Homeowners Insurance and Your Roof: What You Need to Know

Storms and other weather events can cause serious damage to your roof and the interior of your home. To ensure that you are prepared in the event of roof storm damage, we have compiled answers to the five most frequently asked questions.

Is Roof Storm Damage Covered by Homeowners Insurance?

In most cases, yes. The specifics of your policy may vary, but homeowners insurance typically covers:

  • Damage caused by wind.
  • Damage caused by hail.
  • Damage caused by falling objects, such as tree branches.
  • Interior damage resulting from storm damage to your roof.

For instance, if a strong gust of wind blows shingles off your roof and the opening allows rainwater to seep into your bathroom and damage the wall, your homeowners insurance policy will likely cover the storm damage to your roof and the resulting damage to your bathroom wall.

However, if the damage to your roof is due to aging, regular wear and tear, or lack of maintenance, you may not have coverage for your roof. Homeowners insurance is designed to cover sudden and unexpected events, such as wind and hailstorms.

What Should I Do if My Roof is Damaged in a Storm?

  • Take photos before and during clean-up

If you or a contractor begin cleaning up before a claim representative inspects the damage, take photos. This could include shingles on the ground, hailstones to show their size, damage to trees or personal property, and so on. If emergency repairs are required, make sure you or your contractor document the scene with photographs.

  • Prevent further damage in the meantime

Your home is probably your most valuable asset, and you want to keep it that way. Use a tarp on the roof and consider other temporary emergency repairs to prevent further damage. If necessary, you can hire a contractor to assist with these temporary repairs.

  • File an insurance claim

Contact your insurance agency to file a claim during this process.

If you hire a contractor to help you, request that they take pictures of the damage and provide a detailed estimate of the repairs required.

Why is it Important to Have My Roof Damage Evaluated?

Claims professionals are knowledgeable in roof damage evaluation and are familiar with what to look for when assessing a roof with potential storm damage. The goal of an initial evaluation is to assess the damage with the best available information.

While roofers and contractors can also evaluate roofs, they may not have the experience or training necessary to identify storm-caused damage. If you are considering asking a contractor to help inspect your roof damage, inquire about their credentials for storm damage inspections and be aware that a claims representative will still need to conduct an inspection.

Choosing the Right Contractor for Your Roof Repair

When you need a contractor to repair or replace your roof, make sure you do your research first.

  • Verify that the contractor is licensed and insured, and that they have a good reputation.
  • Check the Better Business Bureau for ratings and reviews of local contractors.
  • Ask your friends and family for referrals and recommendations.
  • Consider reaching out to your local Home Builders Association for a list of recommended contractors.

Can I Do My Own Roof Repairs?

It’s important to wait until a claim representative has inspected your roof before attempting any repairs yourself. This is a policy requirement.

If your policy covers the damage to your roof, you’ll be given funds to cover the cost of professional installation or repairs, in accordance with the policy terms and conditions. This coverage is not just for the cost of materials.

While you are allowed to do your own roof installation, please make sure your insurance company has inspected your roof damage first. Keep in mind that the claim amount you may receive will be adjusted since you are not paying for professional installation.

Why Did My Neighbor’s Insurance Replace Their Roof But Not Mine?

Each roof is unique and may weather a storm differently. Your neighbor’s roof may have sustained damage, but your roof may not have. Insurance companies can only make decisions based on what the claim representative observes on your roof.

Several factors can affect how well a roof weathers a storm, including:

  • The age of the roof .
  • The amount of debris on the roof .
  • Whether or not animals can access the roof .
  • How well the roof is maintained.
  • How the roof was installed.
  • The brand and grade of roof surfacing materials.
  • The style and slope of the roof structure.
  • The direction the slopes face.
  • The direction from which the storm came.
  • Whether or not the roof has tree cover or other natural shields protecting it from hail and wind.