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3 FAQ About Your Roof and Your Homeowners Insurance

House in Winter Your roof is perhaps the most important part of your house. Your house, its contents, and the people who reside in it all need the roof for protection. As important as the roof is, most homeowners don’t think much about it unless something goes wrong.

When something does go wrong, homeowners are often surprised to learn the homeowners insurance policy they have paid faithfully for years may not cover them. Here are three commonly asked questions about your roof and your property insurance.

1. Will My Insurance Company Cover Roof Damage From Wind and Hail?

You may think with as common as wind and hail damage to your roof is, this would definitely be a covered claim. Unfortunately, this is no longer the case. Insurance companies can now deny claims for hail or wind damage if they deem the damage is merely cosmetic.

Hail storms are not uncommon in Maryland, sometimes producing hail the size of golf balls. Maryland also occasionally gets nor’easters and hurricanes, which may also be covered differently.

Rather than raise premium prices for everyone, some insurance companies instead choose to deny claims as long as no functional damage occurs. What constitutes cosmetic damage versus functional damage is up to the insurance adjuster to decide.

For example, if your metal roof was damaged from a recent wind or hailstorm, the insurance agency may consider the damage cosmetic if the roof still does its job even though the damage isn’t visually appealing. You would then need to pay out of pocket for roof damage repairs due to a storm or suffer a potential loss in value of your home.

If you haven’t looked at the details of your homeowners insurance policy recently, you may want to go over with your insurance agent exactly what they cover and if they exclude claims based on what they consider purely cosmetic damage or if your policy has separate wind and hail deductibles.

You may also not have any wind and hail coverage if you opted out of separate coverage for a lower premium.

2. Is My Older Roof Covered?

It not be. When it comes time to renew your policy, if your roof is older than 20 years, your insurance company may say they need to inspect it. They may also expect you to pay for this inspection. If they inspect it and find it doesn’t meet their standards, they may not insure your home at all until you get a new roof.

Other companies may only pro-rate any covered claims they receive based on the age of your roof. As a homeowner, it’s important you have a clear understanding of the rules of your insurance carrier. And while it is always wise for homeowners to have a maintenance and replacement fund for all major components of their home, if your roof is getting older, you may need increase your savings.

3. Is My Leaky Roof Covered?

Unless the leak was a result of major storm damage, chances are your insurance company will deny claims for a leaky roof. They will also most likely deny claims for other damage to your home if they believe it was caused by the leak.

For example, if your roof leaks and causes water damage to the ceiling and walls, it most likely won’t be covered. In most cases, insurance companies believe leaks are due to a failure on your part to properly maintain and repair the roof.

Is your roof in need of repair? Is it time for a new roof so you don’t lose your homeowners insurance? Contact us today for a free estimate.

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