Most every homeowner carries homeowners insurance, especially mortgaged homes. Homeowners insurance can give you peace of mind knowing that you will be covered in the event of a damaging storm or other natural disaster. Saving you money from unexpected, costly repairs, even complete roof replacements if needed. Having insurance is a good thing!
However, homeowners insurance while a great thing to have, doesn’t cover everything and in many policies you’d probably be surprised to see what isn’t covered or what can void a claim.
It’s important to remember insurance companies exist for one reason, profit. They have put in place many measures to protect themselves from losses due to fraud and what they see as unnecessary expenses, by excluding some types of repairs and even materials.
Many homeowners haven’t examined their policies closely and can be unaware of certain exclusions. These become apparent whenever a claim is made and then denied. Worse, if the repair has already been done but the claim denied, the homeowner is left “holding the bag”.
What are some common exclusions?
Some insurance restrict the roofing materials that can be used to repair or replace your roof. With the sheer variety of shingles and materials, insurance companies feel more comfortable covering what they know.
The costs of materials vary wildly, “green” materials may be nice and fantastic for the environment but can be quite expensive not only in materials but future repairs. Many insurance companies will not cover “green” materials simply because of cost, disregarding the long-term value.
Before having any repairs or any other work done to the roof, be sure that the contractor you use is using materials approved by the insurer.
Roof Replacement/Improper Maintenance
While most roof repairs are typically covered in policies, especially storm damage and other unforeseen problems. If the damage is attributed to poor maintenance or other negligent issue, the claim will likely be denied.
This includes complete roof replacement is some cases. While most damages warranting replacement will likely be covered, simply not having regular maintenance can void any type of replacement claim, regardless of the cause of damage. This can be quite a shock to someone who’s roof was damaged by a storm only to find out that they weren’t covered because there was no maintenance done in the past 5 years.
– Mold and mildew are often excluded in newer policies.
– Flood damage from “ground water”. Even if your drainage system is clogged it is still often considered ground water.
– Bad workmanship, even if it was done by a contractor referred by your INSURANCE COMPANY.
– Old or poorly maintained roofs are often denied coverage.
– Lack of “Due diligence” on the part of the homeowner. This usually means not reporting a problem or damage in a timely manner.
Also, check the deductible amounts to see how much YOU will be responsible for in the event of a claim. A lot of insurance companies are raising deductibles on certain types of claims these days. This might explain the lower rates of some policies, know what you are getting for your money!
The bottom line is, your policy may or may not cover these things, it is important for you to know what your policy does and does not cover. Read your policy and call your insurance agent with any questions so you know what to expect when the time comes.