Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Roof Leaks and Replacement?
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Your homeowners insurance policy will generally cover necessary repairs or replacements after a sudden and accidental peril causes your roof to leak. However, your policy won’t cover gradual or preventable sources of damage and will likely exclude coverage for some sudden perils.
Keep reading to find out when homeowners insurance covers roof leaks and what information you need to know before filing a claim after your roof is damaged.
When Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Roof Leaks?
Your roof is generally insured by the dwelling coverage portion of your homeowners insurance, which means a standard policy should cover roof leaks caused by any peril as long as it isn’t listed in the policy as an exclusion.
Similarly, your other structures coverage should insure the roofs of sheds and other buildings on your property against any non-excluded peril. Common perils that could impact your roof and that your insurance company will likely cover include fire, lightning, falling objects, vandalism, ice, windstorms and hail.
What About Insurance and Roof Replacement?
Home insurance can pay to replace your roof after a covered loss as long as the cost of the replacement does not exceed your coverage limit. The average roof replacement costs $9,152. As a result, if you have $250,000 worth of dwelling coverage, your insurance should be able to cover a roof replacement barring any other claims you may need to file due to the covered peril.
Conversely, a policy with RCV coverage will pay whatever it costs to replace your roof after a covered loss, up to your coverage limit. However, some insurance carriers will only insure your roof at its ACV once it reaches a certain age even if your policy otherwise provides RCV coverage.
When Won’t Home Insurance Cover Roof Leaks or Roof Damage?
Homeowners insurance generally doesn’t cover damage to your roof caused by wear and tear or poor maintenance. For example, your insurer likely won’t cover water damage from a rainstorm if there were already holes in your roof that you failed to patch up prior to the storm, nor will it cover subsequent mold and infestations. In addition, your insurance policy won’t pay to fix cosmetic damages to your roof as long as it still functions properly.
While insurance generally covers unpredictable damage, there are some sudden perils that are often excluded from coverage. Unless you purchase extra coverage types, your insurance company most likely won’t cover roof leaks or damage caused by the following perils:
If your roof is in poor condition, your insurance provider may cancel your policy. Alternatively, your insurer can modify your policy with a roof exclusion endorsement, which means the policy will stop insuring your roof against certain perils listed in the endorsement until you restore the quality of the roof.
How Do I Know if My Roof Is Leaking?
Your roof may be leaking if you find water stains forming on your ceiling or mold growing on your walls. You should also check for leaks if you hear dripping noises or find a puddle of water anywhere in your home. Finally, water can get into your home if your roof flashing, vent boot or shingles are damaged, so you should get these repaired if you notice that they have been compromised.
How Much Does It Cost To Fix Roof Leaks or Roof Damage?
To get a leaky roof repaired, you might have to pay anywhere from $200 to $1,550. When taking into account all types of damage that your roof could incur, the average price to get your roof fixed without completely replacing it is $1,083.
Keep in mind that your deductible will determine whether it is worth going through your insurance company to get your roof fixed. Your deductible is how much money you must pay out of pocket before your insurer will contribute any money toward a covered loss.
As a result, if you have a $1,000 deductible and need to make $1,200 worth of repairs to your roof, you may decide not to file a claim since the potential increase in your premiums might not be worth the immediate $200 savings you would get by having your insurance carrier cover the repairs.
How To File a Claim for a Roof That’s Leaking or Damaged
If your roof incurs substantial damage that you can’t afford to take care of on your own, you should take these steps to file a homeowners insurance claim:
- Call an agent at your homeowners insurance company and let them know that you would like to file a claim.
- Take pictures of the damaged parts of your roof and record any other important information surrounding your losses.
- Patch up holes and make other emergency repairs as necessary to keep your home from being damaged any further.
- Inform your mortgage lender that you are filing a claim due to damage to your roof.
- Compile photos and other relevant information that you can show to the insurance adjuster when they visit your home to inspect the damage.
- Hold on to important documents and track your claim in case issues arise that you need to address.