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The Ultimate Guide to Roofing Insurance: What You Need to Know

Roofing Insurance Dallas TX

When it comes to your family's safety and security, you must have homeowner’s insurance just in case something unexpected and/or catastrophic happens. From tornadoes to broken tree branches and everything in between, your home could be at risk because it is always exposed to the elements. The roof of your home, especially, must endure everything that nature can throw at it, and you are, of course, expecting it to maintain its integrity.

Unfortunately, sometimes circumstances beyond your control may cause severe damage to your roof, and it will need to be repaired or replaced. If a severe storm has golf ball-sized hail coming down, that can break shingles, dent metal, or further weaken already damaged areas. A tree falling from your neighbor's yard could crash into the roof of your home and create a giant hole. No matter the situation, it is integral to repair or replace your roof before further damage is done or the interior of your home is compromised. Water coming in from holes in the roof can result in mold or mildew accumulating on your walls, animals can make their way in and wreak havoc, and a variety of other problems stem from damage to your roof. 

In the case of your home's roof, your insurance policy may be difficult to understand concerning your coverage if your roof needs to be repaired or replaced. At the Thumann Agency, we want to make sure you are fully aware of your home coverage and what you should know when it comes to roof insurance. For over 20 years, we have been helping Texas homeowners get the protection they need because we work with the most top-rated companies and can customize a package for your needs.

If you are only starting to look at homeowner's insurance and want to make sure your roof is covered within the policy in the case of an emergency, below is some information vital for your search. Insurance, in general, can be tricky, but at the Thumann Agency, we are here to ensure you fully understand your coverage and get everything you want and need for your Texas home. 

Does Insurance Cover Roof Leaks?

Insurance policies may cover a leaky roof, but it is generally up to the homeowner to ensure the proper precautions are taken to prevent leaks and subsequent damage. If a leaky roof is not repaired properly, it can lead to even more damages (and more claims) to both the roof and the interior of the home. 

Age of the roof also makes a difference in how much, if the insurance company covers any, of the leaky roof repair (or replacement, if necessary). A 10-year-old roof that has sustained damage and is leaking will likely be covered for a full replacement. However, a roof that is at least 20-years-old is unlikely to be given coverage for a total replacement. Instead, the roof's value will be assessed, and the insurance will provide you with that amount for the replacement. It is essential that you understand the limits of your homeowner's coverage, especially when it comes to the roof's age.

Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Roof Replacement?

Again, this is dependent on your insurance provider and the policy as it pertains to the cost of replacement, age of the roof, and the cause of the damage. Most policies cover roof damage caused by fire, vandalism, and "acts of God" (tornadoes, hurricanes, etc.), but anything outside of that scope could be negotiable. 

The roof's age is also a significant factor because the older a roof gets, the more wear and tear can affect the integrity of the roof. At only 5 or 10 years of wear and tear, the insurance policy will likely cover the cost of the full replacement because it has not had to withstand the elements for such a time that breakdowns in the roof's integrity would be expected. The 20+ year roof might have worn out its ability to resist nature, so the insurance would probably not cover the replacement. If your policy has an exclusion for 20-year-old roofs, ask for another company's bid at the time of renewal to see if your roof can be included in a different policy. At $10,000 or more for a replacement, you certainly don't want to be paying out of pocket. 

How to Get Homeowners Insurance with a Bad Roof

The underwriting of homes with roofs that have visible signs of deterioration or are simply living past their shelf life (about 20 years or so, depending on the type of roofing material used) can be difficult for insurers. Taking a risk on a "bad roof" can be tremendously dangerous because it is highly likely that they will soon be having to pay for the cost of a roof replacement. For this reason, many insurance companies will not create or renew policies for bad roofs or will require the homeowner to complete steps to fix the issues with the roof themselves before the policy can be renewed.

If you have an old roof or showing severe deterioration and making the necessary repairs or replacement is beyond your means, there may be ways for you to keep your family and belongings safe and secure with a homeowner's insurance policy.

Get an Inspection

When you are trying to get or renew a homeowner's insurance policy, it is a good idea to have a roof inspection done to find out about any leaks, damage, or signs of deterioration. If you have a 20+ years old roof, it is doubly important to know exactly what issues might be present. Knowing the extent of the repairs that may be necessary can help you figure out a plan to handle them, and, hopefully, you may even find out that only a portion of the roof needs repairs. You can get the repairs done with the least possible expense and be able to get your policy without much trouble.

Find a New Insurer

If getting the roof repairs done does not convince your current insurance company that you should be given a renewal, then it may be time to find another insurer. There are a few rare companies out there who will insure your home without the demand for extensive repairs, but the plans are generally quite costly. They will also generally only reimburse you for any damages following a rate corresponding to the value of a 20-year-old roof. The full amount of repairs or replacement will likely not be covered, but if this risk of financial issues outweighs the risk of losing your homeowner's insurance, this may be an option.

Consider Cost/Benefit

While a major repair could be expensive, having a roof in good condition will provide you the protection you need for you, your family, and your belongings. You could opt for financing the cost of repairs or roof replacement to ensure that you have a homeowner's insurance policy and that your family is well protected. The benefits of having a secure roof and a full insurance policy on your home will likely take precedence over the temporary cost and inconvenience of getting the repairs done. 

Does Insurance Cover Roof Damage from Wind or Hail?

Damage to your roof caused by wind, rain, or hail and having the coverage in your insurance policy for making necessary repairs is entirely dependent upon the particular insurer you have your policy with. It may also be affected by your roof's age.

In geographical locations where extreme wind, rain, and hail may be prevalent, insurance agencies may not provide coverage in homeowner's insurance policies for your roof in the case of damages. The risk of claims and necessary payouts is simply too high.

If you have an older roof, one way to demonstrate to your insurance company that damage caused to the roof was from hail rather than wear and tear is to have an inspection done long before a storm may occur. That way, you can have a fair assessment of your roof with corresponding paperwork and documentation of your roof's conditions before the storm. A report from a reputable roofing company may prove that you did not have any pre-existing damage, and the storm was entirely to blame.

Will a Roof Claim Increase Insurance?

In general, homeowner's insurance policies will have an increase in the premiums after you file a claim. If you file a claim for water damage, mold, liability (dog bites), theft, or fire, your rates will likely increase. You may also find yourself in a non-renewal situation if you have filed a second or third claim within five years.

Weather claims, though, tend to be treated differently by many insurance companies. Although it may not be accurate for 100% of insurance companies, weather-related insurance claims are less likely to result in premium hikes. The difference is that something like property theft or water damage is more likely to happen again than a significant weather storm, causing your neighbor's tree to fall on your roof. That is less likely to be repeated, so it may not increase your rates. You must discuss these particulars with your insurance company before signing the policy to be well aware of your coverage and potential rate jumps or non-renewals.

Will a New Roof Lower My Insurance?

Because a new, professionally installed roof is less likely to leak and can potentially withstand hail and wind and other weather-related elements than an old roof, your insurance company may lower your insurance cost if you replace your roof. You are now a lower risk to the insurance company, so they may be willing to reflect that in your rate.

However, an insurance agent will not seek out that information, especially at policy renewal time, so it is your job to ensure that your insurance company is made aware of the replacement. How much you save depends on the age and quality of the roof, and you need to be sure that your roof replacement and the discount you receive does not decrease the coverage of your policy concerning weather-related issues.

How Much Roof Damage Is Required for Insurance to Replace It?

The amount of damage required for insurance to replace your roof largely depends on a few factors. As we have noted, your roof's age may cause you significant problems when it comes to filing a claim and having it paid out. Unless the roofing material is known for longevity, your roof can easily outlive its expected lifespan when you hit the 15-20 year mark. 

In addition to age, the damage that was caused by a catastrophic event needs to be evident. It is recommended that you have your insurance company come out for an inspection. You should be prepared with your policy, documentation, and receipts of repairs completed, and before and after pictures to demonstrate what exactly was a result of the event. 

If something such as the roof crashes in on the house, there is a significant hole or part/all of the roof is torn off, there will likely be no problem getting the roof replaced. The in-between type of damage that is less severe is when you will have to argue for the replacement to be covered.

How to File a Roof Insurance Claim

First of all, you must be aware of the timeframe in which you must file an insurance claim. The insurance company has a particular timeframe that you cannot be late with unless you want to pay for any repairs or roof replacement out of pocket. 

When you need to file a roof insurance claim, here are some necessary steps to follow (be aware that each insurance company may have slightly different steps or added steps for you to include):

  • Contact your insurance immediately and find out what is covered in your policy

  • Schedule a time for an insurance claims examiner to review the damage

  • Provide all necessary documentation, including before and after photos of the roof if you have them

    • If you don't have them now, take the before pictures as soon as possible

  • Contact a qualified roofer as soon as you can to begin assessing the damage and strategizing the most efficient plan to fix or replace your roof so that your home's interior is affected in the most minimal way possible.

The key to filing an insurance claim is doing so quickly and efficiently. Be sure you have all of your paperwork and documentation in order and ready for the claims examiner, and do not delay in contacting your insurer.

Need Roof Insurance? Contact Us

If you are a homeowner and in need of roof insurance in Dallas, the Thumann Agency can help. We can get you a quote for your next homeowner's insurance policy, which includes roof insurance quickly and easily. We have a pool of 80 top-rated insurance carriers to choose from, so we know that we will find the right insurer for you and your family. We will also make sure that you have no gaps in coverage, which may cause serious problems down the road. Contact us today to ensure you have the best coverage for your home, including the roof.