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Top tips for home insurance buyers for 2022

Sep 8

In short, insurance covers roof replacement depending on the circumstances. A home insurance policy will cover if an insured peril damages your roof or structure. Some policies may exclude or name specific perils. It is possible to replace your roof due to unforeseeable events or severe weather other than flooding. Standard homeowners insurance will typically not cover roof replacement if the roof is more than 10 years old or needs maintenance.

What does roof insurance do?

When protecting your home and contents, the roof is the first line of defense. Because they can withstand all the elements, including rain, sun, wind and freezing temperatures, roofs are designed to do so. No matter how sturdy, a roof will eventually become less resilient to the elements, increasing its vulnerability to damage.

It can be expensive to repair or replace a roof. If a covered peril causes damage, insurance companies will cover it. Insurance companies might not cover an older roof due to the possibility of a severe damage claim. They may also require inspections to verify that they can withstand the elements.

If the roof is old or needs maintenance, an insurance company may decline to cover it. The carrier might instead decide to offer actual cash value insurance. This only covers a portion of the claim based on the roof's age and condition.

Types of roof damage

A residential property insurance claim will distinguish between roof damage due to a covered loss and damage due to wear and tear. If your roof is damaged by rain, hail, snowstorms, falling tree branches, wind, fire, or other covered losses, your insurance company will typically pay to repair or replace the roof.

An insurance company won't cover repair or replacement costs if there isn't a peril associated with the leak. It is crucial to maintain your roof. A failing roof is costly and will most likely not be covered by your home insurance.

Keep your roof safe.

A roof that is in good condition will withstand severe weather and damage better than an older roof. The following maintenance tips will help keep your roof in top condition and protect your contents for many years.

  • Have a regular inspection of your roof: Having a roof inspector inspect your roof every few years could help you spot potential problems early. It is essential to find a reliable inspector that you can trust. Some roofing companies might claim there are problems to convince you to replace your roof.
  • Prune trees near the roof: Trees too close to the roof can cause damage in several ways. A tree branch too close to a roof can fall on it, causing structural damage. Tree branches can rub against the roof, damaging the surface and causing shingles to be lost. Trees too close to roofs should be kept trimmed and cleared.
  • Keep your gutters clean. Gutters are designed to move water away from rooftops, making them the roof's greatest enemy. Water can get trapped in gutters if it is clogged with leaves and other debris. This could cause water to overflow onto the roof, weaken the structure, or cause interior leaks.

Roof repair vs. roofing replacement

These options might help you decide whether to replace or repair your roof.

  • If the damage is minor and concentrated in one area, repair it.
  • If the repair cost is close to replacing the roof, replace it.
  • If the roof is relatively new, repair it within 10 years.
  • If your roof is old and you sell your house shortly, replace it.
  • It can be repaired if the new non-matching shingles do not damage the roof.

The bottom line

Roof repair or replacement can be one of your most costly tasks as a homeowner. Your home insurance covers roof-related damage but not for other perils like fire, severe weather or falling objects. Most often, your homeowner's insurance doesn't cover leaks or damages caused by a roof that is older or less well maintained. 

A roof that is in good condition will be able to withstand any weather conditions and other unexpected events. To avoid more severe problems down the line, keeping your roof in good condition is essential.