Choosing A Better Insurance Plan

Will Home Insurance Replace Your Roof?

by Isabella Torres

Replacing the roof is one of the most expensive things you can do for your house. That is why most people want to know whether their home insurance can cover the replacement cost if the need arises. Well, the answer to that question depends on several issues. For example, the insurance might fail to pay the whole replacement cost under the following circumstances.

It's a Maintenance Issue

Home insurance companies only pay for accidental damages and not damages due to maintenance or neglect issues. Therefore, the insurance carrier will want to know the cause of the damage to confirm that it is not a maintenance issue before paying your claim.

For example, your insurance company is likely to replace your roof if it is burned down by wildfire, since that is clearly an accident. However, if your roof loses a few shingles and you don't replace them in time, then the insurance company might fail to replace the roof if the missing shingles eventually lead to total damage.

The Roof Is Extremely Old

All roofs age with time, and when a roof reaches the end of its life expectancy, it needs to be replaced. Your insurance company won't replace your roof that has reached the end of its useful life. In fact, home insurance companies are reluctant to replace old roofs (those that have lasted several decades).

The good news is that some insurance carriers are unlikely to leave you without any compensation. The insurer may compensate you with the value of the roof just before the damage. In that case, you can top up the difference and replace the roof.

The Roof Is Layered

Roof layering is the practice of installing new roofing over existing roofing; that is, you don't tear off the existing roof first and instead just place the new one over the old one. Roof layering saves time and money, but it is also potentially dangerous. For example, the weight of two layers of roofing materials might be too much for the roof. The two roofing layers can also trap moisture between them and cause roof damage. The new roofing layer may also fail to lie flush over the old one, increasing the risk of damage.

All these problems mean insurance companies are reluctant to replace such roofs upon damage. This is especially true in cases where the layering seems to be the cause of the damage.

Note that home insurance coverage issues vary by companies and policies. Also, the time to find out whether your coverage will replace your house is not after the damage has occurred, but before. That way, you can take the necessary measures to guarantee full coverage, if possible.

For more information about what homeowner's insurance will cover, contact an insurance agency.