Roofing damage is typically covered by homeowner’s insurance if the damage is caused by a storm or weather event. Depending on the severity of storm damage, your insurance company may pay for the replacement of your roof if you file a claim. This is not always the case, however. Even if the damage appears to have been caused by a storm, which is typically covered, there are a variety of reasons why your insurance company may not be willing to replace the item. Given that the cost of replacing a roof is substantial, you will want to do everything possible to mitigate this risk. Likely, insurance providers are used to filling hail and other storm claims for Minneapolis roofs.
Why wouldn’t your insurance company cover the cost of roof replacement? Here are several common explanations.
The roof damage is caused by regular wear and tear
Although homeowner’s insurance covers accidental and unavoidable roof damage, it does not cover the management and maintenance of the roofing structure. Consequently, age-related roof wear and tear is typically not covered. Because all materials degrade over time, it is your responsibility to replace your roof if it is nearing the end of its typical lifespan.
Consider that improper maintenance and upkeep can hasten the deterioration of roofing materials. This means that your roof may fail prematurely if you fail to keep it clean and patch any holes that develop. Typically, home insurance does not cover this.
Older roof damage is more significant than recent damage
Perhaps your roof was damaged by a storm, and you want your insurance company to pay for the repairs. However, they are unlikely to do so if there are signs of prior damage that you have not repaired. For instance, the insurance company is unlikely to replace the roof if there are areas of leaks caused by poor maintenance, and those leaks likely weaken the roof’s structure. It may cover the repairs to the area affected by storm damage, such as where a tree branch fell on the roof, but it may not cover the replacement of the entire roof.
The damage is not severe enough for a roof replacement or roof repair
Typically, insurance companies are responsible for restoring the roof to its pre-accident condition. Imagine that a tree branch fell onto your roof and caused a hole. If the insurance adjuster visits the home to decide how to repair the damage, they will likely only repair the area that was damaged by the storm. This indicates that they are unlikely to replace the entire roof structure if identical shingles or materials are available.
Alternatively, if a hailstorm causes extensive, widespread damage to the roof, and if enough of the roof is affected, the insurance company may opt to replace the entire roof. Frequently, it comes down to whether replacing or repairing the roof’s structure is more cost-effective.
The roof damage falls under the manufacturer warranty
If the insurance company determines that the problem with your roof is a result of a manufacturing defect, this is another common reason why they may decide not to replace it. In other words, the shingles or other roofing material failed despite being covered by a warranty. In this situation, you would need to prove that the damage was caused by a defect in order to receive financial compensation from the manufacturer.
This is a difficult circumstance because both the insurance company and the manufacturer are likely to attempt to disprove liability for the losses. Almost all manufacturers include a warranty with their products, although the scope of these warranties can vary significantly between companies. Contact your roofing contractor for assistance with this type of claim.
The roof claim was not made in time
Let’s say your roof has hail damage or other storm damage. You should not delay filing a claim with your homeowner’s insurance for too long. You may have between one and two years from the date the damage occurred to file a claim, depending on your location. Be sure to read your insurance policy to determine the duration of this period.
Herein lies the cause for concern. If your roof has been damaged by hail, you may not discover the damage for some time. When you get on your roof to observe the damage, you may not know when it occurred. If your roofing contractor has records of the last hailstorm in your area, they may be able to assist you. If it is still within your roof’s claims period, you may be able to file a claim. This is a very good reason why you should have a licensed professional perform an annual inspection of your roof to detect any damage.
Can you appeal a roof coverage denial?
You can frequently appeal a denial of coverage, especially if the situation hinges on the insurance adjuster’s opinion (which can also result in coverage denials that are not always clear). Read your homeowner’s insurance policy to learn more about the appeals process, though each policy will contain its own specific details. Having a roofing contractor on-site or a public adjuster available to handle this process for you is often the best option. Do not attempt an appeal without the assistance of these professionals.
If you have not already done so, contact your roofer and request an inspection. They will provide a fair and honest assessment of the cause of the damage to your roof and, in some instances, can create a comprehensive report for the insurance company. The adjuster may then provide additional insight as to whether a claim can be filed. It may be impossible to obtain the necessary coverage to replace the roof if you delay too long.