Homeowners‘ insurance cover for roof leaks depends on the cause of the damage. Damage to any structure of your home caused by any of the perils covered by your insurance is usually paid. Perils may include fire, hail, heavy wind, and even damage from snow and ice.
If you can prove that even a small leak was caused by one of the insured risks in your homeowners’ insurance, then it will be covered by your insurer. Damage from wind and hail is sometimes excluded from some policies or may be covered by a separate wind and hail deductible option.
As a homeowner, you need to ensure that the deductible is set at an amount you can afford in case of total roof destruction. Typically, the deductible for wind and hail is anything between 1-10% of your home’s coverage amount.
Insurers require homeowners in New Jersey and other coastal states to have a separate hurricane deductible for official tropical storms or hurricanes. If your roof suffers damage, it won’t be covered if you don’t have separate flood insurance.
What about roof leaks?
Roof leaks not caused by sudden damage but are the result of wear and tear, or lack of maintenance, are not covered by home insurers. If your roof is damaged by one of the perils mentioned, but the insurance company determines that the damage was caused by a lack of maintenance or because of general wear and tear, then your claim may be denied.
Homes older than 20 years usually have more limited coverage for their roof. Your home insurer would only pay you out if the leak was caused by one of the perils covered by your homeowner’s policy if the damage was sudden.
However, in the case of sudden damage, the roof will be insured according to the depreciated value of the property, and you will be paid out accordingly. The depreciated value of the property is also known as the actual cash value, and your home insurer will factor in the age and condition of the property when valuing it for your damage claim.
Bear in mind; it may be difficult to prove that the leak was sudden and not a sign of neglect. The insurer’s inspector may determine that it is caused by neglect, even if the leak is sudden.
How can you ensure you are covered in case of damage?
Regular roof inspections and maintenance are the best way to ensure your roof is properly maintained and not suffering from regular wear and tear. Keep a record of all your maintenance work, in case you ever need it for insurance purposes.
Additionally, if you are buying a new home, carry out a roof inspection to determine the roof’s age and condition.
How to file your insurance claim?
Filing an insurance claim can be tricky. You could end up making mistakes that could lead to you getting less than you deserve. If you have a leaking roof because of sudden damage, take advantage of the benefits of using a public adjuster to file for your claim. Learn more about our services by calling us at Crestview Public Adjusters today.