Will Homeowners Insurance Cover Hail Damage to an EPDM Membrane Roof?
So, you just had a hail storm blow through your area. Your neighbors all around you with asphalt shingles have hail damage and are calling their insurance company.
But you have an entire EPDM roof or an EPDM membrane on a flat area of your roof. That begs the question, will your homeowners insurance cover hail damage to an EPDM membrane roof?
For over 30 years, the team at Bill Ragan Roofing has helped homeowners like you understand their roof damage insurance claims. Now we want to help you understand if you have an insurance claim for your EPDM roof.
I start this article by breaking down if your homeowners insurance covers hail damage to an EPDM membrane roof. After that, I’ll give you 3 things you need to know before filing an insurance claim.
Will homeowners insurance cover hail damage to an EPDM membrane roof?
Yes, your homeowners insurance will cover your EPDM roof membrane if it has hail damage. But unfortunately, it’s not common.
Proving there’s hail damage to an EPDM roof is different from other roofing materials because the membrane is almost like bulletproof rubber. For this reason, it won’t show clear indentations like shingles or metal.
But there are a couple of ways to prove that an EPDM membrane has hail damage. The first and easiest way is to look for clear dents on the vents or soft metals on the flat roof.
(Example of hail damage to roof vents and metal)
This won’t be very common because there aren’t a lot of membrane roofs that have vents poking through. So, it’ll be hard to prove an EPDM membrane is damaged if there are no vents or soft metals on the actual flat roof area.
The second way is to check the ISO board (insulation for the flat roof) underneath the EPDM roofing membrane. To do this, the roofing contractor will feel for dents or other indentations in the ISO board through the actual membrane that’s over top of it.
If your roofing contractor finds any of the above, your insurance company should cover an EPDM roof replacement. But to be honest, it doesn't happen often, and it takes some investigation by your roofing contractor.
3 things to know before filing an insurance claim for your EPDM membrane roof
Now you know that your homeowners insurance should cover hail damage to your EPDM roof membrane. But before filing a claim, you need to know what you’re about to get into.
Let’s talk about the 3 things to know before filing an insurance claim for an EPDM membrane roof.
1. Look over your insurance policy before filing a claim for your EPDM membrane roof
The very first thing you should do before filing a claim is to look at the type of policy you actually have. The policy you have determines the payout you get if your EPDM hail damage claim is approved.
The policy you’ll see on your insurance coverage paperwork will either be an Actual Cash Value (ACV) policy or a Replacement Cost Value (RCV) policy. While both policies equal a pay out from the insurance company, the value between the two is different.
Actual Cash Value means you'll get the depreciated value of your EPDM roof. With this policy, your insurance company is only on the hook to payout what your EPDM roof is valued at today.
If you have a Replacement Cost Value policy, you’ll get what it costs to replace your EPDM roof. But they won’t give you the full amount of the roof replacement upfront.
You’ll first get a check for the actual cost value of your roof while your insurance company holds back the rest of the recoverable depreciation. After the EPDM roof is replaced, you’ll provide proof that the scope of work was done correctly, and then you’ll get another check that covers the rest of the cost.
But if you don’t get the work done, they won’t send the second check for the depreciated part of the claim. Both policies protect your EPDM roof, but a Replacement Cost Value policy ensures your insurance company pays for the entire replacement.
2. The insurance adjuster is the only one who can approve your EPDM hail damage claim
After looking over your policy, the very next thing you should do is call your insurance company. Depending on your insurance company, they’ll tell you to call a roofing contractor or send out an adjuster.
If they tell you to call a roofing contractor, you’ll find one you trust to inspect your EPDM roof. They’ll look for and document any of the signs we mentioned earlier.
If they find hail damage to your EPDM roof, they’ll send it to your insurance company for review. Once that’s done, it’s completely out of the roofing contractor’s hands.
Unfortunately, some homeowners think that their claim is automatically approved just because a roofing company found hail damage to their EPDM roof. But your insurance adjuster is the only one who can approve your claim after their inspection.
Even if your roofing contractor is 100% certain that you need your EPDM roof replaced because of storm damage, the adjuster is the one with all the power in the approval process.
3. The insurance claim process to replace your EPDM membrane roof is long
The last thing to know before filing a claim for your EPDM roof is the actual process you’re about to start. Some homeowners have the misconception that everything will be taken care of as soon as they file an insurance claim.
Unfortunately, this isn’t the case. That’s why you need to expect the insurance claim process to move along slowly. This simply comes down to all the moving parts and people who play a role in the approval process.
Below is a list of some of the steps when filing an insurance claim for your EPDM roof and the people involved with the claim process:
- You’ll call your insurance company
- They send out an adjuster for an inspection
- If approved by the adjuster, they’ll write up a claim
- You’ll find a reputable roof contractor
- They’ll go over the claim and provide a list of what should be supplemented if anything missing
- You'll send the supplemented claim back to the insurance company for approval
- If approved, your entire roof replacement will be covered
Keep in mind that the steps listed here are based on your insurance company, policy, and roofing contractor, so it won’t be the exact same for every homeowner. This list only demonstrates all the moving pieces behind the scenes when you file an insurance claim and that the process will take time.
Knowing this from the beginning gives you some understanding of why the insurance claim process is taking so long.
The tips you need to hire a roofing contractor for your storm-damaged roof
Now you have the 3 things you need to know before filing an insurance claim for your EPDM membrane roof. If you think you have a claim, you’re ready to contact your insurance company.
After that, you need to find a roofing contractor you can trust. This is, unfortunately, harder than you may think.
Especially when it comes to the attention, persistence, and care that an insurance claim requires. Because of this, I want to give you the tips needed to hire a roofing contractor for your storm-damaged roof.
Since 1990, the team at Bill Ragan Roofing has provided roof damage insurance claim assistance to homeowners in Nashville and surrounding Middle Tennessee areas. With over 30 years of experience, you can count on us to give your claim the attention it requires.
Check out 5 Tips to Hire a Roofing Contractor for a Roof Damage Insurance Claim to find a great one in your area.