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Does Homeowners Insurace Cover Roof Repairs?

The short answer is, it depends. We’ll explain scenarios where your insurance company might not have your best interest in mind and give you tips on how to increase your chances of getting your homeowners insurance to cover your roof repairs. You’ll walk away knowing how to navigate the roof repair process with confidence.

Scenario 1: Your Insurance Company Won’t Cover the Full Cost of Repairs

Insurance may deny your claim altogether or only pay for a small portion of your roof repairs if you have an older roof because they factor in depreciation.

What to know about your insurance coverage:

Check your policy to see if you have actual cash value (ACV) or replacement cost value (RCV) coverage. Depending on your coverage type, the amount of money you’ll end up paying out of pocket could easily be a difference of thousands of dollars.

  • If you have ACV coverage, your homeowners insurance will cover the value of your roof minus depreciation based on your roof’s age.
  • If you have RCV coverage, your insurance may pay for the cost of replacement without factoring in depreciation, and you only pay your deductible- even if your roof is older.

What your homeowners insurance company won’t tell you:

Roofs are excluded from RCV coverage with some insurance plans, so even if you see RCV listed in your coverage, make sure to clarify whether or not it applies to your roof. With RCV coverage, you should only have to pay for your deductible and any upgraded roofing materials you choose.

Tip #1 for working with your homeowner’s insurance on a roof repair

If possible, be proactive about RCV roof coverage. Get yearly roofing inspections and maintain proper roof maintenance to avoid insurance claim denials due to negligence and pre-existing damage or vulnerabilities. Proper roof maintenance includes making sure there are no hazardous branches hanging over your roof waiting to wreak havoc in the event of a storm.

Scenario 2: You Tried to Patch Up Your Roof Yourself

We know it’s tempting to grab a ladder and salvage your leaking roof after a storm. You might even be thinking about buying replacement shingles or using flex seal or roof cement to DIY a patch job before a roofer can there. We caution against doing any work to your roof yourself. DIY jobs put you in danger and jeopardize your chances of getting your roof repair paid for by insurance.

What to know about your insurance coverage:

Insurance will only cover work for roof work done by professionals. If you get up on your roof and start hammering and sealing away, you risk damaging your roof further- a mistake your insurance company won’t cover. You could void the warranties of your roofing materials, create additional costs when roofers need to remove what you’ve added and lose out on a reputable roofer because they don’t want to get up on a roof that’s been subject to unskilled workmanship.

What your homeowners insurance company won’t tell you:

Instead of working on your roof yourself, the most important steps to take after your roof gets damaged are:

  1. Make sure it’s safe to stay in your home. If your home isn’t safe and your roof is on the verge of collapsing, make arrangements to stay somewhere else until your roof is repaired.
  2. Contact a local, reputable and experienced roofing company.
  3. Contain any leaks as much as possible with buckets and tarps, get water cleared out of any affected areas of your home and move your belongings away from leaks.

Tip #2 for working with your homeowner’s insurance on a roof repair:

 Call your insurance company within 72 hours (or less, depending on your policy) to make an initial contact about any roof damage. Some companies give you up to a year to file a claim for roof repair, but it’s best to check your policy to be sure. We recommend talking with your insurance company promptly after you have a licensed, bonded and insured roofer come out to inspect the damage to your roof.

Take photos of your roof damage as best you can from a ladder or the ground (don’t get on your roof), and make sure your roofer takes photos and documents any damage, too.

Scenario 3: Your Homeowners Insurance Company Wants You to Get Multiple Roof Repair Quotes

Typically, getting multiple quotes for work around your home is an excellent practice. In the case of emergency roof repairs, however, getting multiple quotes can work against you if you’re planning to file a claim with insurance.

What to know about your insurance coverage:

You have the right to choose the roofer you work with. Depending on your policy, your insurance should ideally pay for everything except your deductible and any upgrades to roofing materials you choose.

What your homeowners insurance company won’t tell you:

If you get multiple quotes, it’s likely your insurance will choose the lowest bid, which could leave you with sub-par roofing materials and poor-quality workmanship. Going with a cheap roofer might sound enticing in the short term, but the choice could reduce your home value, void the warranties of your roofing materials and decrease your chances of getting future insurance claims approved.

Though they may ask, your insurance company can’t make you get multiple quotes for your roof repair. Choose a reputable, local roofing company that has experience working with homeowners insurance companies and emergency roof repairs.

Tip #3 for working with your homeowner’s insurance on a roof repair:

Take the reins and let your insurance company know what roofing company you’ll be working with. Save yourself the hassle of hunting down the lowest price for your insurance company.

Scenario 4: Your Homeowners Insurance May Have Limitations

Depending on your insurance company and where you live, you may only be eligible for wind, hail, fire or tropical storm coverage as part of a separate, additional policy.

What to know about your insurance coverage:

Even if you have coverage for wind, hail, fire, tropical storms or other disasters, insurance won’t cover damages they consider to be cosmetic, like nicks in shingles. Also, not all roofing materials are eligible for coverage, for example, metal may be too expensive and wood may be too expensive or too hazardous.

What your homeowners insurance company won’t tell you:

If your claim was denied and your existing coverage doesn’t extend to wind, hail or severe storms, ask your insurance company how to buy more comprehensive coverage for the future. See if you are eligible for discounts on your premium or future roof repairs if you choose to install impact or wind-resistant roofing materials.

Tip #4 for working with your homeowner’s insurance on a roof repair:

Insurance companies probably won’t tell you how you can save money on special coverage for events like hail and wind, and they might not tell you how you can get better coverage for the future. Be your own best advocate and ask your agent!

Scenario 5: Your Insurance Company Says You Failed to Maintain Your Roof Properly

When an adjuster comes to inspect your roof, there’s a chance your claim will be denied due to perceived maintenance issues.

What to know about your insurance coverage:

Insurance is important to have, but your insurance company won’t be standing at the ready with a handful of cash for you when your roof gets damaged. Your insurance adjuster will be looking for ways to reduce the company’s financial responsibility to cover your roof damage.

What your homeowners insurance company won’t tell you:

Your insurance company will pay for damages covered under your policy, but you are responsible for regular roof inspections and maintenance. Any owner-inflicted damages, or damages the adjuster finds to be due to failure to address pre-existing damage or vulnerabilities, can ruin your chances of getting coverage - even if they’re seemingly minor issues.

Tip #5 for working with your homeowner’s insurance on a roof repair:

You can appeal denied claims, but the process is cumbersome and stressful. Stay ahead of the game by documenting all roof maintenance, roof repairs and annual roof inspections and keep your paperwork organized and easily accessible. Have your documents ready to furnish should your maintenance be questioned or your claim be challenged or denied.

Call Overhead Solutions for Quality Roof Repairs and Help with Insurance Claims

The team at Overhead Solutions is experienced in working with insurance companies to help you navigate the claims process successfully. You can even ask one of us to be there when your insurance adjuster arrives so we can advocate for roof repair coverage. Call or send us a message today!