Sometimes storms may be severe and cause a great deal of damage to your home. From heavy windstorms to hail damage, falling trees and heavy rain, these types of losses can be a financial and mental burden leaving many to ask, “Does my homeowner’s insurance cover storm damage to my roof?
Yes, it will depend on your policy, but homeowner’s insurance usually covers wind damage, hail damage, damage from fallen objects (like tree limbs), and resulting interior damage from storm damage to your roof.
For example, let’s say strong winds blow shingles off your roof. The opening in the roof causes rainwater to leak into your bathroom and damages the wall. Your homeowner’s insurance will likely cover the storm damage to your roof and the resulting damage to your bathroom’s wall.
Homeowners’ insurance is design to respond primarily to sudden events, such as wind and hailstorms. Aging, regular upkeep or maintenance are not covered by a homeowner’s policy.
Next Steps if you find roof damage from a recent storm?
1. Take photos before and during clean up
If you or a contractor begin any clean up prior to an inspection by a claim representative, consider taking photos. This might include shingles in the yard, hailstones to document size, damage to trees or personal property, etc. If emergency repairs are necessary, make sure you or your contractor document the scene with photos.
2. Do your best to prevent damage in the meantime
Your home is a valuable asset, and we know you want to keep it that way. Use of a tarp on the roof and other temporary emergency repairs should be considered to prevent further damage. If necessary, you may consider contacting a contractor to assist with these temporary repairs.
3. Contact your independent agent to assist you with submitting a claim
Contact your insurance agent that you purchased your homeowner’s policy from to advise you on submitting a claim. Depending upon your deductible and the severity of the damages, your agent can help advise whether a claim should be submitted or not. Sometimes, storm damages to your roof may be minimal and the cost to repair is less than your deductible, it would then be unnecessary to file a claim. Often times, storm damages to your roof may be severe and a claim may need to be submitted right away. Having an independent agent will help guide you through this process so you do not have to do it alone. Why does somebody need to evaluate my roof damage?
Claims professionals are kind of like detectives trying to figure out what happened. They are well-versed in the research and know what to look for when they evaluate a roof with potential storm damage. Their goal with an initial evaluation or payment is to do the best with the information available to assess the damages.
Roofers and contractors also evaluate roofs but may not have the experience or training in identifying storm-caused damage. A contractor may see damage to your roof and know there was a recent storm, so logically they may conclude that is where the damage originated. But, without training in what hail, wind or rain-caused damage looks like, they may be drawing the wrong conclusion.
However, it is important we mention, some contractors are experienced and trained in identifying roof storm damage. So, if you are considering asking a contractor to help inspect your roof damage ask about the roofer's credentials for storm damage inspections and know that a claim representative will still need to do an inspection as well.
Before reaching out to a contractor for help with your roof, do some research.
- Make sure they are licensed and insured
- Look up local contractors on the Better Business Bureau
- Ask local friends and family about roofers and contractors they recommend
- Contact your local Home Builders Association