Homes come in all shapes and sizes, but every one of them has a roof—likely the most important aspect of our homes. So, when it comes to insurance, do you know if your roof is covered?
Under a homeowner’s policy, the coverages generally covered are hail, wind, and fire. The following scenarios are ones in which you may expect roof coverage from your insurance.
- House catches fire
- Wind, hail, or rainstorm damaged roof
- Stormwater leakage into attic or walls
- Tornado rips off roof and back wall
Exclusions and ACV
While the above scenarios are generally covered, there are always exceptions to the rules. Ideally, replacement cost is the coverage limit; however, an actual cash value or full roof exclusion may be applied to your policy when a roof is old and worn. Be sure to check your declarations and endorsements on your policy or check with your agent to see the coverage status on your roof.
- Exclusion – Roof or damage from roof not covered at all. Generally applied because of the condition of the roof.
- Actual Cash Value – Roof is only covered at the depreciated value. Applied most often when the roof is getting old.
- High Deductibles – Roofs will be replaced after a significant deductible is paid out of pocket. Typical of high wind areas, or for poor roof condition.
Responsibility of Homeowners
As a homeowner, you are responsible for the condition and maintenance of your home. You should actively work to prevent damage and protect your home from any further damage. Homeowners should also be aware of the coverage on their insurance policy.
Keep track of the age of your roof and replace it when it is old and is showing signs of wear and tear. When you do this, please be sure to notify your insurance agent of the updated roof so that the appropriate coverages can be applied to your policy. Often, the insurance company will require receipts, pictures, or both as evidence of the work completed.
Maintain the trees in the yard, keeping branches off the roof. Branches or other items left on the roof will prevent proper drainage of rain and snow and cause premature shingles. Keeping trees trimmed will allow for a clean roof and extend the life of the shingles. In addition to maintaining branches off the roof, the gutter should be cleaned out regularly to remove leaves and debris that will clog the drainage and cause additional wear and tear on your shingles.
If you have any questions about the coverage on your roof, please contact your agent. It is always better to check with your agent than to wish you had coverage that isn’t available to you.