Anytime a thunderstorm comes through your area with strong winds there’s the chance for fallen trees, power outages, and other damage. While these things are common, finding shingles missing or in your yard is more common.
It’s alarming to see sections of shingles missing on your roof, leaving the decking exposed. This is guaranteed to stress you out because your home isn’t protected from the elements.
If that isn’t stressful enough, you’re wondering if your insurance company even covers the wind damage to your roof. The last thing I want is for you to stress even more about a stressful situation.
For over 30 years, the team at Bill Ragan Roofing has helped homeowners understand the ins and outs of homeowners insurance and roofing. That’s why I’ll break down what you need to know about wind damage to your roof and if insurance covers it.
This article answers the following questions:
Does homeowners insurance cover wind damage to your roof?
Will homeowners insurance pay for a full roof replacement?
How do shingle matching laws affect if insurance pays for a roof replacement?
Does homeowners insurance cover wind damage to your roof?
Yes, homeowners insurance should cover wind damage and any other roof damage caused by extreme weather (hail, tornados, fallen limbs, etc.). You obviously have a claim if the wind blows shingles off your roof.
However, finding missing shingles isn’t the only sign that wind damaged your roof. Another sign that your roof has wind damage is if there are lifted or creased shingles.
Spotting lifted or creased shingles is harder to spot, and you’ll need to be on the roof to find lifted or creased shingles. Unfortunately, this type of wind damage and missing shingles could also be a sign of improper installation.
If the roofing contractor didn’t do the job right, your roof is more likely to experience wind damage. What makes it worse is that insurance companies won’t cover problems caused by improper installation, which means you won’t be able to file a claim.
Will homeowners insurance pay for a full roof replacement from wind damage?
Now you know that homeowners insurance will cover wind damage to your roof. But will they pay for a full roof replacement?
That depends on the type of homeowners insurance policy you have, Actual Cash Value or Replacement Cost Value. While both policies mean the insurance gives you a payout for a roof replacement, the difference in the payout is drastically different.
ACV homeowners insurance policy
An Actual Cash Value (ACV) policy gives you a depreciated value of your wind-damaged roof. With this policy, you only get a payout for what your roof is valued at the time of the wind damage claim.
This won’t be enough to cover the full cost of a new roof, but it will pay for a healthy portion. You’ll have to use the depreciated payout and then pay for the rest of your roof replacement out-of-pocket.
Unfortunately, some homeowners try to find a low price or even a roof that costs the same as your ACV payout. But just know that the cheaper the price equals cheaper quality and labor, which sets your roof up for problems down the road.
RCV homeowners insurance policy
A Replacement Cost Value (RCV) policy gives you what it costs to replace your roof with a brand-new version of itself. This means your insurance company is supposed to give you enough to cover the entire cost of your roof replacement.
You’ll get a first check for the actual cost value of your roof while your insurance company holds back the recoverable depreciation. After your replacement and providing photo evidence that it was done per the claim, you’ll get a second check to cover the rest.
For example, Tennessee has Law 0780-01-05-.10(1)(b) which states:
“When a loss requires replacement of items and the replaced items do not match in quality, color, or size, the insurer shall replace items so as to conform to a reasonably uniform appearance according to the applicable policy provisions. This applies to interior and exterior losses. The insured shall not bear any cost over the applicable deductible, if any.”
This law means your homeowners insurance company must pay for everything to match in appearance on your insurance claim. For roofing specifically, the insurance company must replace your entire roof if no shingles are available that match your current roof shingle’s color.
(Nonmatching shingles showing difference in color)
The shingle could be no longer available, discontinued, or out of production. But even if you can find the shingle, the color might not match because of the wear and tear your roof has gone through.
If you live in a matching state and no shingles match up perfectly with your current roof, the insurance company will have to pay to replace your roof. Just know that you’ll have to go through the ITEL process if insurance fights back on the matching.
But as long as you hire a reputable roofer with insurance experience, this will be an easy process.
What should you know before filing an insurance claim for wind damage to your roof?
After reading this article, you know that wind damage is covered, how to spot it on your roof, if insurance will pay for a replacement, and how shingle matching laws come into play. If your roof does have wind damage, you’re ready to contact your insurance company to start the claim process.
But before you do, you need to know what you’re about to get into. The truth is, dealing with homeowners insurance to get a roof replaced isn’t always painless.
The last thing I want is for you to go into the process unprepared or, even worse, get taken advantage of by scammy tactics. That’s why I wrote another article that answers the top questions homeowners like you ask about getting an insurance roof replacement.