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Will my homeowners insurance pay for a new roof?

Home Insurance New RoofWill homeowners insurance pay for a new roof for your house? That’s a good question. When it comes down to basics, yes, a roof is definitely part of your home, so in theory, homeowners insurance is made to cover this type of damage.

However, because of various technicalities, the answer to whether or not the insurance company will pay for a roof claim will depend on the manner in which the roof was destroyed.

Read on to learn the specifics of what home insurance will cover when it comes to replacing a roof and then be sure to enter your zip above for free insurance quotes!

What perils are insurable?

In general, homeowners insurance companies will pay for roof damage if the cause was related to non-disastrous acts of God (wind, hail, rain, etc.) and if the damage occurred because of an unknown and unpreventable reason. Yet an insurance company might not be so willing to pay for damages that the homeowner could have easily prevented from doing a thorough check of the house.

For example, siding or shingles suffering damage because of old age would probably not be considered a listed “peril” of homeowners insurance. The same logic might prevail when discussing the falling of a tree during a storm. Because a storm is listed as a peril, (meaning it’s unpredictable) you would most likely be covered for all the damage, as well as the removal of the fallen tree.

However, some of these coverages may have limits. If you want to avoid any possible issues, then take action early on to make your home less risk-prone. Cut down dead or drying trees and prune branches as much as possible.

One of the most common misunderstandings when it comes to roof damage is that caused by natural disasters. Unlike seasonal storms, tornado damage, flood damage, earthquake damage and hurricane damage are usually not considered ordinary perils.

Most insurance companies will not insure so called “acts of god” unless a specific policy is underwritten, and written according to different terms than the regular homeowners policy.

Will the insurance company pay the whole claim?

will insurance pay for new roof

If the damage is covered in the policy, then can you assume that the insurance company will pay the entire claim? Not necessarily. Some insurance companies may place limits on the amount of coverage, either by price or by portion of the complete roof.

Additionally, some policies will provide matching coverage, meaning they will not pay extra just so you can have a replacement room with the same style and color as before. The insurance company must also consider whether the roof was damaged by unpreventable factors (related to vandalism or weather) or if portions of the room were damaged by old age, faulty wiring or other preventable threats.

The insurance company will investigate the claim and verify all facts, such as through weather reports, police reports and fire reports. Bear in mind they are very thorough; they usually check the number of lightning strikes in a storm. If your roof is old, then the company might only pay for pieces of the roof (perhaps shingles and some interior damage) while leaving you the expense of repairing the roof itself. The insurance company could argue that the roof was bound to collapse soon anyway, regardless of storm damage.

Remember that covered perils are of the “sudden & accidental loss” variety. While these are unpreventable events, they still must be caused by specific elements. Besides weather damage and vandalism, other covered perils may include aircraft crash, riot, vandalism, explosion, smoke and fire.

What if your home is damaged due to an unseen and unpreventable force, like mold that occurs from a roof leak? Mold on its own is not considered a listed peril. It’s usually up to the homeowner to inspect the house before agreeing to buy an insurance policy on it. Ordinarily, the insurance company will not pay the claim if only mold was to blame for the damage.

What if the mold infestation was caused because of leaking? Ideally, you want to alert the insurance company immediately after the leaking damage occurs, so that the repairs can be made as soon as possible. Theoretically, the leak should be fixed and paid long before mold appears.

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What to do When the Worst Happens

Some horror stories about insurance companies are being spread around online. Some homeowners say that homeowners insurance companies will drop coverage totally if any water damage is reported, and that they may even “blacklist” the homeowner from all insurance coverage, using some sort of universal insurance database. These tidbits are farfetched; however, it’s not unfeasible that the insurance company refuses to pay for mold that results from leaks.

Insurance companies are rightfully afraid of any mold reports. Mold is a disaster to repair and clean, and very expensive. You can bet the moment the insurance company hears about water damage, they are not happy about it and are looking for ways to count their losses and move on. Some insurance companies may even have special state-supported “high-risk plans” that help consumers in flood prone areas.

What must you do to file a homeowners insurance claim for a damaged roof? Start by calling your insurance agent and reporting the damage in great detail.

Take photographs of the damaged area and include photographs of the “before” pictures. Be sure to take this step before you begin repairs.

In the meantime, before repairs start, you can cover the roof area with a solid material for protection. Remember to safeguard any items that could be further damaged by the leak. It is not the insurance company’s responsibility to pay for damaged items that could easily have been removed from the leak area.

Document all of your expenses and repairs. You may have to pay a deductible before the company takes over, and this will be explained in your policy. Keep all receipts and invoices. You can start getting estimates on how much it would take to fix the roof. Don’t act without the insurance company’s authorization; after all, they may have a list of companies that are pre-approved within the local area.

Find the Best Comprehensive Home Insurance

It’s important to find a good homeowners insurance policy that covers several of these disastrous scenarios. If you need help finding an affordable policy then use our free insurance comparison tool. You can use the tool to compare homeowners insurance rates in the area you live in right now!

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