11 Sep YOUR HOMEOWNER’S INSURANCE MAY HAVE A PROBLEM WITH YOUR OLD ROOF
As you know homeowner’s insurance companies treat the roof as one of the most important parts of a home today. The roof of your home is your first line of defense against rainwater, hail and other external elements.
When you have a damaged roof you’re likely to have problems within your home. That will lead to more claims against your homeowner’s insurance which is why insurance companies are vigilant.
Many insurers are becoming more restrictive with roof coverage in order to limit the number of claims that can come from a leaking or worn out roof.
Can my Home be Insured with an Older Roof?
There have been incidents where a few insurance companies refused to renew existing homeowner’s insurance policies on houses with roofs older than 20 years. In such cases insurance companies did an inspection and the house didn’t pass. The insurance companies required the owner to replace the roof before renewing the homeowner’s insurance.
Some other insurers have a policy to not write new policies for homes with roofs over 20 years old. These insurance companies only pay actual cash value for roof replacement for older roofs when they’re damaged. This means they don’t pay to fully replace the roof, but only reimburse for what an old roof is worth after 20-plus years.
What this means is if you have a roof that has lasted 20 years, then you are not able to renew your homeowner’s insurance. Insurance companies tend to believe that at that point, there are issues within your roofing system that cannot be seen which could potentially deteriorate the deck and expose them to higher risks for additional claims. In that case it would be worth your money to replace the roof.
Replacing the roof is not an inexpensive project. However, if your roof is around 20 years old or so, you may have no choice but to replace your roof in order to keep your homeowner’s insurance policy. The trend in the insurance industry is to require an older roof, 15 to 20 years plus old, to have an inspection to get a renewal.
Homeowner’s Insurance – Covering Roof Damages and Roof Leaks?
Homeowner’s insurance policies usually cover roof damage caused by fire, vandalism and “acts of God” such as hailstorms, hurricanes and tornadoes. Whether they will pay for damage caused by wind, rain or hail is determined by your policy terms and the age of your roof.
An example, if your roof is less than 10 years old your insurance company will most likely cover the replacement cost of your entire roof in full. If your roof is very old (say 20 plus years old) you may not get reimbursed at all or the insurance company might only pay what it deems the roof is worth after all these years of wear and tear. That will be very little.
A roof leak may be covered in your insurance policy. However, insurance companies put the onus on homeowners to prevent leaks and subsequent damage. They believe that it’s up to the homeowner to take the necessary precautions to maintain the property. If your roof is leaking and you didn’t fix it properly, your coverage can be denied.
These are general ideas and your individual case may be different. For specific details about your home’s coverage, it is a good idea to check with your insurance company to make sure you understand what is covered and what is not covered before it is too late.
Filing a Roof Replacement Home Insurance Claim
You need to know what your homeowner’s insurance covers on your roof before you begin the insurance claim process.
The timeframe which an insurance company allows you to file a claim can depend on the type of damage and the company’s policy. Generally speaking, it’s best to contact your insurance company as soon as there is damage.
Here are steps to take if you need to file a claim because of roof damage:
- Contact your homeowner’s insurance company immediately and find out what is covered by your policy.
- If you have pictures, provide “before” and “after” photos to your insurance company so they can review the damage for which you want to file a claim.
- Provide the details pertinent to the cause of the damage. For example, your insurance company will want to know the date the hailstorm occurred in your area that might have caused the hail damage to your roof in case your claim is about hail damage.
- Schedule a time for an insurance claims adjuster to review the damage.
- Find a qualified roofer as soon as possible who can inspect your home and provide you with a proper roof replacement estimate.
Some Helpful Posts on Related Topics
Here are a few blog posts we have written in past around this topic. We recommend that you read through these posts:
- WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN A ROOF WHEN BUYING A HOME
- HOW TO READ YOUR INSURANCE CLAIM PAPERS
- A NEW ROOF – WHAT ARE YOU NERVOUS ABOUT?
- ESTIMATING THE COST OF A NEW ROOF FOR YOUR HOME
- ROOFING INSURANCE CLAIMS AND A ROOF WARRANTIES – THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW
HonestRoof.com –The DFW Roofing Expert
If you need a roof inspection and help with filing your home insurance claim for roof replacement, give us a call at 1-817-HONEST-1 or send us an email. We have 60+ years of experience in helping DFW homeowners with their roofing needs. If you need help with your roof, just let us know!