Roof damage claims are often complicated, and coverage can vary depending on the company that insures your home. If you happen to have a homeowner insurance claim that involves your roof, it may or may not be covered. Several factors are important.
The simple fact is that although homeowners insurance is meant to repair damage due to wind and hail storms, if your roof is damaged by wind or hail, your homeowner insurance may not pay the entire amount needed for repair or replacement. It depends on the policy language.
If your policy is a replacement cost value (RCV) policy, your insurance will typically pay to repair or replace your roof. However, several companies restrict coverage when a home’s roof is over 15 or 20 years old. If you are within the time limit stated in the policy, it is likely that the full cost of the repair or replacement will be covered.
However, if your policy coverage for is Actual Cash Value (ACV) or if the roof’s age is greater than the replacement cost age listed in the policy, it is likely that the amount paid on your claim will be dependent on the depreciated value of the roof. Generally, the older the roof, the higher the amount depreciated … and the lower the amount covered (or not covered) under your policy.
Here is an example that assumes two neighbors living next door, in the same type of house, constructed the same year, with the same roof, and both have the same type of wind damage to their roofs:
Cost of John’s roof ten years ago: $15,000 Cost of Bill’s roof ten years ago:$15,000
Insurance valuation method: ACV Insurance valuation method: RCV
Policy deductible: $1,000 Policy deductible: $1,000
Cost of repairs to roof: $15,000 Cost of repairs to roof:$15,000
Depreciation schedule: $1,000/year Depreciation not applicable for RCV
Insurance payment calculation: Insurance payment calculation:
$15,000 repair cost $15,000 repair cost
$10,000 depreciation ($1000/yr x 10 years) $0 depreciation
$ 1,000 deductible $ 1,000 deductible
$ 4,000 insurance payment $14,000 insurance payment
Here are some points to be aware of:
- Payment for damage to roofs is normally dependent on the age of the roof
- Roof damage payment will depend on your specific homeowner policy language (Actual Cash Value – ACV or Replacement Cost Value (RCV)
- Your homeowner insurance policy does not cover normal wear and tear of a roof. Typically, roofs need to be replaced after 15 to 20 years. That is one of the costs of owning a home.
If the cause of the roof damage is not immediately identifiable from a specific covered loss like storm or fire, your claim may or may not be covered.
Insurance companies evaluate each homeowner claim on its own merits. Just because your neighbor had his/her roof replaced does not guarantee your roof will be replaced.
Current insurance company roof adjustment procedure is to have a claims adjustor evaluate the damage and cause of loss by an in-person inspection. At that time, whether the roof damage is completely covered by the homeowner policy or not, the homeowner may be required to complete the repair or replacement of the roof and any other damage to the home discovered during the inspection. If the specified repair or replacement is not completed, the homeowner policy may be set up for cancellation.
If you have questions or would like further clarification about how your homeowner policy covers your roof, make sure to check with your insurance agent.