Roof Insurance: How Does It Work?

When rooftops get damaged, it’s natural for homeowners to start wondering about their roof coverage and policies. After all, no one really talks about “roof insurance.” Is your roof covered? How much will you have to pay out of pocket? These are the questions, and we’ve got the answers:

Homeowners Insurance

Your roof should be covered under your homeowners policy. This is the same policy that covers your home if theft or fires occur. Homeowners policies cover both the belongings inside your home as well as the home structure itself. This includes your roof.

Sometimes people aren’t sure if they have homeowners insurance or not. Requirements for homeowners policies and what they cover vary from state to state or from agency to agency. However, chances are good that if you are paying a mortgage— you have a policy. Lenders typically require it. Homeowners policy payments are often bundled into your mortgage payments, which is why you may not be making a separate payment.

Take a look at your homeowners policy or visit your agency’s website to learn more about making a claim. It’s important to also talk to your roofing contractor about your policy and what is required.

Repair and Replacement

So, what exactly does homeowners insurance cover when it comes to your roof? Usually, you’ll have two choices: Repair and replacement. Which one your policy covers depends on several factors. Here are a few of the most important:

  • The Fine Print: As we mentioned, policies do vary a bit. The parts of your roof that are covered may be narrowly defined by your policy. This isn’t usually a major concern, but it always pays to read the small print.
  • Damage: Generally, immediate damage caused by external events will be covered by your homeowners policy. This refers to storm damage, events like house fires, and similar catastrophic problems. However, damage caused by old age or an issue that could have been prevented with changes or maintenance will not be covered. Inspectors will examine your roof before making this decision. This can be particularly complex when it comes to leaks, as this Florida redditor learned.
  • Age: The age of a roof can be important when it comes to coverage. For an older roof (say, older than 10 years) a policy may only cover repairs or part of the costs, while for a new roof the policy may cover the full cost or a replacement option. This is closely connected with the depreciated value of your roof.
  • Liability: If you are at fault for roof damage because of negligence or mistakes, your policy probably will not cover repairs.
  • Materials: This is another odd factor, because it can depend on location and fire hazards. Bottom line: Some materials may only have partial coverage or no coverage at all. Common materials (like shingles) will most likely be fully covered.

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