Should I file an insurance claim for my roof?

lightning striking a home's roof

Dealing With Damage

Winter ends far more quickly than you may expect, and when it does, spring will arrive, coming into town with thunderstorms, high winds, and hailstorms. Those hailstorms lead to roof insurance claims and knowing how to file a roof insurance claim right will make all the difference in how quickly you get your claim approved.

What do insurance companies look for with roof damage?

It isn’t unusual for a homeowner to be clueless about what an insurance company is going to look for when they file insurance roof claims or any type of claim. The first thing to understand is the insurance adjuster is on the insurance company’s side unless you hire an independent insurance agent. The adjuster will inspect the roof to determine if there is damage to the roof covered by the insurance policy. Remember, not all policies are the same, so never expect what your neighbor got to be the same as what you’ll get. 

Here are six signs the insurance adjuster will look for to determine if your insurance roof claims are valid: 

  • Excessive granule loss: Loss of granules on an asphalt roof is not going to be THE deciding factor, but this will be considered. 
  • Damaged or missing shingles: Along with missing granules, a requirement for covered hazard roof insurance claims for damage is if the shingles are presently able to function as intended. If they are broken or missing, their ability to protect is diminished.
  • Dented vents: Roofing vents that are dented are used to estimate the hailstone sizes with roof insurance claims. and frequency for claims.
  • Damaged gutters: Along with excessive granule loss and dented vents, damaged gutters also indicate the frequency, size, and direction of the hailstones and how compromised the shingle’s functional ability is. 
  • Leaks: An insurance adjuster, company furnished, or independent will check for any signs of a leak when processing insurance roof claims, including peeling paint under the roof eaves, buckling, curling roofing materials, damaged or rusted flashing, and wood rot. They will inspect the interior ceiling for dark spots, buckling, and peeling paint.
  • Other damage: Other damages that are inspected for roof insurance claims on the exterior of the structure will be examined and documented. This includes the HVAC system, paint, and trim, doors, windows, screens, and fences, along with any personal property damage. The goal is to establish that along with the roof insurance claims, there are other credible signs explaining the extent of the damage to the property.

Does an old roof affect insurance claims?

Absolutely! First thing you should realize, if your roof springs a leak or any insurance roof claims, the first factor for an insurance agent and the insurance company is the age and condition of the roof. If they deem the roof is old and should have been replaced already, they will likely deny your claim and give you a deadline to get a new roof installed before they cancel your policy. It is normal that the older a roof gets, the higher the annual premium will get. Once it gets to a certain age, 25 to 30 years, the insurance company may state the roof is too old to be insured. 

What is roof depreciation in an insurance claim?

Oh, the complexities of insurance roof claims!  A property insurance policy can include recoverable depreciation. This is the amount for the lost value of the item (your roof in this case) that is insured. A simpler explanation would be recoverable depreciation is the insurance company will make 2 payments: One to get the repairs or replacement started, and one when the job is completed.

Can I claim a leaking roof on my insurance?

Most homeowner’s insurance policies cover roof leaks and other damages then it makes sense to file roof insurance claims. However, the damage to the roof will need to be from a cause that is included within your policy. 

Can you claim a new roof on home insurance?

Yes, roof insurance claims are possible if there is damage sustained to the new roof that is covered by the insurance policy. There will be the same standards followed as with an older roof, but more likely to be fully reimbursed because it isn’t that old. 

Can an insurance company deny a claim because a roof is too expensive?

Highly unlikely that will be the reason for denying any roof insurance claims. However, as a good athlete will always have a good reason, so can insurance companies. But you can avoid many of those denied roof insurance claims. Here are some reasons that many insurance claims are denied: 

  • Lack of Coverage: Home insurance can provide protection from many things, but not everything. There are exclusions in every homeowner’s insurance policy. Review yours frequently to remind you what exclusions you may be faced with.
  • Missing the Deadline: Filing insurance roof claims have a deadline and if you file too late, your claim could be denied. Most policies state 180 days, but again, review your policy to see what deadlines are stipulated. 
  • Non-payment of Premium: This is a biggy! If you are missing home insurance payments, or they are consistently late, your policy could lapse and any roof insurance claims will be denied. 
  • Non-disclosure: Tell the truth about everything – any lying or omission about the nature and scope of your roof damage will get your roof insurance claims denied fast and your policy could be canceled. 
  • Insufficient Documentation: It is your responsibility to document any damage that is caused for filing roof insurance claims. This is your responsibility to prove it not theirs to find it. Document with notes, pictures, even videos. 
  • Wear and Tear/Negligence: The years will take their toll on homes, and without proper care and upkeep, things not only start looking bad, but they also lose their ability to do their job, like the roof. If the insurance adjuster sees that a roof should have been replaced a few years back, they will deny any roof insurance claims. If you don’t get them taken care of, your policy could be canceled. 

Does your insurance increase after a roof claim?

No, what makes insurance rates go up is a company having a lot of the same types of claims. If your area is wiped out by a tornado, everyone’s rates will go up. If you’re having your roof replaced because you’ve noticed it needs it, no, your rates will not go up. 

severely damaged roof after a storm

At The End of the Day

Do you know what to do if insurance denies your roof claim? It happens, more frequently than insurance companies want to admit. If your insurer denies your roof insurance claims, you have the right to appeal and have an independent adjuster inspect the roof and submit their findings.