Most homeowners carry homeowners insurance, especially mortgaged homes. Homeowners insurance not only protects you (& your banks) investment, it gives peace of mind, knowing that you will likely be covered in the event of a storm or other event that damages your home.
However, while homeowners insurance is a great thing to have, it doesn’t cover everything . In fact, in many policies you’d probably be surprised to see what isn’t covered or what can void a claim.
There are few things worse than finding out a large expense isn’t covered by insurance, especially if you thought it was covered and had the repairs done while assuming the repairs were covered.
Read your insurance policy carefully. Know what your responsibilities are and what is and isn’t covered.
Keep and eye out for the more common terms and exclusions such as:
Some insurance policies 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.
Know what is acceptable and what is not. The costs of materials vary wildly. For example, “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.
While most roof repairs are typically covered in policies, especially storm damage and other “acts of God”, if the damage is attributed to poor (or no) maintenance or some other negligent issue, the claim will likely be denied.
Most insurance companies require documented, regular roof maintenance to prove the homeowner has been taking care of their roof. Because so much damage can be caused by something as “small” as clogged gutters, or even a small puncture, it makes sense.
– 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.
Not sure how to handle your roof damage claim? Atlanta Roofing Specialists has been handling insurance claims for storm damage, fire, and more since 1993. In Metro Atlanta, call 770-419-2222 today for a free estimate!