It’s an assumption many make, “I have Homeowners Insurance, surely that covers roof damage, right?”. Unfortunately, the answer isn’t so clear if you don’t know the specifics of your policy.
How do you find out? Obviously, the easiest way to know what your homeowners insurance covers is to contact your insurance provider and simply ask. Eligible coverage often depends on factors such as roof age, the area you live in, and other criteria (including keeping up with scheduled maintenance). Knowing the specifics of your policy before a problem occurs is very important, as plugging holes in your policy now could save you thousands later.
What Does Home Insurance Usually Cover?
Homeowner policies can vary greatly from vendor to vendor and what state the home is in. Most policies provide coverage for roof damage caused by unpreventable situations such as vandalism, fire, and “Acts of God” like hurricanes and tornadoes are also usually covered.
However, while wind, hail, and rain may be covered by your home insurance policy, there are situations that determine if these kinds of damage are eligible and if so, how much you will be reimbursed. These same criteria that apply to your roof may also apply to exterior property, such as siding and gutters as well. Meaning, in many instances, you may only be partially covered depending on your specifics.
Age Of Your Roof
Many homeowner policies also take the age of your roof into consideration at the time the damage occurred. If, for example, your roof is less than 10 years old your policy will probably cover the the full costs of repair or replacement. If it’s more than 10 years old, you may be only reimbursed for the depreciated value of the roof if the costs to repair it exceed it’s value.
What Is Depreciated Value?
Depreciated value is determined by factors such as the age of the roof and general condition and wear and tear prior to the damage. Depending on where your home is located some polices may only cover damage up to the depreciated value, regardless of the roofs age. Most of the time, the insurance company sends out someone to inspect the roof and verify the claim, if the claim is determined to be caused by aging, poor condition, or wear and tear it is likely it would be considered normal maintenance and the claim will be denied.
In some states, like Georgia, it is extremely rare for a policy to reimburse based on depreciation and in the vast majority of cases homeowners are reimbursed for the full costs of repair or replacement regardless of roof age. It varies from state to state and policy to policy, so check with your insurance representative to find out what’s reimbursed in your state according to your policy.
Other types of damage such as water damage caused by flooding or surface water must be covered under an additional policy (Flood Insurance for example). Mold caused by such water damage also may not be covered under your regular policy.
Inspecting or having your roof inspected regularly for leaks and preventing them is crucial and could help prevent this type of damage in the first place but in many cases (such as living in a home susceptible to flooding) having additional coverage is something you should consider. If your unsure of what you need, calling your local roofing contractor or insurance provider will provide the answers you need to make an intelligent decision.
Though regulated, Homeowners Insurance policies are different (especially in different states), and it bears repeating, check your policy or with your insurance company to be sure you have the coverage you need.
When the time comes for your roof to be repaired or replaced, knowing who is going to pay ahead of time can make the process much easier.
If you need assistance with your insurance claim or have any questions about what you need to make sure your roof is covered, Atlanta Roofing Specialists can help! Call us today! 770-419-2222