Roofing is more than just an integral part of your house, as part of the exterior of your home, it receives a lot of general wear and tear from day to day. Because it is exposed your roof is also vulnerable to natural disasters. When it comes to roofing, trying to understand your insurance company’s policies can often feel like you are trying to understand a foreign language. Here are a few details about local coverage laws to help make those complicated policies a little easier to understand.
Because roofs are designed to weather the elements there is an acceptable standard of wear and tear built into insurance policies and this means there are several reasons your claim on your roof might be denied. A few of the common reasons that insurance companies deny claims include: cosmetic damage that doesn’t affect the performance of the roof, general deterioration due to lack of upkeep, roofing that has reached the end of its lifespan, and natural disasters not covered in normal policies such as windstorms, hurricanes, and hailstorms as these disasters often require additional policies for coverage.
With so many different reasons why your insurance company may deny your claim it is a good idea to know how best to protect yourself if a disaster causes damage to your roof. Here are a couple of tips to help keep your roof protected.
Keep an eye on your roof
Documenting the condition of your roof is often the best way to protect yourself in the event of a disaster. Pictures of your healthy roof before disaster strikes can help a great deal if you ever have to file a claim with your insurance company and makes the process much easier. It is also a good idea to regularly have your roof inspected by a professional. Roofing companies will often have a professional examine your roof for free which helps you understand the condition of your roof. Keeping track of the age of your roof and making any repairs it might need long term will help protect you and your roof from damage that may build up over time and perhaps from ever needing to file an insurance claim on your roof.
If an accident occurs it is important to assess any damage that your roof might receive as soon as possible. Many insurance companies limit the amount of time you have to file a claim after a disaster strikes, so it is best to assess the condition of your roof right away after any major storms or if a disaster occurs. If there is the possibility that damage to your roof could cause damage to the rest of your home it is also important to know that many insurance companies may deny your claim for repairs if the damage to other parts of your house could be prevented by temporary protection measures. After assessing damage to your roof it is best to provide temporary repair measures to keep your home safe. It is a good idea to thoroughly document the damage or have an agent assess the damage before you begin making temporary measures to protect the rest of your home whenever possible.
Know the policies:
Insurance policies can differ widely depending on whether or not you have special coverage, who you are insured by, and what the local insurance laws protect. It’s a good idea to know before you file a claim what sort of coverage you have. Knowing how much you will need to pay for a deductible as well as the local coverage laws and policies can be vital information to have in mind if you find yourself with a damaged roof.
For example, here in Utah, there is a Matching Law in effect that provides security when replacing part of your roof to make sure the whole roof matches. If there is damage to part of your roof and the insurance company cannot repair that section to match the rest of your roof with the roofing materials available then they are instead required to cover the cost of a whole new roof. This law ensures that your property value won’t go down due to a disaster and allows your roof to stay uniform even if the roofing you bought 5 years ago is no longer made.
When it comes to your roof a little knowledge and a little preparedness can go a long way. Doing a little work to keep your roof in good shape and to keep up to date on what is happening on top of your house might just mean the difference between your claim being approved and your claim being denied or not covered fully. Keeping an eye on your roof, having it regularly inspected, and knowing your policy will provide peace of mind that you know what to do if you ever have to work with your insurance on a damaged roof.