Before spending thousands of dollars on replacing your roof after a storm, first find out if your homeowners insurance will cover its replacement. Depending on the type of damage and clauses in your coverage, homeowners insurance may or may not replace your roof.
insurancepublicadjustersofgeorgia.com outlines the perils that can damage your roof, how to file an insurance claim, and what to do if your claim is denied.
Will Homeowners Insurance Pay for a New Roof
Yes and no. There are cases in which sustained damages may only require repairs and others that demand replacement. After you file a claim, an insurance adjuster will inspect the damages and either approve or deny your claim.
Do you know which perils are covered in your homeowners insurance? The following are some events that could cause enough damage to your roof to warrant a replacement:
Wind – The typical homeowners insurance policy covers wind damage. This one can be elusive, as wind damage sometimes goes unnoticed until a rainstorm exposes the damages.
Wind-driven rain and snow that get into the home through a wind-damaged roof are also typically covered under a wind damage clause.
Storm – Severe storms are capable of tearing shingles from your roof or damaging the flashing and other components of your roofing system.
This coverage also typically includes damages caused by hail.
Tornadoes – Depending on the region in which you live, you may be required to purchase a separate policy to cover roof damages caused by a tornado fully.
In regions that are not prone to the formation of tornadoes, these damages would be covered by the wind and storm clauses in your policy, unless specified otherwise.
Hurricanes – Like coverage for tornadoes, hurricane coverage depends significantly on the region in which you live. Since the majority of damages during a hurricane are caused by flooding, it is wise to purchase a separate flood insurance policy.
Wind damage is another story. Roof damages caused by the winds of a hurricane should fall under the coverage for wind.
Homeowners insurance policies do not cover floods from rising outside waters, storm surge, or rivers breaching their banks. Find more information on how to purchase flood insurance at fema.gov/national-flood-insurance-program/How-Buy-Flood-Insurance
Trees – When a tree falls on your home, damage to the roof, the home’s contents, and other detached structures on your property are covered. This applies regardless of whether the tree was part of your property or your neighbor’s.
A standard homeowners insurance policy will replace trees and shrubs damaged by fire, vandalism, lightning, and other perils, but will exclude water (flood) or wind (tornado/hurricane).
Wildfires – Waves of extreme heat, smoke, and ash from a nearby structure or wildfire are capable of causing catastrophic thermal damages to your roof and its components.
If your home is spared from catching fire, the damages may not be visible and will require a thorough inspection to assess damages and the need for repair or replacement.
Vandalism – This coverage is often overlooked and can be interpreted as the intentional damage by another person to your property without your consent.
Vandalism (malicious mischief) is standard coverage in an all-perils policy unless specifically excluded.
If you are unsure about your coverage after reading through your policy, contact your insurance carrier and go over your questions with an agent. If you are still left with questions, contact a public insurance adjuster to help clarify the extent and exclusions of your coverage.
In the event of a major disaster in which entire communities, cities, and states are adversely affected, click the following link to determine if your insurance coverage is sufficient to recover fully insurancepublicadjustersofgeorgia.com/is-your-homeowners-insurance-enough-recover-disaster/
How to File a Roof Damage Claim
Filing an insurance claim in the middle of the aftermath of a severe weather system may seem daunting, but it is necessary.
You pay for insurance to protect yourself and your property in situations like this, and the sooner you file a claim, the faster repairs to your home will likely begin. The following steps will help you get your insurance claim filed:
• Immediately notify your insurance provider of any damages and get a claim number.*
• Review your policy and coverage with your agent to ensure that the appropriate clauses will be applied for your claim.
• Ask what information the insurance company requires to expedite your claim.
• Document all damages with written accounts, narrated videos, and pictures.
• Meet with an insurance adjuster from your insurance carrier.
• Request a copy of the estimate for the total cost of roof repairs or replacement.**
• Initiate the repair or replacement process.
*When damages are extensive, it is strongly recommended to contact a public insurance adjuster simultaneously to evaluate your property and review the insurance policy covering it. Their objective is to prevent your insurance company from underpaying or denying your claim.
** If you feel that the offer from your insurance provider is unfair, ask an independent public insurance adjuster to review your case and insurance policy. They will go to work for you to retrieve a maximum payout for your roof damage claim.
NOTE: Your insurance provider is legally obligated to investigate your claim. If your insurer arranges for inspections and reports by professionals you believe are not qualified, contract an independent public adjuster to hold your insurance provider accountable.
Homeowners Insurance and Roof Replacement
In this article, you discovered weather-related perils covered in standard homeowners insurance policies, how to file an insurance claim when your roof is damaged, and what actions to take if your claim is denied.
By knowing which perils are covered by your homeowners insurance policy, you will be better positioned to file a roof damage claim and hold your insurance company accountable for the roof repairs or replacement.
When you feel that your insurance company is underpaying you or wrongfully denying your claim, take action by contracting an independent public insurance adjuster.
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