It’s hard to overstate the importance of your home’s roof. A good roof can protect your home for decades against the elements. But as your home’s first line of defense against moisture, sun damage and more, it eventually reaches the point of needing repairs or replacement. But does home insurance cover roof repairs, replacements or even sudden damage?
Read on to learn more about how most homeowner’s insurance policies interact with your roof, and what you can do to minimize costs to keep your home safe from the top down.
Unexpected & Sudden Roof Damage Is Often Covered
It may not be the most common type of damage, but the most dreaded roof damage is something unexpected and sudden, like a tree falling on your roof from high winds or other weather-related incidents. These can quickly turn your protective roof into an open door for moisture, debris and even wild animals.
While every insurance policy can differ slightly, most homeowner’s insurance policies do cover sudden and unexpected damage like this. After all, homeowner’s insurance policies are generally designed to offer you some financial protections against issues that were outside your control. A tree crashing down on your roof because of unusually high winds is an incident you can’t always reasonably prevent!
For instances like these, insurance companies will often pay out for the cost of the repairs to the roof. Remember though, not every instance of roof damage necessitates a full replacement. You’re likely to be limited to just repairing the problem area to restore your roof’s ability to protect against the outside elements.
Are Certain Types of Roof Damage Regularly Not Covered?
Yes! It’s important that, as a homeowner, you realize your role in maintaining the health of your roof. Similar to how car warranties don’t cover “wear and tear” items like your tires, an insurance policy on your house won’t cover the general wear a roof experiences over the years. This is both because the wear-and-tear a roof suffers is essentially guaranteed to happen and because you can mitigate this damage by keeping up with general home maintenance.
If a sudden storm or impact opens a hole in your roof and leads to a leak, your policy may cover this. But if your roof begins to leak because of disrepair over many days, weeks, or months, then the cost of the repair (and any related damage) will be yours to handle.
Some common types of roof damage that won’t be covered are things like missing shingles, damage from mold or mildew growth along the rooftop, or leaks along your chimney flashing. This is why every homeowner should make rooftop inspections a normal part of their on-going home maintenance, likely at least once per year.
Most long-term damages to your roof won’t happen without warning signs. Regular inspections and light repairs can save you a significant amount of money in major repairs down the road!
Does My Roof’s Age Impact Its Coverage?
Yes and no. Roof coverage as a whole won’t be impacted by the age of your roof. If your insurance policy provides coverages for roof damage like storm, hurricane, or tree damage, then it’s covered. However, some policies may only payout based on a depreciated value for a roof that’s significantly older. This typically only matters in the case of a full roof replacement. If you have a 15- to 20-year-old roof, your insurance company, if it’s part of the policy you agreed to, may not cover the full replacement strictly because of the age of your roof.
As always, it’s best to check with your provider or agent if you have questions about this! Being surprised by your insurance policy can be avoided by asking the right questions, right away!
How Can I Avoid Costly Roof Repairs or Replacements?
The reality of owning any property is that your roof won’t last forever. The best way to prevent big problems is to spot and solve the little ones. Roof maintenance for homeowners isn’t always “do-it-yourself” but there are some steps you can take to stay on top of your roof’s health:
Check the Shingles
Missing shingles are a quick way to open your roof to damage and eventually leaks. Shingles are designed to be replaceable because individual shingles can suffer damage or harsher wear than others. Fortunately, you can generally spot these problem (or missing) shingles with a quick look from the ground level. Get into the habit of scoping out your roof throughout the year!
Keep Gutters Clear
Your gutters are a critical part of your roof’s defense against moisture. They divert the water from your roof to runoffs farther from your foundation than if it simply drained right off the sloping rooftops. Clogged gutters not only function poorly but can lead to issues like ice dams that can cause moisture build-up on the roof. This accelerates weathering issues and can lead to leaks that would have been otherwise completely avoidable!
Remove Moss & Growth
Moss may not seem too dangerous to a rooftop, but its true power is in spreading underneath the shingles. It creates gaps that allow moisture to sneak in under the shingles and attack your home. More importantly, moss is quick to spread. In a short time, a small amount of moss can make its way across a significant portion of your roof, leaving you vulnerable. For homeowners wondering “does home insurance cover roof damage from moss,” the answer is likely no.
You can remove moss fairly easily with something as simple as a brush. Home improvement stores may also recommend certain types of sprays or coatings that can help you kill moss easily and keep it away.
Inspect Your Attic Interior
Lastly, when thinking about homeowner’s insurance for your roof, you’ll want to look for interior leaks. If you check your attic regularly, you’ll be able to notice any issue that’s already breached the first line of defense that is your roof.
The sooner you catch these problems, the higher your chances that your insurance may cover them. If there’s no sign of water damage one day, and a big wet spot the next, it’s most likely caused by something like heavy debris or weather damage than a lack of maintenance. This is where documentation can come in handy! Keeping great photos of your roof’s exterior and the interior areas underneath it helps prove that you’re staying on top of critical home maintenance steps.
Contact Iott Insurance for a Quote Today
Iott Insurance has been a part of southeast Michigan for over 50 years. We can help you plan your insurance needs and find you the right policies or plans to protect you.
Or you can visit one of our three offices in southeast Michigan:
Blissfield, MI – (517) 628-4574
Lambertville, MI – (734) 807-3825
Petersburg, MI – (734) 215-9884
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