Will My Homeowner’s Insurance Pay for My Roof Replacement?

Ben Kissam
Written by Ben Kissam
Updated June 20, 2022
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Photo: adogslifephoto / Adobe Stock

Getting a new roof can be stressful, but getting your claim fulfilled doesn’t have to be

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Each year, severe weather, natural disasters, and hailstorms cost insurance companies millions of dollars in roof repairs and replacements. If your home was affected by inclement weather, you’re probably champing at the bit to get your claim processed. Unfortunately, navigating the insurance roof replacement process can be tricky. But with the right strategies and a few tips, you can speed up your claim and get your roof fixed faster.

What Roof Insurance Typically Covers

Whether from fire or a storm, it can be extremely stressful if your roof is damaged. Review your insurance policy to learn what is normally covered to see if you have a potential claim.

Roof damage covered under homeowners insurance policies usually includes:

  • Recent or immediate damage caused by storms

  • Natural disasters (tornado, hurricane, etc.)

  • Leaks

  • Fire damage

  • Hail damage

Review Your Personal Homeowners Policy for Roof Coverage

There are subsets of homeowners insurance policies. For example, the part of your policy that covers property damage typically handles the costs of accidents and natural disasters.

If built into your policy, personal belonging coverage and replacement costs should cover the expenses incurred if your possessions get destroyed due to the roof damage.

However, most homeowner insurance policies come with a deductible— $1,000 is typical. You’ll need to meet this before insurance will pay for other repairs. 

Certain policies require timely reporting. If you report roof damage outside of a designated time frame, you can no longer claim it.  Other policies have a 10-year mark or depreciated value clause, meaning a roof that’s more than 10 years old or one that’s depreciated in value is no longer worth the full price you paid for it. This could significantly lower the amount insurance is willing to pay.

What Roof Insurance Doesn’t Cover 

Keep in mind that not all roof damage will be covered by homeowners insurance. From repairs to replacement, there are instances when roof coverage won’t be provided. 

Insurance roof replacement does not typically cover:

  • Regular wear and tear

  • Damage or dysfunction due to negligence

  • Improper installation by you or an unlicensed contractor

  • Sewer backup

  • Mold or mildew damage

  • Earthquakes and flooding

  • Damage caused by animals

In essence, a roof that hasn’t been maintained, standard erosion, extreme weather, and faulty work done by a contractor could leave you liable for the costs of your roof repairs—even if serious damage also occurs due to a storm. 

That’s definitely frustrating, but it reinforces why documentation and roof maintenance are so important. Without written proof, your insurance company could try to prove that your negligence is the reason for damage, leaving you with the expenses.

5 Tips for Submitting a Roof Replacement Claim

If Mother Nature strikes and need to file a homeowner’s insurance claim to replace your roof, follow these five tips to help the process go smoothly.

1. Assess the Damage on Your Roof

Once you know what your policy includes, you’ll need to assess the damage. Only inspect a roof when it’s safe to do so or hire a local roofer to do it for you. Wait until storms or severe weather patterns subside before checking out your roof.

Take pictures of the damage and make a list of all the parts of your roof that will need to be repaired or replaced. Secure your roof and home from further damage to the best of your ability. Remember, safety first. Climbing on your roof can be dangerous regardless, let alone after a storm. When in doubt, hire a pro who can safely inspect your roof for you.

If you own (or can borrow) a drone with a camera, this may be a safer way to inspect damage and take pictures.

2. Document All Roof Damage

Many insurance companies won’t pay for your repairs if they don’t have to. That’s why you need to document everything through the insurance roof replacement process.

Keep a detailed record of things like:

  • Immediate damage after the storm

  • Ongoing issues in your home (leaks, compromised areas)

  • Safety hazards

  • Weather patterns in your area

A written record of these events can help bolster your claim when you talk to an inspector.

It’s also a good idea to find all regular roof maintenance records and proof of roof inspections for this purpose, too. Even providing information about the type of roof you have can be helpful.

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Photo: soupstock / Adobe Stock

3. Contact Your Homeowners Insurance

Before contacting insurance, make sure you’ve thoroughly inspected the damage. When you call, be very specific about the nature of the roof damage and repairs needed, especially if the integrity of your home is compromised due to weather damage.

This could prompt them to send an agent out sooner to assess the damage and may help push your claim up the list.

4. Meet With a Roofing Specialist

The insurance company will send an inspector, but getting a second opinion from a roofing professional is a good idea. In fact, many insurance companies require it to fulfill your claim.

Look for a roofing specialist in your area who has experience working with insurance companies. Also, make sure they are licensed, give you a detailed written estimate, and describe the damage as they see it on paper.

You’ll need all this information when you finally submit your insurance claim. It’s also not a terrible idea to get multiple estimates if you feel the first one is low. But be wary of this strategy, as some insurance companies will ask to see all of them and immediately go with the lowest one.

5. Submit Your Roof Damage Insurance Claim

Be patient after you submit your claim. Insurance companies are notorious for providing hoops to jump through to finalize your claim.

Your insurance might:

  • Request additional paperwork

  • Ask for clarification on detailed aspects of your claim

  • Ask about your roof’s warranty

In many cases, the worst part of a homeowners insurance claim is simply waiting for the phone call saying your claim was accepted. This sometimes takes several days, if not weeks. Take a deep breath—you’re almost there.

Getting Insurance to Pay for Roof Replacement

No one exactly jumps at the chance to contact their insurance and work through a claim. Even though the insurance roof replacement process can be difficult and time-consuming, it’s worth going through to get the money you deserve to fix your home.

Get an accurate estimate from a roof inspector in your area so you get the funds you’re entitled to. 

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