Ice storms. Wildfires. Falling trees. The occasional airplane part tumbling from the sky. While your roof is valiantly keeping you safe, it can certainly take a hit. When it does, will your homeowners insurance cover the damage? Read on to find out.
When does homeowners insurance cover roof damage?
Unless there is an exclusion, most standard homeowners insurance policies help pay to repair your roof if it's damaged by weather or an accident if the damage is caused by a peril listed in your policy.
If your roof gets wrecked, notify your insurance company right away. When filing a claim, include photos of the roof, if possible, both before and after it was damaged. (You can also ask for images from a hired roof inspector or contractor.) Be sure to keep any inspection reports and paperwork related to repairs.
When does homeowners insurance cover a new roof?
If you have a newer roof and it's in good condition, you may qualify for roof replacement coverage. This type of policy will pay you enough to replace the portion of the roof that was damaged by the event.
If you live in Montana or Wyoming and have a homeowners insurance policy with AAA with roof replacement coverage, but want to opt out of it, you can purchase an optional endorsement that lowers your monthly premium. This endorsement switches your policy from replacement cost (the amount it would cost to replace your roof) to actual cash value (your roof's depreciated value). In other words, your monthly AAA premium will be lower, but so will the amount you receive when submitting a roof claim.
When doesn’t homeowners insurance cover roof damage?
Home insurance typically covers damage that's accidental or sudden, such as hail damage or damage caused when an object falls on your roof.
Damage caused by wear and tear isn't covered, however, nor is neglect. So if you haven't maintained your roof properly and a problem crops up, any claim you file will probably be denied. To find out if your roof is covered, read your policy or talk to your agent.
Does homeowners insurance cover roof leaks?
It depends. If the leak was caused by a peril listed in your policy—like hail or a windstorm—you're probably covered. But if you haven't kept up with your roof maintenance and it's fallen into disrepair, you might have to pay to repair any resulting leaks yourself.
How can I spot a roof leak?
Roof leaks are not always easy to see. If you suspect your roof has a leak, consider hiring a professional who can conduct a thorough inspection. Some signs that you might have a leaky roof include water stains on your ceilings, faded or peeling paint inside your home, mold on the ceiling, wet attic insulation, or rotted beams in your attic. Some ways to spot a leak from the outside of your house include loose or curling shingles on your roof, or an increase of debris in your gutters, which prevents waterflow and can create a roof leak over time. But whether you see any potential symptoms or not, it's a good idea to properly maintain your roof to prevent any future trouble.
If you do find a leak in your roof, you may be tempted to fix it yourself. And while there's plenty of DIY advice online, it's better to contact a professional since you may end up causing more damage, or worse, end up hurting yourself. Roofing is a highly specialized trade and it's best to rely on a skilled professional to address your roofing needs.
Does homeowners insurance cover water damage from a leaking roof?
Yes, most homeowners policies will cover water damage if the roof started leaking due to an accident listed in your policy. If the roof simply leaks because it's old and hasn't been well maintained, however, you'll have to pay for the repairs yourself.
Does the age of my roof impact my insurance coverage?
Yes, if you have an older roof, coverage will likely be limited based on its age and the amount of depreciation.
Award-winning AAA insurance agents can help you find the right coverage for your needs. Call (877) 323-4222 or request a quote online to get started.