Image of a home and it's shingled roof.

Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Roof Damage?

Updated January 1, 1 . AmFam Team

Roof damage to your home can be expensive — so it’s important to find coverage that keeps you protected. Learn how the right insurance can protect your home and your pocket.

Roof damage insurance claims 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 things like wind or hail. Let’s take a closer look at how your homeowners coverage protects your roof.

What Kind of Roof Damage Is Covered By Insurance?

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.

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 the cause of the leak — and the necessary repairs to your home — are covered under the right circumstances. So yes, your homeowners insurance may cover roof leaks.

With American Family Insurance, most of our homeowner policies come with replacement cost coverage for non-wind and non-hail losses, depending on the age and condition of your roof.  So, if the leak is caused by a covered loss, your homeowners insurance will cover the replacement cost after you pay your deductible.

Every situation is unique though, and the best way to understand what is covered under your specific policy is to review and talk to your agent. That way you’ll know exactly what is covered under your insurance when your roof leaks — and what you may need to pay out of pocket.  It’s also 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.

Does Home Insurance Cover 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, ask a roofing company 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

You can always call us at 1-800-MYAMFAM (1-800-692-6326) to speak directly with a claims representative or contact your American Family Insurance agent.

Tips for filing a roof claim

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 when filing a homeowners insurance claim for roof damage 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.

Not yet an American Family customer? Great news: If you recently had your roof replaced, you could qualify for lower rates on your homeowners insurance with American Family.* To see your New Roof Advantage savings, get an online quote to find out how much you could save.

This article is for informational purposes only and includes information widely available through different sources.

*Homeowners premiums are based on a variety of factors including roof age, roof material and more, which impacts the rate you are quoted and that you will pay.

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