Homeownership can be perplexing, or even vexing. Why is the HVAC contractor charging more this year than last year? Should we have our wiring checked? When is roof replacement for insurance claims, and when is it something we just have to pay for ourselves?
The Insurance Conundrum
You pay for it and hope you never have to use it. Homeowners’ insurance may seem like pouring money down a well, but you are thankful to have it when you need it. Obviously, in some circumstances, you know to use homeowners’ insurance:
But should you use the same insurance for complete roof replacement? Can calling your insurance agent to ask the question put you at risk of higher rates? Why is homeowners’ insurance so hard to understand?
Free From Flummox
Insurance really is not so difficult to understand. You pay for it so that it can pay for things you could not prevent, like fire, flood, burglary, and destructive storms. All of these things generally come with very high price tags. Still, by paying homeowners’ insurance steadily over many years, you get the insurance company to put out a substantial amount of money in a short amount of time.
No need to get flummoxed by the roof replacement puzzle, either:
- Generally—read your individual policy carefully—homeowners’ insurance will pay for a complete roof replacement if your roof has been well maintained and was ruined through no fault of your own.
- Generally—read the policy again—homeowners’ insurance will not pay for a complete roof replacement if you did something to cause catastrophic damage to your own roof, neglected it, or it reached the end of its natural life.
Every insurance company writes homeowners’ insurance coverage differently. For instance, your particular policy may or may not make exclusions for trees on your property. An adjuster may overlook a year or two of neglect if storm damage is the leading cause of the claim.
Take note, though: normal wear and tear, demonstrable neglect, or deliberate mischief will all cause your claim to be denied.
Gimme Examples, Please!
Suppose you own some stately Sabal Palm trees, but you never—not once—had a tree company or arborist check on them. Then in a high wind, a palm topples onto your roof. If an insurance adjuster can find evidence the tree was not properly cared for (trunk rot, discoloration of leaves caused by phytoplasma), your claim may be limited or denied. If you can produce an invoice showing a recent tree inspection or care, your claim will not be denied. You pay only a deductible.
Suppose your neighbor’s Sapal Palms fall on your roof. Not your problem! Your insurance company files against your neighbor’s insurance company. You pay only a deductible.
Suppose your teenage children routinely climb onto your roof to innocently stargaze—and do nothing else at all—and their constant foot traffic destroys your roof. You are on the hook for the cost of complete roof replacement.
A typical Florida thunderstorm swoops in with high winds and peels away substantial portions of your shingled roof. You file the claim, pay the deductible, and enjoy complete roof replacement.
A typical Florida Man gets his sports car airborne and it lands on your roof. Really not your problem; your insurance company works with Florida Man’s automotive insurer to pay for complete roof replacement, and you pay only a deductible.
Okay to Ask
You can always call your local insurance agent and ask questions about your policy. Your insurer will not raise your rates or cancel your insurance based on a suspicion.
If you have a roof leak and know you had the aging roof inspected within the past few years, you have no worries. File the claim, have your roofer work with your insurance adjuster, and enjoy your complete roof replacement handled by your neighborhood roofing contractor’s experienced, well-equipped crews.
The typical insurance claim process breaks down roughly along these lines, starting with you taking Step One, since not even your capable roofer can read your mind:
- You contact your roofer, concerned about your roof’s condition due to an accident or act of nature.
- Your roofing contractor inspects your roof to determine if complete roof replacement is necessary.
- You call your insurer immediately to start the claim process.
- Your roofing contractor and insurance adjuster meet.
- The adjuster approves the claim, and roofing work begins.
- You pay your deductible, and the insurer pays your contractor for the complete roof replacement.
- Enjoy your new roof!
North Port, Florida homeowners can rely on Mark Kaufman Roofing to handle all their roofing needs, from annual inspections and cleaning to complete roof replacement. We regularly work with insurance claims, too! Contact us today to see what we can do for you.