Making a Claim
After a long, cold, wet winter, everyone looks forward to the spring. Until the spring storms come through and leave damage behind, like the damage they can do to roofs. This is one of the busiest times of the year for insurance companies with homeowners filing roof insurance claims.
Is storm damage covered by insurance?
Storm damage roof insurance isn’t a separate policy, it is included in a homeowners insurance policy to provide you financial protection when your home has suffered damage by storms. In most cases, most homeowners’ insurance policies have coverage for certain storm damage. The roof insurance coverage includes damage caused by hail, lightning, and wind, but what is not covered is damages that were caused by earthquakes and floods.
After you have had your roof inspected by a contractor for storm damage to the roof, insurance company should be called, and they will send an adjuster out to inspect the roof and other possible damage. The adjuster will use a formula to determine how much damage is within the roof insurance limits and advise you of the amount they are approving.
After you have paid the deductible, they will either pay your mortgage holder or send a check made out to you and the mortgage company. After the repairs are made, any funds that are left will be yours to keep. Or if the amount doesn’t meet the exact cost of the roof and other repairs, you’ll be liable out-of-pocket for the balance.
What types of roof damage are covered by insurance?
In general, your homeowner’s insurance should provide cover for damage caused by falling tree limbs or trees, ice storms, hailstorms, high wind, tornadoes, or wildfire within a certain amount of coverage as stated in your policy.
Something is considered storm damage when it’s the result of destructive weather events. This includes any interior or exterior parts of your home other than roof insurance coverage. The other aspects that insurance can provide coverage include:
- The exterior siding
- The doors, windows
- Gutters and downspouts
- Power surges that caused damage
- Fire from lightning strikes
Is hail damage covered by insurance?
Yes, any Texas homeowner’s insurance policy should include hail damage roof insurance claims or hail damage to any part of your home. From the roof to the siding to the windows, gutters, and more, your insurance policy should cover hail damage.
Will insurance replace my roof if a tree falls on it?
Yes, a standard homeowner’s insurance policy will provide roof insurance for repairs or replacement should a tree fall on it, or any structure that is covered under your policy. This includes garages, storage sheds, etc. The same holds true for any damage sustained by hailstorms, high winds, or lightning.
Regardless of who the tree belongs to, if it falls on your roof, insurance on your property will pay for removal up to a limited amount, and then they will work with the tree owner’s insurance for reimbursement. If your insurance company is reimbursed for the roof insurance claim, you will be refunded any deductible you paid.
Will insurance cover my roof replacement?
A typical homeowners insurance policy does cover all perils, including roof insurance for replacement costs if damaged by acts of nature or by accident that you have no control over happening, like vandalism.
Where roof insurance problems come into the picture is when the roof is aged or has normal wear and tear that is damaged by hail, lightning, wind, or other weather issues. The insurance adjuster will deny the claim citing that if the roof had been replaced when needed, the damage wouldn’t be at the roof insurance claim level.
Will insurance cover my roof repair?
The insurance industry has regulations, rules, and standards and if your roof insurance claim doesn’t fall within those things, your claim could be denied. Some of the reasons roof insurance claims are denied could be any of the following:
- Age: Every roof will eventually age, no matter the quality of the material or the installation. A roof insurance claim on a roof that is 10 years old will be approved before a roof that is 20 years old. Chances are, if you apply for homeowner’s insurance and the roof is old, it will have to pass inspection before any insurance company will cover it anyway.
- Neglect: Most insurance companies are going to look for the fault of the homeowner to avoid paying for any roof insurance claim. If a limb from a tree on your property falls on your house, they’ll blame it on the tree not being trimmed back from the roof. If the insurance adjuster sees that repairs have been neglected when the hailstorm hit, they’ll deny your roof insurance claim.
- Material: There are some roofing materials that insurance companies won’t cover, specifically wood shingles. Any roofing material is considered at high risk for fire or water damage, and if they do provide coverage, it will be expensive.
- Type: If you file a roof insurance claim and the adjuster determines the type of damage isn’t as claimed, they will deny the claim. For instance, you claim hail damage, but they find the damage caused by foot traffic.
Can you repair a roof without replacing it?
Certainly, but if you file a roof insurance claim and it is approved for replacement, but you only make repairs, then the next time you file a roof insurance claim, it could be denied. It is always best to fulfill what the insurance company approves.
Should I hire a professional for roof repair?
It is recommended to have a professional roofing contractor do any roof repairs or roof replacement. The insurance company will expect to see invoices or receipts where the work has been done and is guaranteed. If anything is wrong with the work according to the insurance company, the roofing contractor will need to make good on the work.
In Closing – Who Has the Last Word?
Can you negotiate your insurance coverage? Absolutely! Especially if you don’t have a lender or mortgage company involved, it is in your best interest to save money where you can, but you want to keep yourself covered too! Work with your insurance agent to get changes that will keep you covered but have changes made that don’t affect you now.