Is My Roof Covered When It Leaks?
Roof damage and leaks can create havoc in your home: discoloring and warping of ceilings, walls, and floors; rotting out of structural beams and supports, and other problems, including mold. Are you covered when your roof leaks by your homeowner’s policy? The answer is yes and no. The final determination of which it is depends on what caused the leak, how long the leak happened, and if it is the result of a hurricane. Happily, most losses are covered. Here’s a short list of leaks that are covered:
- Hail and wind (some homeowners policies may have windstorm and hail exclusions and/or require extra premium to cover that risk)
- Excess weight due to snow, ice, or sleet
- Falling trees or flying debris
- Mold and fungus remediation resulting from a roof leak, if the roof leak itself is covered
One important determinant of whether the claim will be accepted or denied is the length of time the leak occurred before being fixed or brought to the attention of the insurance company. Delays in reporting can lead to potential denial of coverage, even if the specific condition is covered under your policy. Taking longer than 90 days to report the leak will cause the insurer to possibly review the claim more closely (even though you have up to three years to report any damage).
Generally, leaks caused by flooding are not an issue for a roof, but if it should occur, coverage is unlikely. First, there is the flood plain exclusion and second is the fact that most homeowner’s policies today also exclude flood damage.
There some other reasons an insurer will deny claims for damage resulting from a roof leak:
- If the leak is a result of normal “wear and tear”
- There was negligence in performing normal roof maintenance, i.e. non-replacement of worn out, buckled, curling, or missing shingles; not renewing the pitch for an asphalt roof after five years, etc.
- Roof damage due to an infestation of animals or insects
Let us review your policy and determine whether, in fact, your damage due to a roof leak is covered or not. Pinnacle, your public adjuster, can get you the maximum benefit available under your policy terms. Remember, we’re always on your side!