Is Roof Damage Covered By Insurance?
Your homeowners insurance can help pay for a damaged roof, but getting coverage really depends on the source — or the cause — of the damage. In most cases, your home insurance will help cover the costs when damage to the roof is sudden and unexpected. Suppose that a nearby tree is struck by lightning, and splits it in half. If part of that tree crashes down on your roof and causes damage, you’ll probably be covered.
Insurance claims for roof damage are one of the most common reasons that homeowners reach out to their insurance companies. Your roof helps to keep the elements out of your home, but you also have a key role to play in maintaining your roof and keeping it in good repair.
There’s a lot to understand about how your homeowners insurance handles roof replacement and roof damage that result from wind or hail. Let’s take a closer look at how your homeowners coverage protects your roof.
Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Roof Leaks?
Discovering a leak in your home is rarely a good thing. But there can be some relief in knowing that cause of the leak — and the necessary repairs to your home — are covered under the right circumstances. Yes, your homeowners insurance can cover roof leaks. You’ll typically be covered if a windstorm or hail event require your roof to be repaired or replaced. If vandals break a skylight on your roof that allows rain to flow into your home, your homeowners coverage will likely help you pay for the cost of repairs.
With American Family Insurance, most of our homeowner policies come with replacement cost coverage for non-wind and non-hail losses, too. So as long as the leak is caused by a covered loss, your homeowners insurance will cover the replacement cost after you pay your deductible.
It’s key to understand that there are cases where your homeowners policy won’t protect you from problems and leaks with your roof. If your roof has had a small leak for a long period of time and it was not repaired, the resulting water damage from that neglect won’t be covered. That’s why it’s so important to have a budget plan to pay for the annual maintenance of your home’s expensive equipment and roofing systems.
Insurance Roof Replacement
How does homeowners insurance cover roof replacement? Since your roof is a key piece of your home and is directly exposed to the elements, the forces of nature can bear down on it across the seasons. From ice and snow in the winter to potentially tropical storm-force winds in the summer, the roof can take a beating all year long.
Your home insurance policy is designed to help cover the cost of the repairs, partial or complete replacement of your roof — if it’s damaged by a covered event. But the amount you will receive for your covered damages depends on a few variables:
The type of roof replacement coverage in your policy
In some cases, your roof will qualify for actual cash value coverage (ACV). This is because the age or condition of your roof is such that it’s too compromised or the roofing material rules out other coverages.
If your roof is eligible based on its age and type (e.g. shingles, tiles, slate, wood shake, etc.), you may qualify for roof replacement cost coverage (RCV). It’s optional coverage that can be added to your policy.
With RCV coverage, we’ll reimburse you for the full amount that it would cost to repair or replace your roof — in the event of a covered loss. Depending on the damage, you may choose not to repair or replace your roof, and in that case, we’ll only pay you the actual cash value of the damage.
The age and condition of your roof
By checking in regularly on the condition of your roof, you’ll have a better idea of when repairs are necessary. And it’s that incremental maintenance that can make a big difference in extending your roof’s lifespan while minimizing wear and tear. If possible, have a roofing company out for a free estimate. Getting up onto your roof annually for a physical inspection is a great way to understand its condition.
Take a look at the things you can do to help minimize problems with your roof:
- Trim any tree branches making direct contact with your roof
- Invest in a roof rake to help keep snow loads and ice dams to a minimum over the winter months
- Clean your gutters as necessary or invest in gutter guards
- Verify that your roof’s flashing is secured tightly and is flush under the shingles
- Document and save invoices for roof repairs made by roofing contractors
If you have more than one layer of shingles on your roof
Multiple layers of shingles on a roof can present structural issues to the home. If your home has several layers of shingles installed on top of each other, reach out to your American Family Insurance agent to learn about what you can do to help your home qualify for roof insurance.
How to File a Roof Insurance Claim
Our industry-leading claims service is always focused on getting your home and your life back to normal as soon as possible. One of the best ways to file a claim is to log into My Account or use the MyAmFam app. And by initiating your claim with one of these options, you’ll also experience additional benefits including:
- Filing anywhere, any time
- Tracking the status of your claim
- Easily communicating with your claims representative by email or phone
Be sure to document and photograph the roof damage, when possible. Also include:
- The date and time of when the roof damage occurred
- A brief description of what happened
- Any photos of damage done to your roof
- The insurance and contact information of any others involved
One thing to remember about roof insurance claims with American Family Insurance: settling losses for replacement cost coverage (RCV coverage) is a two-step process.
First, we will make an initial payment to you for the actual cash value of the roof. Then, once you repair or replace your roof, we’ll pay the balance of the cost for the repair or replacement. Contact your insurance company to learn about the specifics of their claims process.
Get the Homeowners Protection Your Roof Needs
If you’re looking to learn more about the ways American Family can protect your home, start with our primer on homeowners insurance. And if you’re feeling ready to take the next step, you can easily get an idea of what homeowners insurance may cost where you live with our Quick Home Insurance Estimator. Once you’re covered, you’ll find real peace of mind with the knowledge that you’re insured carefully by a company you can trust.