What Type Of Roof Damage Coverage Does Homeowner's Insurance Provide?

Posted on: 13 November 2017

If you own your own home, you better have homeowner's insurance. Not only does it help protect you in the event of some sudden disasters, but it also protects you from lawsuits if someone is injured while on your property. However, not everyone understands what homeowner's insurance covers, especially when it comes to roof damage. If you are worried about roof damage, find out what your insurance will and won't cover.

An Old, Leaky Roof

Even with excellent maintenance, a roof doesn't last forever. Damage from wind, sun, rain, ice and anything else that can weaken your roof causes wear and tear. If you have a standard asphalt roof, your roof should last between 15 and 20 years. As the roof gets older, it is more likely to develop leaks or weak spots from damage, weather or even infestation. When this happens, you'll likely need to pay for an entirely new roof to prevent further damage to your home.

A roof is expensive, so it would be nice if your insurance would pay for it, but it probably won't. Your policy likely has a "wear and tear" exclusion. Basically, the insurance carrier believes it is your job to keep your home well-maintained. If damage is caused from failing to maintain the roof or another part of your home, your insurance carrier probably won't pay for it. Even if the roof has experienced normal wear and tear from being used for a long time, the insurance carrier likely won't pay because replacement is part of maintenance to your home.

Sudden Incidents

So what's the point of homeowner's insurance if it doesn't cover wear and tear? It is designed to protect you from unforeseen events. For example, if some lightning hits your roof during a storm and starts a fire, you probably didn't foresee that. Even if you did think it was a possibility, there was nothing you could have done to stop it. In this event, you are usually covered because most polices protect the structure of the home, including the roof.

You'll want to work with your insurance carrier to figure out exactly which type of policy you need: a peril or non-peril policy. A non-peril policy simply covers all the most frequent causes of damage, such as fire. However, it doesn't cover every type of peril. For example, they often don't cover earthquake damage. If you live in an area that sees specific type of disasters, such as earthquakes or hurricanes, you'll probably want a peril policy, which covers only the most common disasters in your area.

Damaged Belongings

Your policy may cover more than just your home's structure. Some policies also cover belongings in certain situations, so you can replace your damaged items. Usually, if the disaster that caused the damage is covered by your policy, it will also cover your damaged belongings. For example, if a big branch suddenly breaks your roof during a storm, and it is covered, any items that became wet or destroyed from the weather, may be covered.

Some policies, protect you even further. In some cases, even if the damage was caused by wear and tear, such as a weakened roof, the insurance carrier may pay for the damaged belongings, such as wet carpets from leaks.

If you are worried about damage to your roof, you should talk with your insurance carrier to find out what your policy covers. With a great homeowner's insurance policy, you can get reimbursed for a wide number of incidents, and even damage to belongings from a leaky roof may be covered. For more information regarding roof damage coverage or other insurance questions, contact a homeowner's insurance carrier, such as State Fund Insurance, today.