Will my home insurance cover repairs to my roof?
As a homeowner you have a home insurance policy to help protect your home from damages and help bring it back to its original condition after such damages occur. Home insurance policies provide coverage for certain events, called perils, and often exclude others: these are all specified in your home insurance policy.
When it comes to roofs, home insurance policies typically cover damages caused by weather. Most frequently, this involves wind or hail damage, although other perils like lightning strikes, tornadoes, and fire are also covered. Indirect damage is also covered, for instance, in the case that wind downs a tree which falls on the roof of a house. On the other hand, some kinds of roof damage are specifically not covered by home insurance. This includes improper installation of roof components, material failure due to manufacturing defects, and normal wear and tear. Wear and tear occurs as a roof ages and affects different materials in different ways. For example, shingles become brittle and metal corrodes. This is why roofs have a limited life expectancy which is typically 15-25 years for a shingle roof and 40-50 years for a tile roof.
Another important part of insurance coverage in places like Florida, and along the eastern seaboard in general, is named storms. Damage caused by named tropical storms and hurricanes is covered in a particular way. Every insurance policy includes a deductible–an amount that the insurance company expects the policy holder to pay out of pocket. This is most frequently $500 or $1000, but can be higher. Damage caused by named storms, however, usually carries its own deductible, separate from all other perils, like a typical windstorm or hail storm. It is referred to as the “hurricane deductible” and is usually 2% of the Dwelling A limit on a policy. The hurricane deductible is always clearly stated in a policy alongside the other perils deductible.
In the case that your roof is damaged by one of the events outlined above and listed in your policy, your insurance will help you pay for your roof repair or even a roof replacement if the damage is extensive or if the roof cannot be effectively repaired, in compliance with state building codes, without replacing the whole roof. To get this process started you will need to call your home insurance company and file a claim as soon as the damage occurs. In Florida, state law says that a policyholder has three years from the date of loss, the insurance term for the date on which damage occurs, to file a claim. It is best, however, to file your claim as soon as you notice damage to your roof in order to prevent further damage in the form of leaks.
Interior leaks are the most obvious evidence of roof damage, but it is best to catch roof damage before these occur. This saves cost down the road and prevents situations that cause homeowners stress and anxiety. It is also important to keep in mind that if interior leaks do occur, you must tell your insurance company about these when calling in the claim, as this damage is also covered under home insurance policies. After the claim is called in, the insurance company will send out an adjuster to assess the damage to both the roof and the interior, if there is any. It is important to set an appointment with the adjuster at a time when someone can meet them, so that the adjuster is able to enter the home and effectively document the evidence of the damage. This is crucial since the insurance company will not pay to repair damage unless they have documentation.
It is frequently difficult or impossible to see roof damage if it has not progressed up to an interior leak. Things like missing or creased shingles and loose or cracked tiles go unnoticed by most homeowners since people do not often spend much time on top of their roofs. Furthermore, even if a homeowner notes evidence of roof damage, he or she will have a hard time pinpointing the exact date on which this damage occurred, unless it follows directly after a hurricane or tropical storm. And yet, this date is crucial when reporting a claim, since claims with incorrect dates of loss are typically denied.
So how do you determine if your roof has damage covered under your insurance policy and the date on which this damage occurred? The easiest and most reliable way is to call a professional. A roofing contractor will be able to identify damage on your roof and pinpoint its cause. At Florida’s Best Roofing, we will inspect your roof for free and advise you whether or not the damage to your home will be covered by your insurance policy. We will also help you figure out the date on which it occurred based on its age and tracked weather patterns in your area. We will also meet with your insurance adjuster to make sure that all evidence of damage is noted. Florida’s Best Roofing services all your roofing needs in Palm Coast and offers free estimates.
Call us today at 386-263-7906.