What Kind of Roof Damage is Covered by Insurance?
You have homeowners insurance to protect your roof from unforeseen problems. But sometimes, when something does happen, it’s not covered under your policy.
This leaves you confused and frustrated because you thought your policy would cover the roof damage causing the leak. Now you’re asking yourself, “What kind of roof damage is actually covered by my insurance?”
For over 30 years, Bill Ragan Roofing has helped homeowners like you understand the insurance process for roof damage. While it’s an often confusing process, we’ll guide you through it all.
To start this article, we’ll break down what kind of roof damage is covered by homeowners insurance. After that, you’ll learn what to do about your potential roof damage.
To finish this article, we’ll get into why your roof insurance claim would be denied. By the end, you’ll have a good idea if your roof damage is covered and what to do about it.
What kind of roof damage is covered by insurance?
For your insurance to cover roof damage, it must be caused by an extreme weather event. This includes straight-line winds (aka damaging winds) during heavy thunderstorms, hail storms, snowstorms, and tornados.
(Hail damage to shingles)
Your homeowners insurance should also cover roof damage from fallen tree limbs caused by strong storms. Depending on the policy, homeowners insurance should pay to replace your roof if it’s damaged from any of the above events.
(Tree on roof)
Keep in mind, it’s ultimately up to what your insurance adjuster finds during the inspection if there’s enough roof damage to warrant a full replacement. But as long as the damage is caused by extreme weather, your homeowner’s insurance should cover your roof and pay to replace it.
What should you do when you have roof damage?
Now that you know what kind of damage is covered, you need to know what to do about it. The first thing you should always do is call your homeowners insurance company if you have roof damage.
After contacting them and providing all relevant information, what happens next depends on what your insurance company instructs you to do. They’ll either send out an insurance adjuster to inspect the roof damage or instruct you to call a roofing company for an inspection.
Let’s dig into both those scenarios a little deeper.
The insurance company sends out an insurance adjuster to inspect for roof damage
In the first scenario, your insurance company schedules an adjuster to come out and inspect for roof damage. After the inspection is completed, they’ll approve your claim or tell you they didn’t find signs of roof damage.
(Hail damage marked with chalk)
If your claim is approved, you’ll begin looking for a local roofing contractor that has experience handling insurance claims. But if your claim isn’t approved, you still have ways to double or triple-check for roof damage.
The best way is to ask your insurance company for a second insurance adjuster to come out and inspect your roof. They may see things the first adjuster missed or overlooked and approve your claim.
But sometimes, the second adjuster will insist that the roof damage is still not viable for a claim. If you’re unsatisfied when the second adjuster says no, you can have an engineer come out for an inspection.
They’ll be able to offer proof (if they have any) to your insurance company that the roof needs to be replaced because of roof damage from the recent storms. But at the end of the day, your insurance company has all the power to approve or reject your roof damage claim.
You call a local roofing company to inspect for roof damage
In the second scenario, your insurance company tells you to find and contact a local roofing contractor to inspect for roof damage. The roofing contractor will take pictures of any noticeable or suspected damage to submit to the insurance company.
If the roofing contractor’s pictures show signs of roof damage, the insurance company will send out an adjuster to do an inspection. If the adjuster agrees, then your claim will be approved.
This is pretty common in the Middle Tennessee area, but your area and insurance company could be different. The important thing is to find a roofing contractor who regularly works with insurance companies and handles roof damage claims.
Why would your roof damage claim be denied?
Now you know what to do when you think you have roof damage and who can approve your claim. But what would cause your roof damage claim to be denied?
If your roof doesn’t have damage, your claim will obviously be denied. But another reason most homeowners don’t know about is waiting too long to file a claim.
Depending on your insurance company, you usually have 1 to 2 years after the storm that caused roof damage to file a claim. While this is common, the main reason homeowners insurance won’t cover roof damage is if your roof wasn’t installed correctly.
(Shingles sliding off due to improper installation)
Let’s say straight-line winds came through your area and ripped shingles off your roof. Well, when the insurance adjuster comes out for an inspection, they find your shingles weren’t installed properly.
They won’t cover something that wasn’t properly secure in the first place. If this happens, you’ll have to pay out of pocket to fix the problem or contact your roofing contractor to honor their workmanship warranty.
But if they didn’t install your roof properly to begin with, there’s a good chance they won’t stand behind their work.
The process to take care of roof damage through homeowners insurance
Now you know what kind of roof damage is covered by insurance, what to do about it, and why a claim would be denied. If you think your roof has damage after reading this, you’re ready to start the claim process.
But before reaching out to the insurance company, you need to know about the process you’re about to go through. The unfortunate truth about the claim process is that it can be stressful, full of headaches, and long.
We want you to go into the process as informed as possible and prepare you for dealing with your insurance company. That’s why we wrote another article breaking down the homeowners insurance claim process.
Since 1990, the team at Bill Ragan Roofing has been helping homeowners in Nashville, Brentwood, Franklin, Belle Meade, and surrounding Middle Tennessee areas with their insurance claims. Anytime a roof is hit by a big storm, we deal with your insurance company to ensure you have a positive experience during a stressful time.
To help you understand your claim and how the process works, check out our article on Homeowners insurance: the process to replace a storm damaged roof.