and whether it makes sense for a homeowner to file a claim. When it does, we walk our client through the steps of the claims process. If you don’t have an agent, you’ll have to reach out to your insurance carrier directly to report the incident.
The next thing we recommend you do is take photographs or video of the roof damage—if it’s safe to do so—and keep these for your records, as they could be needed to support your claim. If you notice that the damage to your roof has resulted in a leak or some other issue that might cause further damage to your home, it’s critical to arrange for a temporary fix as soon as possible. However, don’t make any permanent repairs to your roof until an insurance representative can get out to your property to inspect the damage and you have reached an agreement for the cost of the roof work.
Working with a local insurance professional when you have a roof damage claim can help the process move more quickly and smoothly. So, if you don’t yet have an agent in the neighborhood to assist you, it might be time to talk to the knowledgeable team at HIG. As your insurance professional, we will provide you with assistance during challenging times, like when you have a claim or other issue. We will also help make sure your home insurance is set up appropriately to provide protection not just for your roof but for your entire property. Put our experience to work for you today by calling us at (508) 676-5949.