What Is a Roofing Insurance Policy (Why It’s Important That You Should Get One)

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What Is a Roofing Insurance Policy

Storms and severe weather can damage your roof. Getting roofing insurance is the best way to ensure you’re not going to spend your savings on a new roof after a big storm hits. The roof is a crucial part of your house and also expensive to replace, so you want to be sure you’re protecting it as much as possible.

What Is Roofing Insurance?

Roofing insurance is often a part of your home insurance, though not always. Roofing insurance is solely policies that dictate how your roof must have been damaged in order to qualify for coverage.

The roof protects the rest of your home from the elements, so it’s one of the most essential parts of your house. Insuring it properly avoids accumulating internal damage that you’ll have to account for later.

Most insurance companies only cover your roof if it’s less than 20 years old, and even that tends to only be true for metal or tile roofs. You could fight for a roof inspection to show that your older roof is still in good shape. However, if it seems unlikely that your insurance company will cover your roof, it’s worth investing in a new one to get complete protection from your policy.

In this case, you wouldn’t have to pay the total cost for a new roof. The insurance company will pay you what your old roof is worth. It’s almost like prorating your roof, as you can prorate tires. While you’ll still have to invest a lot of money in a new roof, you’re at least getting some help from the insurance company.

If your roof is in good shape and your insurance company will help cover repairs, take pictures and note the date they were taken. These pictures will serve as “before” images in case of roof damage, fires, or storms. You should also take photos of your new roof after it is installed to qualify for insurance coverage.

What Does Roofing Insurance Cover?

Roofing insurance typically covers major problems, such as:

  • Storm damage
  • Fire
  • Lightning
  • Hail
  • Vandalism

Sometimes, insurance will also cover things like objects falling on your roof, or water damage if your air conditioner or water heater bursts.

Insurance doesn’t cover general wear and tear, because that damage happens naturally over time—it’s inevitable and predictable. Leaks aren’t covered by most insurance policies, either. This type of problem falls under maintenance. So if you think you have a leaky roof, you need to get it checked out as soon as possible. 

Always check your specific homeowner’s policy for information about roofing insurance. You can see what they cover, as well as their process for making a claim. If you’re shopping around for new insurance, ask each agent about their roofing insurance policies.

Depending on the extent of the damage, your insurance company might cover a full roof replacement. It’s more common that they will offer payment for adequate repairs. If your roof is completely damaged, they might give you a certain amount of money towards a new roof (depending on the age of the damaged roof).

Should You File an Insurance Claim?

Roofing insurance is meant to provide the peace of mind that you’ll be protected in case of damage. If your roof experiences fire, storm, or water damage, then it’s most likely covered by your insurance.

Many people worry that filing an insurance claim could put their policy at risk. Insurance companies might drop customers that file too many claims because they’re not making a profit from that person. However, roofing claims are rare and almost always happen due to forces of nature. There’s usually little risk to filing a claim in this case.

In determining how much to pay out, the company will consider your insurance deductible, the extent of the roof damage, and the value of your roof at its current age. If the repair is quoted to cost less than your deductible, the company won’t cover it, and you’ll just pay a roofing company out of pocket.

If you’re unsure how to file an insurance claim, read on to find out. You can also call a reputable roofer for help if they have experience dealing with insurance companies. They’ll know how to make your claim acceptable under your insurance policy and take a lot of stress off your shoulders.

How to File an Insurance Claim

As with many insurance claims, it takes many steps to get a roofing insurance claim in motion. When you first contact your insurance company, they’ll send an adjuster to your property. The adjuster will inspect the damage and estimate how much work the roof needs. They’ll write up a report to show what the insurance company will pay for in terms of repairs.

However, an insurance adjuster doesn’t know everything about roofs. Therefore, your next step should be to call a roofing company to come to supplement the assessment. Let the contractor look over your insurance documents to see what they allocated as repairs. Then let a roofer check out your house to see the full extent of the problem.

The roofing professionals can see the damage and understand how to repair it. While the insurance adjuster might have seen only surface damage, the roofer might notice that the eaves need repairs as well.

The roofing company can supplement the insurance claim by telling the company exactly how much work they need to do to get your roof up to code. The contractor knows the local codes, and the insurance company can’t easily ignore those claims. They might try to fight back, but official government code documents prove the point.

Hiring Professional Roofers

A new roof is an investment in your home, so you want to choose a team of professionals to do the best work possible. Professional roofers will have their own insurance as well. Roofing companies also typically have roofing liability insurance and workers’ compensation, to ensure the job is done as professionally as possible.

Roofing liability insurance covers property damage and bodily injury to the customer’s property and family. For example, if a tool slides off the roof and breaks a window, the company’s insurance would cover the damage. These liabilities can also extend to roof-related damage once the installation is complete.

Workers’ compensation refers to any injury the roofers themselves experience while at work. It’s a dangerous job to use tools on a roof, so roofing businesses must have workers’ compensation insurance to protect their workers.

Even if you know your roofing company has its own insurance policies, you want to ensure you’re covered as well. Depending on the accident, a roofer falling from your home may sue you for damages. Your insurance would cover it if that happened, so don’t skip out on this coverage.

Risks of Roofing Accidents

Even the most experienced roofing professionals can still have an accident on the job. They’re climbing ladders and carrying heavy tools while standing on high, steep surfaces. There’s a lot of pressure in this job, and knowing the roofer has insurance can help all parties feel more comfortable.

Since roofing companies have workers’ compensation insurance, you shouldn’t be held liable for any injuries roofers may sustain while working on your home. However, there’s still a risk of one of your family members getting hurt. Someone could walk outside as shingles or a tool falls off the roof. The company’s liability insurance will cover this type of harm.

Do Roofers Handle Insurance Claims?

Yes, many professional roofers handle insurance claims. You can file through your insurance company first, but some people choose to call a contractor first. The roofer can assess the damage and give you an idea of how much repairs will cost. If it will only cost $1,000 and your insurance deductible is $2,000, it’s not worth the hassle of filing a claim.

However, if the damage is extensive, the roofer will know what repairs will be necessary. They’ll see beyond the broken shingles to the shattered eaves below and add up the costs immediately. You’ll then have an official document to show your insurance company. Many roofing companies will even send this on your behalf to streamline the process.

Roofing Insurance Coverage Considerations

When you’re renewing your roofing insurance or shopping for a new policy, there are a few things you should consider.

  • Roofing insurance typically only covers acts of nature or major accidents, including occurrences like storms, weather damage, fires, and falling trees.
  • Wear and tear don’t count as damage under most roofing insurances, so you should properly maintain your roof and gutters.
  • If your roof is 20 or more years old, you might not be eligible to renew your insurance policy. An older roof is a liability, so your company might require you to replace it.
  • Always take before and after pictures of your roof to keep on file. They’ll show the insurance company the previous state of your roof and then show the full impact of the damage.
  • Contact a roofing contractor with insurance experience. They can handle the claims process for you so your policy covers the full repairs.

Final Thoughts

Your roof protects your entire home, and roofing insurance protects your roof. Make sure you know everything about your insurance policy, including what’s covered and the amount of your deductible. 

Working with a roofer who has insurance experience will make the process of filing a claim much easier for you. We at Baltic Roofing have that experience, and look forward to helping you protect your investment. 

Author Bio

Louis Hanley

Community Manager

Baltic Roofing

Louis is a community manager for Baltic Roofing where they help the greater Chicago community with everything from high-quality roof replacements to skylight repairs. He is an expert on all things roofing and home improvement. Outside of work, he’s a huge Cubs fan and enjoys spending time with his dog, Roscoe.