Damaged Roofs, Homeowner’s Insurance, and You

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Posted on May 24, 2019

Damaged Roofs, Homeowner’s Insurance, and You

The world of insurance can feel like a difficult one to navigate, especially when it comes to filing a claim for a damaged roof. If you’ve discovered significant damage to your roof and need to act quickly, the whole situation can become stressful. Add on to that the need for a lot of following up with insurance adjusters and roofing contractors, and the scenario can turn overwhelming in no time.

Insurance companies understand the importance of a well-maintained roof. When a roof sustains damage, it often leads to more issues in other areas of the home. These extra claims lead to excess stress on the homeowners, as well as more payouts from the insurance companies. Most companies have similar policies when it comes to what they will pay to fix your damaged roof, but it is always best to speak with your insurance provider to discuss the specific terms of your homeowner’s insurance plan.

Generally speaking, insurance companies will cover severe damages caused by situations outside of homeowner’s responsibility, also known as “Acts of God.” These include: 

  • Fire
  • Tornadoes
  • Vandalism
  • Hurricanes 

It is important to note that standard weather conditions –wind, rain, and hail– are not necessarily covered by most insurance plans, depending on the structure of the policy and the age of the roof. Any damage that occurs due to improper maintenance is considered to be the responsibility of the homeowner. Your policy will outline whether damages will be fully or partially covered.

What You Can Do...

Insurance providers value clients who take preventative measures to avoid damages on their property. Because your roof is somewhat vulnerable to damages all throughout the year, it’s important to take the steps you can to protect it or, if the worst should happen, file a claim to have your insurance company replace your roof.

The best way to ensure your homeowner’s insurance policy will cover the damages your roof sustains in a storm is to show your provider that you have done everything in your power to maintain your roof. Here are some more helpful tips for dealing with insurance companies: 

Be Proactive! Towering trees are both a beautiful addition to your landscaping and a helpful, shady friend for the summer months. However, that giant oak next to your home will have far less appeal when it crashes through your roof and ends up in your living room. Even windblown branches can cause serious damage to your roof, so it’s important to cut back trees that could fall on top of your roof. Insurance providers will expect you to take this precaution and you might have a hard time getting an insurance payout for your roof if your provider deems the situation avoidable.

Also be sure to maintain gutters and downspouts and get regular roof inspections. The steps you take to help prevent damages to your roof will pay off in the long run and might make your insurance provider more likely to replace a damaged roof!

Check for and Document Damages! If there is damage to your roof caused by severe weather, it is important to find out about it sooner than later. If you believe there has been damage to your roof, call a licensed roofing contractor as soon as you can. You might not see any damage from the outside, but there might be serious damage beneath that can only be detected by a trained specialist. 

Be sure to document any evidence of damages. Keep in mind, some policies have strict guidelines regarding the amount of time you can wait to call a contractor after the damage has been sustained. If you wait too long, your policy might not cover any repairs. So, once it is safe, you should have your roof inspected after a severe storm.

Contact Insurance Company Immediately! Because policies differ, there isn’t one set standard for how long you can wait until you file a claim for roof damage with your insurance provider. That’s why it is always best to get in contact with your provider as soon as possible after discovering any damage to go over what your coverages are. It’s good to have a current copy of your policy with you, that way you can review the parameters of your policy before you make your claim.

Inspect Roofs over 15 Years Old! If your roof is old enough to get a driving permit, it’s also old enough to cause potential frustrations when it comes to filing a claim. Typically, roofs that are less than 10 years old qualify for full coverage when it comes to replacement. Roofs that are 15-20 years old, however, might only receive partial reimbursement if your insurance provider only pays out on what it determines the roof’s worth to be after decades of wear and tear.

Know Your Policy! Having an understanding of your insurance policy is the best way to know whether or not your insurance provider will cover the cost of a roof replacement. If you have questions, or if you’re uncertain about anything, be sure to contact your insurance provider to go over exactly what is and is not covered. After sustaining damage in a storm, the last thing you want to find out is that replacing your roof is not covered by your insurance! 

At Honest Abe Roofing we do not charge to evaluate your storm damaged property. Don’t struggle through the claims process alone. Call Honest Abe Roofing for a free roofing evaluation today!

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