Understanding what is and isn’t covered under a homeowners insurance policy is important, especially for costly hazards such as roof leaks and water damage. A roof leak can cause significant damage to your belongings, interior, and the foundation of your home. So, it’s essential to know if your insurance would cover that damage.
At Capital Roofing, we try our best to educate homeowners about the roofing industry and related issues, so they can make better decisions. In this article, we’ve answered some crucial questions homeowners have about roof leaks and insurance coverage. Read on to find the answers to the following questions:
- What type of roof damage is covered by insurance?
- Does homeowners insurance cover roof leaks?
- Does homeowners insurance cover water damage from a leaking roof?
- What about leaks caused by ice dams?
- Will insurance cover a 15-year-old roof?
- How do you make a successful water leak insurance claim?
Let’s start by learning what most insurance policies generally cover.
What Type Of Roof Damage Is Covered By Insurance?
A standard homeowners insurance policy provides coverage to repair or replace the parts of your home and belongings that are damaged due to natural disasters or accidents—for example, a raging fire, a hail storm, or a theft.
- A homeowners insurance policy usually covers all the damages caused by extreme weather events such as lightning, tornados, and hurricanes. However, some policies may exclude perils like earthquakes, floods, landslides, and wars.
- When it comes to fires, some policies will cover the cost to repair or rebuild the home if it gets burned down. Additionally, if any personal belongings inside get damaged by fire or smoke, these policies will cover that cost, too.
- Some insurance policies may also cover the damages caused by theft and vandalism. If someone breaks in and steals your stuff or decides to vandalize your roof, siding, or windows, your policy will provide the funds to replace anything stolen or damaged.
However, every policy is different, and coverage can vary depending on the type of home insurance policy, the state you live in, and the coverage you’ve opted for. So, you must read your policy and understand what it covers and what it doesn’t. If you need more coverage, you can always pay more later for extra protection.
If you are wondering whether your homeowners insurance covers roof leaks, the next section of this article explains it in detail.
Does Your Homeowners Insurance Cover Roof Leaks?
If a roof leak is caused by a sudden accidental event like a storm or fallen tree branch, then it’s likely to be covered by your homeowners insurance policy. However, if the leak is caused by wear and tear, neglect, or lack of maintenance, it is generally not covered by most insurance companies and policies. Some insurance policies also cover roof leaks caused by vandalism or animals like squirrels and other rodents.
However, any homeowners insurance policy rarely covers leaks that result from rotting or cracked wood, and damage caused by tiny insects, mold, or algae. That’s because these issues happen over time due to improper maintenance.
Here are the answers to some frequently asked questions related to roof leaks and insurance coverage:
Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Water Damage From A Leaking Roof?
Some insurance policies may not cover water damage caused by leaks resulting from poor maintenance, gradual withering, or pre-existing conditions such as faulty roof installation, using low-quality roofing material, and not following residential building codes.
If water damage is an aftermath of a storm, it is generally covered by your homeowners insurance. If you’ve opted for vandalism or accidental damage coverage, the company may also cover any water damage caused by such an event.
Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Roof Leaks From Ice Dams?
Homeowners insurance may cover roof leaks caused by ice dams, but it depends on the specific coverage of the policy and the cause of the ice dams. Ice dams form when the snow melts on the ridge of the roof and then refreezes at the edge of the roof, creating a dam that prevents water from flowing off the roof. Since the water has nowhere else to go, it seeps under the shingles and leaks into the home, causing damage to the roof and interior.
Ice dams can be caused by various factors, including a heavy snowstorm, which is a sudden and accidental event that is likely to be covered under the property damage portion of your homeowners insurance policy. However, if the ice dams are caused by a lack of proper roofing material, insulation, or ventilation, it may not be covered as it is considered a maintenance issue.
It’s important to note that even if the cause of the ice dam is natural, the coverage for the damage may still be affected by pre-existing conditions, such as not using preventive measures like heat cables, lack of roof inspections, and not replacing extremely old materials that are prone to fail under such circumstances.
Will Insurance Cover A 15-Year-Old Roof?
If you are getting a new policy for your 15-year-old home, most insurance companies will consider it. There are different types of homeowners insurance policies, many of which are designed to cover older homes, whether they were built 15 years ago, or 30. The cost and prerequisites of your insurance premium are most likely to increase if your home is older than 10 years.
If you already have an insurance policy and you are paying your premium in a timely manner, it will continue to cover your home, no matter how old it is. However, the type of damage and quality of maintenance are crucial aspects of insurance claims. Whether your roof only leaks sometimes or has significant water damage due to wear and tear, your insurance company will consider the following factors before approving your claim:
- The cause of the damage
- The severity of the damage
- The quality of roofing material
- The quality of the installation
- Your roof repair and replacement history, among other things
Many insurance companies require a roof inspection report to know the details of the damage. So choose a licensed roofer who knows how to find a roof leak and can prepare a comprehensive report mentioning the damage and repair needs.
Below are some tips from our experts on how to make a successful claim.
How To Make A Successful Water Leak Insurance Claim
So, does homeowners insurance cover roof leaks in your case? From reading the policy to getting a professional roof inspection, you can take several steps to get the best coverage possible. Read these guidelines:
- To get your insurance claim approved for roof leaks, you must first read your policy and get clarifications for all your doubts by talking to your insurance adjuster.
- After that, you must hire a licensed, reputed, and reliable roofing contractor to inspect your roof.
- The roofing contractor will start by inspecting your roof from top to bottom, including the attic and gutters.
- Ultimately, they will create a roof inspection report and mention the possible cause of the roof leak, the parts that need to be repaired, and their estimate of the expense.
In the end, you will need to show that roof inspection report to your insurance adjuster. After that, you’ll be able to get the roof repair coverage you deserve. It’s important to note that you may have to pay a deductible amount before your insurance company helps you with the coverage.
If you live in Claremore or the surrounding areas in Oklahoma, we can help you with a free roof inspection, insurance claim guidance, and the best roof repair services.
Get A Free Roof Inspection From Our Experts
If you’re concerned about the condition of your roof and whether your insurance company will cover your roof leak, we are here to offer you peace of mind. At Capital Roofing, we are known to offer the most reliable roof inspection and roof repair services in Claremore, OK. Our experts know how to fix a roof leak with the utmost care and precision. We’ll ensure you know everything about your roof’s condition and give you a fair estimate on roof leak repair costs.
Contact us at (918) 260-4075 for a free consultation and schedule your free roof inspection! Take the first step to a successful roof leak insurance claim!
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Benningfield, Bailey. “Does Home Insurance Cover Roof Leaks?” Forbes Home, 4 Nov. 2022, www.forbes.com/home-improvement/home-emergencies/does-home-insurance-cover-roof-leaks.
“Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Roof Leaks? – NerdWallet.” NerdWallet, www.nerdwallet.com/article/insurance/does-homeowners-insurance-cover-roof-leaks. Accessed 7 Feb. 2023.
Sleight, Mandy. “Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Roof Leaks? | Bankrate.” Bankrate, www.bankrate.com/insurance/homeowners-insurance/does-homeowners-insurance-cover-roof-leaks. Accessed 7 Feb. 2023.
“Does Home Insurance Cover Roof Leaks?” ValuePenguin, 17 Aug. 2022, www.valuepenguin.com/does-homeowners-insurance-cover-roof-leaks.