What Kind of Roof Damage Is Covered By Insurance? | Roof Repair 101

February 26, 2022

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Prompt roof repair ensures a structure in good condition, protecting against interior water damage, mold, and other costly fixes. Missing shingles, damaged tile, and other issues also detract from a property’s curb appeal. Above all, poor-quality roofing affects property values, so you risk losing equity in your home or commercial structure.

However, roof repair is sometimes costly. This is one reason why many people wonder what kind of roof damage their insurance might cover. While only your insurance representative can offer a definite answer, you might check some general guidelines here about homeowners insurance covering roof repair. In turn, you’ll know what to expect from your insurance provider.

Can I Claim Roof Repairs on Insurance?

Homeowners insurance compensates the cost of repairs for “covered perils.” This phrase refers to damages “covered” by your policy. Most policies include damage caused by storms, winds, hail, toppled trees, fire, and vandalism.

However, “covered perils” typically don’t cover damage due to age and everyday wear and tear. Also, note that your insurance policy won’t cover damage due to neglect. For instance, if you don’t keep gutters cleaned, this can risk clogs and shingles absorbing standing rainwater. Your insurance carrier is not likely to cover the cost of that damage.

completing roof repair services

Homeowners especially might note that your insurance carrier also won’t typically pay for repairs resulting from your poor-quality DIY work! It’s not unusual for property owners to replace shingles and damage decking, flashing, or other materials in the process. Consequently, you might need to pay for eventual repairs and materials replacement out of your own pocket.

Additionally, insurance companies often limit coverage for roofs older than 20 years. The older a roof, the less secure nails, bolts, tar paper, and other connectors and materials. In turn, you might receive limited if any compensation for an older, damaged roof.

Lastly, remember that many policies include “exclusions.” These refer to items specifically excluded from your policy, or those that insurance won’t cover. For instance, some policies might have hail or windstorm “exclusions.” In those cases, your insurance provider won’t pay for damages caused by those events listed as exclusions.

Are Blown-Off Shingles Covered by Insurance?

Most homeowners’ insurance policies cover shingles lost due to high winds, heavy rains, and hail damage. However, some states with frequent storms might have separate deductibles for these repairs. Consequently, you might pay more out of your own pocket for replacing those shingles than you would other needed fixes.

Also, some policy providers might not reimburse for what they consider “cosmetic damage.” This might include small dents and dings caused by hail or storm debris landing on a structure’s roof. Instead, a policy might limit coverage to damage that risks interior water leaks and the like.

How Do I Know If My Roof Has Storm Damage?

A roof inspection is the best choice for spotting storm damage and its extent. Also, a professional inspection spots signs of aging and premature damage, including brittle shingles or cracked tiles. These imperfections might increase the risk of water leaks inside your structure!

Additionally, a property owner might give their structure’s roof a visual check after a storm. Look for obvious dents or sagging areas and missing shingles or tiles. Next, check for nails, shingle granules, and other residues in gutters and around the ground.

Of course, a property owner should avoid getting onto a roof to check for damage. Walking on a roof is dangerous even for seasoned roofers, and even more so for inexperienced property owners! Also, you can damage shingles, tiles, and other materials while walking on them. To avoid making matters worse, call a professional for a roof inspection after storms move through your area.

Does Home Insurance Cover Ceiling Leaks?

Your homeowners insurance should cover ceiling leaks if they result from those “covered perils” mentioned earlier. In other words, an insurance policy should reimburse you for water damage and other interior ceiling leaks, if those leaks resulted from a hailstorm, fallen tree, and the like.

On the other hand, your insurance policy won’t cover ceiling leaks caused by negligence, DIY repairs, and the like. Note, too, that plumbing issues can also cause ceiling leaks and water stains. Whether or not your policy covers this damage also depends on its cause! For example, if you neglect needed plumbing repairs, your policy typically won’t cover resultant damage including water leaks.

Also, note that many insurance policies state that property owners need to take reasonable action to mitigate damage. In other words, don’t let that ceiling leak for days on end without addressing needed fixes! If you do, your policy might not reimburse you the full cost of repairs.

How Do I Find a Roofer to Fix Storm Damage?

One caution to note about finding a roofer to fix storm damage is to avoid a roofer who comes to you! Reputable, reliable roofers typically don’t need to solicit repair work, especially after storms move through an area. Additionally, it’s difficult to research the reputation of a roofer who just shows up on your doorstep! Above all, he or she might exaggerate damage reports, so they can charge property owners more money.

Instead, it’s helpful to research roofers online so you can check their background and reputation. Note if your local Better Business Bureau has a record of complaints against him or her. Also, check Google reviews, Houzz, Angie’s List, and other review sites. Comparing all these comments gives you an idea of a roofer’s trustworthiness.

Lastly, ensure any roofer you hire offers a full written guarantee. This guarantee should cover both materials used and their labor. It should also extend for several years and not just a few months! In turn, avoid short-term warranties from any potential roofer.

How Long Should a Roof Last?

A roof’s longevity depends on materials chosen, quality of its installation, and how well you maintain it over the years. Assuming you hire a reputable installer and keep the roof in good repair, consider the expected lifespan of various materials:

  • Asphalt shingles typically last between 15 and 30 years. Harsh sunlight, strong winds, heavy rain, and hail all shorten that lifespan. Also, avoid high-pressure roof washing! Too much pressure strips granules, damaging shingles prematurely.
  • Metal roof panels last between 40 and 70 years on average. However, a high-quality metal roof can last far longer, even a century or more! In turn, your metal roof might even outlast you.
  • Wood roofs usually last about 30 years, but are also notorious for failing prematurely. In most cases, this premature failure is due to owners neglecting needed maintenance, including regular sealing. If you decide on a wood roof, plan on having it inspected and then sealed or coated every 5 years.
  • Property owners typically prize clay tile roofs for their stunning appearance. However, clay roofs also offer a tough durability you won’t get from many other materials! Most clay tile roofs last at least 40 years, if not 50 to even 100 years.
  • Slate tile roofs also offer a beautiful, natural aesthetic that other materials cannot match. Also, heavy slate tiles are not likely to blow away in high winds. A slate roof might last 75 years, or even up to 200 years and more!
  • Concrete tiles are easy to shape and form so that they resemble other materials, but for far less cost. Concrete is also made from easily harvested and sustainable materials, making it an eco-friendly choice. Most roofers guarantee a concrete roof for 30 to 50 years or more.

Should I Invest In a New Roof or Roof Repair?

If a contractor notes that your property needs extensive roof repairs, should you invest in an entirely new roof instead? One consideration to keep in mind is the roof’s age. Two, would investing in new roofing materials mean greater energy efficiency? Three, would a new roof increase curb appeal and even property values?

A roof’s age is a key factor to consider. If the roof is already old, it will probably need replacing very soon anyway! In turn, you might replace it now rather than paying for repairs and then replacement in a few years.

Also, never underestimate the effect of a roof on your property’s overall value! An old, outdated roof can lower those values and make a structure look rundown and neglected. On the other hand, a roof replacement is often one of the best investments you can make for your property. Property owners can often expect to earn 60% to 100% of their roof replacement costs in terms of increased value.

completing a roof repair

Should You Buy a House With Roof Damage?

There is no “one size fits all” answer to whether you should buy a house with roof damage. To help you make that decision, first note your expected cost of repairs. Next, note if the home’s asking price is low enough to compensate for that expense! Lastly, consider if the home offers other features that make it a good purchase for you and your family.

The Waltham Roofers is happy to bring this information about roof repair insurance coverage to our readers. Hopefully you found it helpful and know what to expect with your insurance provider! If there are leaks or other damage around your property, call our Waltham roof repair contractors. We can schedule a FREE inspection and price quote at your convenience. Additionally, we guarantee our work to last. To find out more, call us today.


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