Even the toughest roofs can be damaged. Heavy rain, hail, windstorms, and falling objects can destroy roofs. Flooding, water damage, and mold can occur when a roof is damaged.
Repairing or replacing a roof can be costly. Most home insurance policies cover roof damage and reimburse the homeowner for repairs, provided the damage is caused by a peril the insurance covers and the policy limits are met.
Roof insurance is vital.
Insurance companies value a home’s roof highly. The roof is the major protector of a home, and its condition defines how structurally sound the building is.
But over time, roofs weaken and become more susceptible to major damage. Repairing a damaged roof is often costly, even if an insurance company contributes.
In order to avoid a major claim, insurance companies inspect the roof for structural soundness and condition. In areas prone to wildfires or extreme weather, some companies will refuse coverage if the roof is deemed too risky or has deteriorated significantly.
How to ensure your insurance covers your roof
Inspect your policy documents or ask your agent what perils are covered. Most sudden or accidental roof damage, like a tree falling or hail, is covered by dwelling insurance.
Named perils and open perils are the two types of dwelling coverage in home insurance. A named perils policy covers the roof against specific losses. An open perils policy covers the roof against any loss not specifically excluded. Be aware that insurance may have limitations. Homeowners insurance does not cover normal wear and tear. An older or damaged roof may not be covered by a homeowner’s insurance policy.
Homeowners can increase their dwelling coverage limit to get more roof coverage. Some insurers offer a roof replacement endorsement to increase coverage. Increasing coverage will always raise your premium.
Also, consider whether your policy covers your roof at actual cash value (ACV) or replacement cost (RCV). Because ACV takes into account depreciation, you’d be taking on more financial risk if it needed to be replaced due to severe weather damage. The policy will cover the full replacement cost of your roof, up to the policy limits.
What roof insurance covers Roof leaks?
In general, leaks due to deterioration can be covered by your homeowners’ insurance. However, it depends on the source of the leak and the roof’s age or condition. Damage from a covered peril, like a hurricane or tornado, is more likely to be insured.
Insurance usually does not cover roof leaks on older roofs. A 5-year-old roof may be fully covered, but a 25-year-old roof may not. Some insurers will cover older roofs but may pay out much less if a claim is made.
Finally, an insurance company may deny a claim if there is no credible source for the leak and the roof has had prior problems resulting from neglect or lack of maintenance.
Does roof insurance cover rodent damage?
Bugs and rodents are usually excluded from home insurance policies. These exclusions generally apply to pest removal and additional remediation costs.
Infestation exclusions in insurance policies usually cover all damages caused by rodents, including roof damage. Though specific coverage language varies, most homeowner policies treat rodent and pest removal and damage repair as routine home maintenance.
It’s always wise to discuss coverage issues like this with a licensed insurance agent. If the policy does not cover rodent damage or removal, review the exclusions. Inquire if the insurer offers any add-on riders to cover these damages.
Finally, consider contacting pest control companies. Often, these companies will provide a warranty after pest control treatment to help cover any damage caused by rodents or other infestations.