Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Roof Replacement?
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When it comes to important parts of your home, roofs are at the very, very top, literally and figuratively. The primary purpose of a home is to protect you from the elements, and the roof is the main employee at that job. It keeps rain, snow, hail, and ice at bay… or at least it’s supposed to.
Like any part of a home, roofs can sustain damage which keeps them from being able to successfully do their job. It can be as little as a small leak resulting in a slow drip when it’s raining out, or a giant hole caused by a tree that fell on your home. No matter how big or small the damage, a compromised roof will need to be repaired or replaced.
But does a homeowners insurance policy cover roof replacement? Here’s what you need to know.
Does homeowners insurance cover roof replacements?
The short answer is yes. The long answer is sometimes.
Homeowners insurance policies cover roof replacements the same way they cover any other replacement on your home. That is to say, your roof isn’t the determining factor in whether or not replacement is covered. The event that caused the damage that resulted in needing a roof replacement is the determining factor.
Your homeowners insurance policy is based around events. If a covered event causes damage to your roof or to anything else, then your insurance plan has your back. If a non-covered event causes damage to your roof or to anything else, then you’ll have to pay for the replacement out of pocket.
Times when homeowners insurance will cover a roof replacement
A roof replacement will be covered by your homeowners insurance policy anytime that the damage is caused by a covered event. Policies change from person to person and insurer to insurer, but usually this means that your homeowners insurance will cover roof replacement if the damage is due to items falling on the roof, windstorms, rainstorms, snowstorms, lighting, fires, vandalism, riots, and electrical surges.
It should be noted that this is just the standard list. Your homeowners insurance policy might exclude some of these events, or include others that aren’t on this list.
Times when homeowners insurance will not cover a roof replacement
A roof replacement will not be covered by your homeowners insurance policy anytime the damage is caused by something that isn’t a covered event. Usually that includes flooding, earthquakes, smog, and war or government damage. However, your policy might have other specific exclusions, or it might include some of these events.
It’s very important to note that your homeowners insurance will not cover roof replacement if the cause of the damage is negligence or a lack of maintenance on your behalf. If your roof is damaged simply because you didn’t take care of it, you’ll have to repair it out of pocket. If a covered event only causes the damage because your roof was in poor shape, it still won’t be covered. In other words, if you’ve allowed your roof to rot, and it caves in during a storm, it won’t be covered.
Finally, it’s worth noting that if a tree or branch falls on your home and damages the roof, the same rules apply. If the tree or branch fell because of a storm or a lightning strike, you’re covered. But if a tree falls because of rot or eroding soil from overwatering, you will not be covered.