If you want to install a new roof, you may also want to reduce your own costs. Though a roof will naturally improve your property value, you might not want to invest a lot of cash all at once. In some situations, your insurance company may be able to pay for a new roof. Here are a few questions to ask yourself when determining whether your insurance company is responsible for the cost.
Did an Act of God Occur?
Storms, hurricanes, and earthquakes are all generally considered to be Acts of God. An Act of God is a legal and insurance term that refers to something the homeowner could have neither prevented nor anticipated.
Prevention is a key point in determining whether an event is an Act of God. For instance, a roof being damaged by a hurricane cannot be prevented. A roof being damaged by a loose, dead tree branch that the homeowner was aware of could have been.
Was Your Roof Damaged by Vandals?
Intentional damage by vandals is covered under most insurance policies. But note that in order to report vandalism, you also need to make out a police report. Not only will the insurance company need to have information from the police, but they'll also want to pursue the costs of the damage from the vandals if caught.
Is Someone Else Liable for Your Roof Damage?
A neighbor's tree or a neighbor's actions could damage your roof. Other situations could arise such as a worker falling through your roof or a city employee damaging it. In these situations, your homeowner's insurance will help you - and then they will try to procure reimbursement through the guilty party. Thus, if your roof was damaged by another person (even unintentionally), your damage is probably covered.
Was Your Roof Damaged By Another Covered Issue?
Fires and leaks are situations that can cause roof damage when they happen, but they aren't necessarily covered under Acts of God. Consider termite-related damage; if termite damage is covered under your insurance policy, then your insurance company is likely to cover your roof damage. But if termites aren't added to your policy, then it won't.
Every policy is different, and you can always pay for additional coverage if you have roof-related concerns.
How Old Was Your Roof?
A roof generally has a limited life span. Most roofs will last about 20 years. If your roof was 15 years old or older, it's unlikely that your insurance is going to cover the repairs or the replacement. This is because the roof would have already needed to be replaced. If the insurance company does cover anything, it will be based on a depreciated amount rather than the replacement amount.
Is It Worth It to Make a Claim?
Finally, it's also important to consider whether or not you want to make a claim. Because your roof's value is going to be prorated, older roofs lead to a smaller amount of coverage. When you include your deductible, you may find that even an accepted claim may not amount to much. This amount may not exceed the amount that your insurance premiums will increase. An insurance company may even drop coverage after a homeowner makes a claim.
In general, if your roof has been unexpectedly damaged, it's likely that your homeowner's insurance is going to be able to pay for it. But if your roof has simply experienced normal wear and tear, it probably won't. Either way, it can't hurt to ask your insurance company - you'll just need to assess the damage first. To learn more and to get a quote for your new roof, contact Residential Roofing Services today.