Roofing and Home Insurance: What Homeowners Need to Know

Residential roof replacement | Rolox Home Services LLC
A sturdy, reliable roof is essential for keeping your home safe, warm, and protected from the elements. For this reason, you don’t want to leave roof damage unaddressed for long. Even something as simple as a few loose shingles can lead to serious water damage or air leaks if allowed to worsen. But before you start looking into roof replacement or repair, you need to know exactly how your roofing and home insurance interact.  

How Does Roofing Impact Home Insurance?

The relationship between roofing and homeowner’s insurance is generally a very positive one! A newer roof means lower premiums and a greater likelihood that roof damage will be covered. While your home insurance is likely to help with covering roof repairs in situations outside of your control, it’s important that homeowners understand exactly what will be covered and how the condition of their roof will affect coverage in order to keep premiums and out-of-pocket repair costs low.

Types of Roof Damage Covered by Homeowners Insurance

You should always start by reading through your specific home insurance policy for a detailed explanation of what roof damage is covered. In general, insurance will cover roof damage that is caused by an “act of nature.” If your roof is damaged by storms, hail, tornadoes, or some other natural disaster or severe weather, homeowners insurance will cover a percentage of the repairs or replacements needed. In some cases, insurance will fully cover the damages.   Homeowner’s insurance usually will not cover roof damage resulting from neglect and lack of proper maintenance. This is where lines can easily get blurred. If severe weather exacerbates an existing roof problem, you may not get insurance coverage, since keeping your roof in better condition may have prevented damage from occurring in the first place.

How Roof Age Affects Home Insurance

An older roof also may receive less support from home insurance than a new replacement roof, incentivizing homeowners to consider replacing their roof sooner rather than later. If your roof is over 20 years old, it could be either ineligible for coverage or only covered for its cash value rather than the replacement cost.  

Insurance Coverage Limits and Deductibles for Roof Damage

Your homeowner’s insurance may impose coverage limits that affect what roof damage will be insured. For example, standard homeowner insurance policies in the Kansas City area do not cover damage from flooding or earthquakes. If either of these perils damages your roof, you may be responsible for fully covering repairs or replacement.   Some roof damage coverage may be optional, depending on your chosen deductible. You should opt for a deductible that fits within your budget while offering as much protection as possible, to ensure you aren’t stuck with a hefty roof replacement bill after an uncovered event.

How Can Preventative Measures and Roof Maintenance Help?

The better shape your roof is in prior to damage, the greater your chances of having repairs or replacement covered by your home insurance. Having a well-maintained roof that is less than 20 years old will also result in lower premiums. Here are some preventative measures you can take to keep your roof reliable and your insurance adjuster happy:  
  • Keep your gutters clean and free of clogs
  • Prune nearby trees and remove organic debris that falls on your roof
  • Schedule a roof inspection at the first sign of damage (even if it’s just a couple of loose shingles!)
  • Take measures to prevent ice dams from forming on your roof in the colder months
  • Have your roof professionally inspected at least once a year

Navigating Insurance Claims for Roofing

If this is your first time dealing with an insurance claim for your roofing, here are some tips for navigating the claim successfully and for the best possible payout:

1. Review Your Policy

Every policy will vary to some extent, so don’t assume coverage without reading your policy in full to get a clear understanding of what your worst and best case scenario might be. You should see if your policy has specifics about when roof damage is covered for repair or replacement.   In most cases, roof replacement will only be covered if the damage is so severe that repair is not practical or possible. Repair coverage may only be for a percentage of the estimated costs, whereas replacement coverage usually covers the full value of your roof.

2. Keep Thorough Records

Maintain physical records of all damage, inspections, estimates, and communications throughout the insurance claim process and before. Because your insurance may refuse coverage due to negligence or the age of your roof, you want to be able to prove that your roof has been kept in good repair and have documentation of age. Some records you should collect for your claim include:  
  • Photos and/or videos of the damage
  • Documentation from your annual inspections
  • Documentation from any prior repairs
  • Estimates for repair or replacement from a local roofing company

3. Schedule an Inspection Before Filing a Claim

Chances are, your home insurance provider will want the roof damage professionally inspected before they will respond to your claim. To help things move along faster, schedule a roof inspection as soon as possible after damage occurs and get a repair or replacement quote. If your estimate is for roof replacement, you should also acquire documentation from the inspection company explaining why repairs are impossible in your circumstances.  

Need a Roof Replacement? We’re Here to Help!

If your roof has suffered irreparable damage and you need roof replacement in Kansas City, Rolox Home Service is here to help! With experience replacing both asphalt shingles and metal roofing, you can count on us to provide affordable replacement roofing and an easy, stress-free process. And if you don’t get the insurance payout you need to fully cover replacement, we offer flexible financing to help you get the roof you need now and pay later.   Contact us today for a free estimate!

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