​​Does Homeowner’s Insurance Cover Roof Replacements?

In New Jersey and other northern states, heavy snows, hail, and ice storms can wreak havoc on your roof. In Kansas and other midwestern states, tornadoes and cyclones cause significant damage to homeowners’ roofs.

In the south heavy rains and tropical systems can result in gales and hurricane-force winds ripping rods straight off of homes. And in the west, the risk of damage due to fires is a near-constant concern.

Each of these risk factors has the ability to cause significant damage to your roof that will result in necessary repairs or replacements. These can be expensive to cover out-of-pocket, so you may be wondering whether your existing homeowner’s policy will provide you with insurance coverage to replace your roof.

The answer to this question is both yes and no, depending on your circumstances. Let’s take a closer look at homeowner’s insurance and roof coverage, before diving into specific damage types, replacement and repair options, and ways you can prevent roof problems.

Does Homeowner’s Insurance Cover My Roof?

Your existing homeowner’s policy will cover many different aspects of your property including specific kinds of structural and roof damages. However, while some protections are offered, many homeowners’ policy types will be very specific about which limited damages they will or will not cover.

If your roof is damaged as the result of an extreme weather event or unexpected act of nature, it will likely be covered under your homeowner’s policy. However, if pre-existing structural issues, improper maintenance, or age cause the roof to become damaged, it will likely not be covered with this policy type and full roof replacements will not be granted. 

How Roof Coverage Works

Roofs are absolutely vital to the protection of everything–and everyone–in your home. So if damage happens to your roof, you’ll want to get it repaired or have it entirely replaced as soon as possible. 

But unfortunately, the cost of roof replacement is expensive. That’s why you need to make sure you’ve purchased roof-specific coverage policies to ensure you’ll be protected if something happens, whether it’s an act of nature or a pre-existing structural problem.

Common Roof Damages

According to the majority of insurance companies, there are two main kinds of damage that a roof is typically covered for: damage from a covered loss and wear & tear. 

Covered losses can include weather-related incidents including rain, hail, snowstorms, fall tree branches, wind, or fire. In these circumstances, insurance companies will usually pay for the replacement or repair you select up to your predetermined coverage limits.

If you face other damages that are not the result of one of those covered incidents and it results from structural failure, improper maintenance, or old age, you may struggle to find an insurance company that will cover your damages.

The Difference Between Roof Repair and Roof Replacement

If your home has suffered damage to the roof, you may be wondering whether it would be better to get a full roof replacement, or if a more budget-effective repair would work. To determine which solution will work better, you need to consider the following factors:

  • How significant the damage is: If the damage is minor or localized to a specific spot, you may be better off getting a repair.
  • The cost of a repair: if the cost of repair is close to or equal to the cost of a full roof replacement, then replacing the structure may work best for you.
  • How old your roof is: if your roof is relatively new with less than ten years of use, a repair would be the better option.
  • Impact on your curb appeal–if you cannot find materials to match your existing roof, repairing the damage may impact your home’s value.

How to Prevent Roof Problems

When you take care of the things that belong to you–whether that be a favorite watch, new car, or even your roof–they tend to last significantly longer than they may if you neglect them. By working to keep your home’s roof in top condition, you can ensure that you will face fewer problems with it and can potentially reduce your insurance premiums.

There are several things you can do to upkeep the integrity of your roof. These may include getting inspections, pruning trees, and cleaning gutters regularly.

Getting Inspections

The only way you can really take care of a problem is by knowing that it exists in the first place. By hiring a roof inspector to do check-ups on your home every few years, you can increase your chances of uncovering problems early on. But make sure you hire a reputable roof inspector or you may be encouraged to repair non-issues.

Pruning Trees

Trees can cause significant damage to roofs whether by falling on them or by dropping dense limbs on the structure if a storm occurs. By regularly pruning–or even removing–trees as they become a problem, you can mitigate disaster.

Cleaning Gutters

If your gutters are clogged up with leaves, twigs, and other debris, they cannot serve their primary purpose of diverting water off of your roof and away from your home. Instead, they will become pools that can overflow onto your rooftop and cause structural damage and leaks.

Key Takeaways

Roofs are a vital part of any home, and if they’re damaged, it’s essential to repair or replace them as soon as possible. Fixing the damages can cost you a significant amount of money–especially if you need to replace the entire roof–and some homeowners’ policies will not cover those costs. That’s why it’s so important for you to invest in a good roof insurance policy today.

For more information about roof insurance, or to speak with one of our top-tier agents, reach out today!