After a severe storm tore through your neighborhood, did all your neighbors get approved by their insurance companies to get new roofs besides you? Many frustrated homeowners find that their neighbors got their damaged roof replacements covered by their homeowners insurance company, while their own insurance company has denied their roof damage claim. If you’re in the same boat, there may be a reason your claim was denied.
Is roof damage covered by homeowners insurance?
Homeowners insurance typically covers some types of roof damage after you pay your deductible, but it depends on how the roof was damaged. The general rule for roof coverage is that your homeowners insurance likely covers roof damage as long as it wasn’t caused by neglect and lack of maintenance on your part. Roof damage coverage depends on your policy too. It’s possible that your policy has exclusions of coverage, such as for damage from wind or hail.
Homeowners insurance covers damage to your home and property from covered perils. If your roof is damaged, the part of your policy that would cover it is dwelling coverage. This covers your home’s structure, including your roof.
What if a tree goes through your roof and damages furniture inside your home? If personal items inside your home were also damaged, your personal property coverage may cover the repair or replacement of those items.
How to get insurance to pay for a new roof
Homeowners insurance covers roof damage if it was caused by something accidental or sudden. Usually, if your roof was damaged by severe weather, such as hail, a hurricane or a tornado, your insurance company will cover it as long as the roof was in good shape before the storm. Common weather that could damage a roof includes hail and wind. Your roof may also be damaged by fire.
If you think your roof claim was wrongfully denied, you can dispute it to try and get the damages covered by insurance. You can have a roofing company inspect your roof and determine the damage that has been done. If it’s determined that your roof suffered enough damage to warrant a claim, you can request a re-inspection from your insurance company.
If your company still determines there isn’t enough damage to repair or replace your roof, hiring an attorney may be necessary if you wish to pursue it further.
Things to look out for in roof damage claims
Out of all reviews users submitted to Clearsurance that discussed roof damage to their home, about 30 percent of them rated their experience with their insurance company with three stars out of 5 or less. There are things you should look out for if you need to file a roof damage claim.
Be aware that in some cases, your damages may be less than what your deductible is. If that’s the case, you won’t receive coverage from your homeowners insurance to repair your roof because it will cost you less money to pay for the repair of the roof on your own.
A Clearsurance user discussed an experience with this in a homeowners insurance review saying, “Hurricane damaged several roof shingles. Called insurance company and adjuster came. Although the damage was less than the deductible the adjuster went onto the roof and did a complete inspection and told us where the damage was. Put our minds to rest that the damage was slight as we could not personally inspect the roof.”
Another thing to be aware of is that you may be offered a partial roof replacement or partial payout for your roof damage. If the adjuster determines that your roof isn’t fully damaged and only part of it needs to be replaced, your insurance company may only cover to repair that part of the roof. An issue you could run into with this is that you may not be able to find new shingles to match your roof, ending up with a mismatched roof.
Another Clearsurance user discussed this in a review saying, “Our town experienced a tornado with devastating damage, but thankfully no one was injured or killed. Our roof suffered hail damage so we contacted our agent to see about a replacement. They sent an inspector who said that the roof was only "partially damaged" and would not pay for a complete replacement. Since it was impossible to match the shingles, we ended up re-roofing the entire house at a cost of over $16,000.”
Why was my roof damage claim denied?
If your homeowners insurance company denied your roof damage claim, there may be a reason for it. Reasons your roof damage claim could be denied include:
- Negligence: One of the most common reasons your roof claim may be denied is if it’s determined your roof was not properly maintained. As a homeowner, you’re responsible for maintaining your roof. If your roof was damaged by heavy rain but was in need of repairs because of its age and/or condition, your homeowners insurance company is likely to deny your roof damage claim.
- Wear and tear damage: Homeowners insurance doesn’t cover wear and tear damage. This means if you need a new roof because it’s old and needs replacing and it wasn’t damaged by a specific incident, your roof replacement wouldn’t be covered by homeowners insurance
- Non-covered peril: It’s not uncommon for a homeowners insurance company to exclude wind and hail damage from your covered perils. Additionally, earthquakes are commonly not covered under homeowners insurance as well as mold damage. It’s important to check your insurance policy to find out which perils are covered by your policy. If you live in an area that’s more likely to experience certain natural disasters that could damage your roof, consider purchasing extra coverage to protect your home.
- Not enough dwelling coverage: Your homeowners insurance company may deny your roof damage claim if your policy doesn’t have adequate coverage for roof damage. Be sure to check with your insurance policy to make sure you have enough coverage for your home.
- Waiting too long to file the roof damage claim: If you experience damage to your home, your insurance company expects you to report it and file a claim as soon as possible. If you wait too long to file a claim, it’s possible that your homeowners insurance company may deny your claim. Additional damage could be done if the damage isn’t taken care of in a timely manner.
What to do when you have a roof leak
If you’ve noticed a roof leak in your home, there are steps you can take in order to minimize the damage the leak may cause. To start, be sure to move all personal items and furniture away from the roof leak area to prevent them from getting damage as best you can. Cover anything in the leaking area with plastic if possible to protect it from the water. You should also place a bucket under the leak to catch the water.
You’ll want to try to determine the cause of your roof leak. You can contact a roofing contractor to evaluate your roof and get to the root of the cause. If your roof is damaged, you can contact your homeowners insurance company and they’ll send an adjuster to look at your roof.
If you’re not happy with the way your homeowners insurance company handled your roof damage claim, you can visit our best homeowners insurance companies page to browse top rated companies in your area and get a quote from a new company.
The content on this site is offered only as a public service to the web community and does not constitute solicitation or provision of legal advice. This site should not be used as a substitute for obtaining legal advice from an insurance company or an attorney licensed or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. You should always consult a suitably qualified attorney regarding any specific legal problem or matter. The comments and opinions expressed on this site are of the individual author and may not reflect the opinions of the insurance company or any individual attorney.