Is Your Roof Leak Covered by Your Insurance Company?
Something as simple as water can be cause some of the most devastating damage to your home. A simple leak, left unattended long enough, can result in the need for thousands of dollars in roof repairs. Every smart homeowner knows they need to have a package that includes good roof insurance, but where will the insurance company draw the lines when it comes time to submit a claim?
Roof leaks can result from all sorts of problems, from simple age, wear, and tear, to damage from high winds and storms. Most homeowners’ policies have roof insurance that will cover water damage in most cases. Typically, you’re covered unless you’re guilty of some kind of real negligence in caring for your home and your roof.
Roof and Ceiling Leaks that are Commonly Covered
Leaks that spring up after a major storm, even from things like falling branches, are generally covered under roof insurance policies. Even if there is severe damage like something crashing through the roof and leaving a big hole, you’re covered in the majority of cases. Hail storms, too, can cause roof leaks, since large enough hailstones can punch right through certain kinds of roofing materials.
Homeowners in some parts of the country that experience higher frequencies of severe storms may find that insurers charge higher rates for this sort of protection, or don’t include in some of their plans at all. Before you schedule any roofers, you’ll want to make sure your policy covers roof repairs for the kind of damage your home has suffered.
Also, there are all kinds of “perilous” events that most roof insurance policies will cover which might result in damage to your roof; this includes things like:
- Lightning strikes
- Vandalism and other crimes
- Damage from cars/aircrafts
- Falling debris
- Excessive weight from heavy snow load
Essentially, you’re covered for events that are out of your control, and if your roof has sprung a leak, you can generally expect your insurance company to cover the costs of damages associated, like a ceiling leak, or even worse water damage.
What Kind of Ceiling Leaks and Water Damage Aren’t Covered?
There are several circumstances, however, under which your insurance company isn’t likely to help with your water damage from a leaky roof or ceiling, even if it isn’t necessarily your fault.
Earthquakes can affect the entire structural integrity of your home, but many policies don’t offer roof insurance for damage from quakes. However, even if your home is still standing, it’s important to inspect it top to bottom after an earthquake, even if there aren’t any immediately visible signs of damage. Roof leaks can occur from even the smallest damage.
This will also go for other issues that might affect your foundation, and ultimately, everything built on top of that foundation (like your roof). This includes things like mudslides, settling, a cracked foundation, or landslides.
Corrosive damage also isn’t typically covered by most roof insurance. This isn’t often a problem for Texas homeowners, but if your roof has been exposed to any hazardous materials, or if it’s been improperly cleaned/treated with chemicals that can damage your roofing materials, your roof insurance policy isn’t going to help with these costs in most cases.
Damage that results from pests, be it bugs or rodents, also isn’t commonly covered. It’s your responsibility as the homeowner to keep your roof free and clear of debris or unwanted guests (who probably aren’t paying any rent, right?) Get ahead of the problem, and, if you can’t fend off the intruders on your own, call an exterminator before a colony of rodents burrows into your roof.
Mold is one particular roofing issue that can go either direction in most roof insurance policies. On the one hand, mold happens, and if it’s the result of a roof leak that came from a covered issue listed above, then the insurance company will handle it. What matters most is that you report the issue to your insurer in a timely manner. Claims for mold damage will be denied if the mold has been left to sit and grow for a long period of time. If you know your roof has a leak, you absolutely must be sure to check for mold or fungus where the leak sprung up, and anything that got leaked on.
If you aren’t confident that your homeowner’s insurance policy offers good enough roof insurance, start shopping new insurance policies as soon as possible. The roof is one of the most expensive parts of your home, and when it springs a leak, the costs can add up quickly. Don’t get stuck with those costs; and, to give your family some peace of mind, give us a call at Gotcha Covered Contracting to schedule your free roof inspection today.