The good news is that a well-maintained roof lasts for 20- or so years, and even twice that range if you invest in a metal roof. Once that roof requires replacing, however, it’s a costly endeavor. The Homeguide.com website reports the average roof replacement costs homeowners somewhere between $7000 and $10,000, and it can cost more if the entire roof system or attic needs work.
Fortunately, there are multiple situations or scenarios where roof repairs or replacement are partially- or fully – covered by your homeowner’s policy.
Steps For Getting Homeowners Insurance To Pay For A Roof Replacement
Here are some of the steps that can keep your roof replacement covered by insurance.
Read and understand your insurance policy from the get-go
There’s a reason why most homeowners don’t thoroughly read their homeowner’s insurance policies – they are cumbersome and entail a robust quantity of fine print. However, it’s imperative you understand where your carrier stands regarding roof repair and/or replacement coverage.
If reading the legal/insurance-ease is intimidating, contact your carrier and speak with a representative. S/he will help you become clear on what is and isn’t covered, as well as the scenarios that might prevent the insurance from paying for the roof replacement.
Report any roof issues immediately or schedule a roof inspection
One of the biggest issues we encounter when insurance policies don’t want to cover the damage or replacement costs is when homeowners wait too long to report the damage. It’s no mystery that water damage is insidious and that it takes its toll on both the roof and the building’s structural integrity.
When you fail to report roof damage immediately, you’re allowing the damage to worsen – and that’s at your expense.
The minute you notice any signs of roofing damage or potential issues – including suspected moisture damage, leaks, warping, or missing shingles – contact a licensed roofing contractor and schedule an inspection. Your quick action is key should you need to activate your insurance policy’s coverage.
Inspect and maintain your roof regularly
Ideally, a home’s roof should be inspected annually. This allows contractors and take action if they notice any red flags, recent damage, or weak spots. If you wait too long and your home experiences storm damage in the middle of rainy or hail season, it can be impossible for a roofing company to repair the damage in between storms, which puts you at potential risk for violating your homeowner’s insurance policy’s terms.
Note: Most homeowner’s insurance policies make things like verified, inspection and maintenance a part of their coverage plan. If you don’t have records verifying you’ve taken care of your roof as per the manufacturer’s instructions, they typically refuse to reimburse repair/replacement costs.
As an example of why it’s important to work with licensed roofing professionals and adhere to the manufacturer’s maintenance recommendations, we’ve listed the most likely reasons insurance companies will not pay for roof replacement:
- The installation was performed by an unlicensed roofing contractor or was a DIY job
- Roofing materials were faulty (now you have to deal with manufacturers)
- The attic wasn’t properly ventilated
- Obvious signs that it wasn’t properly maintained
- The roof is too old to qualify
- The damage is only cosmetic, which requires repairs rather than replacement
File your insurance claim ASAP
Delaying on filing your insurance claim is as detrimental as waiting to report suspected damage. Most policies require filing a claim within 60-days or less. In addition to complying with your policy, filing your claim on the early side helps your roofing contractor, too.
Most licensed roofing contractors are happy to help you with all of the steps required when filing a roof replacement insurance claim, and many handle the bulk of the work for you. Keep this in mind if you don’t have a “regular” roofing contractor you work with, and only hire contractors who are willing to partner with you when it comes to filing, tracking, and providing the necessary documentation for keeping the claim moving forward.
Make sure your roof replacement uses comparable (or better) materials
Working with a licensed and experienced roofing contractor also helps to ensure your insurance company pays enough to ensure your new roof is built from materials that are the same quality – or better – as the originals.
If you have money put away, this might be a good time to investigate a higher-quality roofing system – like a metal roof – that performs better (and lasts longer) than your current option. By paying a little more, you can combine the insurance payment with your own savings, and get more bang for your roofing buck.
We Can Help Even If Your Insurance Won’t
Are you having a hard time determining whether or not your roof replacement is covered by insurance? Contact us here at Dr. Remodel Roofing and Remodeling, 469-379-2504. We’re licensed, professional roofers and we’re known for our diligence working with clients and their homeowners to achieve successful outcomes.