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Few things can ruin your day like a leaking roof during a heavy rain storm. However, it is much worse if you have to pay for the damage to your property, including roof repairs and replacing everything damaged by the leak. So, is a leaking roof covered by insurance?
Well, as it turns out, the answer is more complicated than the question because there are several conditions that make you eligible to make an insurance claim.
When Is a Leaking Roof Covered by Insurance?
We don’t want to leave you hanging there, so we’re here to clarify whether you can claim insurance for a leaking roof. Home insurance will cover the damages that occur as a result of the water damage caused by the roof leak.
If your roof is damaged during a storm and leaks as a consequence of that, you can claim insurance. Accidental coverage is included in most home insurance policies, so you’re covered in case of damage caused by the following:
- Falling objects.
- Wind, hail or tree damage.
- Weight of ice or snow.
- Natural disasters.
When are Roof Leaks not Covered by Insurance?
Roof leaks are not covered by insurance if conditions other than the ones mentioned above cause the damage. These are a few cases where roofs are not covered by insurance:
- Age: With greater exposure to the elements, most roofs have a lifespan of 15-20 years before they need to be swapped out. Insurance does not cover roof leaks caused by regular wear or maintenance
- Negligence: You cannot claim the insurance on a roof that you haven’t cared for properly. Roof maintenance includes contacting a roof repair service for periodic maintenance to clean debris, failing flashings, fungus, rot, and pest or insect
- Improper installation: Insurance might not cover you if the leak is caused by improper installation. The risks of an improper installation far outweigh the long-term costs, so you should always invest in a great contractor when installing a new roof.
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The above summarizes the most common cases in which you can’t claim insurance; however, other clauses are specific to your insurance policy.
Will Insurance Cover a 15-Year-Old Roof?
Most insurance companies do not offer any or limited coverage for roofs that are older than 15 years. While some insurance companies might provide coverage for old roofs that pass inspection, others do not cover them at all. It depends on which company you have and their policy limitations.
Covering an old roof is not a viable option for insurance companies considering that the most commonly used roofing materials, asphalt roofing, have a life expectancy of around 15-20 years.
Even if you get insurance for an older roof and it gets damaged due to any normally covered causes, you might only get the amount of money that your older roof is worth at the time of damage.
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How Can You Claim Insurance?
If you’re wondering if there is a timeframe to claim damages, there is. A leaking roof covered by insurance has a timeline defined by the company during which your claim will be entertained.
You should always contact a roofer first to inspect the leak to make sure it is in fact a roof leak. What you don’t want to do is file a claim if it is not a legitimate claim. Once the roof leak is confirmed by a professional roofer, do the following things
- Call and report the damage to your insurance company..
- Contact a roofer to meet the insurance adjuster to assess the repair work needed and get the roof dry to avoid any further damage to your property or
- Maintain a photo album for insurance claims, so that you have before and after photos of both the inside and outside damages to show in the case of an accident.
Regardless of your roof’s age, you should always have it inspected to assess if anything needs a little maintenance. If you come across even slight damage, contact a roofer for repairs because it might affect the structural integrity.
Remember that negligence is one of the most common causes why homeowners get denied insurance claims, so make sure that you keep your home or building in top condition.
Can You Claim Insurance for Damaged Objects?
Yes, most insurance policies offer claims for damages to belongings that are caused by roof damage. However, the payout is eligible to the age of the damaged items, the wear on them, and you won’t get paid if the damage was caused due to your negligence.
What About Rentals?
While the same clauses of building maintenance and wear affect insurance claim payouts for rentals, things get a bit complicated. As is the case for homeowners, the landlord must ensure timely repairs and inspections to be eligible for insurance claims.
In most rentals, the building belongs to the landlord; however, the tenant owns the furniture, appliances, and other items. This set-up opens the doors for most landlords to invest in landlord insurance, while renters can secure their possessions by purchasing a renters policy.
How Do You Pick Insurance?
Picking an insurance policy can be challenging if you aren’t aware of the market, so doing your research is important before committing to a company. Here are some things to consider when you are picking an insurance provider:
- Reviews: Browse forums and ask people who are using the service about their satisfaction.
- Compare rates: Check how much other insurers are charging for the same services to make an educated decision.
- Claim response: Find out how long the company takes to pay for claims.
- Keep your options open: Talk to multiple companies and check what their policies offer. Make sure that you get multiple quotes before signing up for a service.
- Choose the right package: Each company has different tiers of offerings. Some of them might offer too little or excessive protection from what you need.
Remember, this is your home that you’re insuring. Do not look for cheap alternatives if you can afford better coverage options. talk to your friends and neighbors.
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Is a leaking roof covered by insurance? The short answer is that it depends on the factors that we discussed above. If your home’s roof is leaking, then you should not waste any time contacting a roofer to get the roof leak stopped temporarily until it can be repaired permanently or you can get a full roof replacement.