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If you see water droplets on your roof or walls, you may have a roof leak. You need to take care of roof leaks right away because they can damage your roof, paint, lighting, and other parts of your home.

Home insurance covers roof leaks in most cases, but it all depends on what is causing the roof. Making sure you have the right coverage is important to avoid additional stress and reduce the cost of repairs.

Here’s what you need to know about home insurance and roof leaks:

Does home insurance cover roof leaks?

Home insurance will cover roof leaks if the damage is caused by a covered peril. Disasters are events beyond your control that damage your home. Most homeowner’s insurance policies cover several perils, including fire and hurricanes.

Your home insurance policy has several coverages, many of which are related to roof leaks.

Home insurance – a key component of your policy – protects your home, which includes your roof. If an enclosed building on your property (such as a garage or shed) catches fire on the roof, your policy will help pay for the damage.

In the meantime, personal property coverage can help replace personal belongings that are damaged by roof damage.

Perils covered by home insurance

Roofs can be very expensive to repair or replace. The average home owner spends more than $8,800 to install a new roof, according to HomeAdvisor. Fortunately, your homeowner’s insurance covers many problems that can result from roof leaks, including:

  • Fallen things (like trees)
  • Fire
  • The weight of snow or ice
  • Water damage (not related to flooding)
  • Storm or snow
  • An explosion

Some homeowner’s insurance policies may not include coverage for hurricanes and hail, or other perils such as floods and earthquakes. To make sure you are informed about specific issues, be sure to review your policy’s information page to understand the exclusions, exclusions, and limitations.

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Reducing roof damage

Since your roof is included as part of your home policy, the deductible limits on the roof vary.

With home coverage, you set your limits. The amount should be enough to cover the entire cost of renovating your home. The limit for some houses is 10% of your living limit.

Example: Let’s say your home is worth $250,000, and you need to pay interest when a tree falls on your roof and causes a roof leak in your outdoor shed.

Once you’ve paid your mortgage and paid your bills, you can get up to $250,000 in rebates to repair your home’s roof, plus $25,000 (10% of your living expenses) to repair roof leaks.

Personal property contribution limits are usually between 50% and 70% of your total living expenses. This coverage also covers any damage caused by a roof leak, such as if the leak causes water damage to the carpet.

Finally, you may need to move into temporary housing while your roof is being repaired. Loss of your home insurance can help cover expenses such as hotel accommodations, meals, and supplies during this time. Loss of employment is usually 20% of your living expenses.

See: What Kind of Insurance Do I Need?

When home insurance does not cover roof leaks

There is no guarantee that the home owners insurance provider will cover roof repairs due to roof leaks.

Here are a few situations where homeowner’s insurance usually doesn’t cover roof damage:

  • Physical damage due to aging (wear and tear)
  • Neglectful care
  • Damage due to mold
  • Damage from earthquakes, floods, or any other perils
  • Construction or contractor defects

Tips: Consider annual roof inspections to determine the age and condition of your roof. Spotting design and material defects early can give you time to make proper repairs, and help prevent roof leaks.

How do insurance carriers cover roof damage?

When damage to your roof leads to leaks, it is important to contact your insurance provider immediately. When you submit a claim, the carrier will send a repairman to assess the damage and estimate how much it will cost to repair.

Depending on the situation, you may not need to replace the entire roof. An employee can help you verify this.

If your claim is approved, you will pay your premiums and the insurance provider will issue a reimbursement check (also called a settlement), which you will use to pay the contractor for repairs. In some cases, the original check is only in advance for the full amount, so you can receive more money.

Requirements: If you have a mortgage and the borrower is listed on the homeowner’s insurance, the insurance provider will send the money to you and the borrower. Before you receive any payment, the lender will need to approve the check first.

Roof extensions

Since homeowner’s insurance doesn’t always cover roof damage and leaks, consider adding roof extensions or adding coverage to your policy, such as:

  • Flood insurance: Water damage to your roof from a flood is not covered by home insurance. You should buy a flood insurance policy to National Flood Insurance Program or private insurance to protect your home.
  • Earthquake insurance: Depending on the severity, earthquakes can cause cracks in your home and loosen joints in your roof. If earthquakes are common in your area, adding earthquakes as a permit can give you peace of mind.
  • Mold: A leaky roof can cause mold, and your home insurance may not cover this type of damage. To ensure the return of mold removal and remediation, consider adding mold coverage to your plan.

Learn more: How Much Does Flood Insurance Cost?

How to file a claim for a roof leak

Filing a roof leak claim is easy – most insurers allow you to submit one online or over the phone. You must follow these steps:

  1. Start by assessing the damage. Take photos of the damage and provide any supporting documentation for the leak, such as photos of the tree that fell on your roof after the storm.
  2. Contact your insurance provider and file a claim. The insurance agent will let you know how they handle claims and provide you with the necessary forms to submit. Answer the questions fully and in as much detail as possible. Also, remember that the insurance provider may have a deadline for you to submit the application form.
  3. Wait for the insurance adjuster. Once your insurance professional receives the decision, they will send an adjuster to look at your roof and confirm the details of your claim. The adjuster will provide an estimate of how much your insurance will pay for the repair.
  4. Embrace the tension and fix yours. The insurance adjuster will provide a report on your claim. Depending on your insurance and policy, you will be given a check for repairs, or the payment may go directly to the contractor.
Tips: If your claim is denied, you can always contact your insurer and ask for a letter explaining why your claim was denied. If you still don’t get an answer, consider escalating the matter to your state’s insurance department.

Continue Reading: Does Home Insurance Cover for Natural Disasters?

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About the author

Chonce Maddox Rhea

Choncé is a freelance financial writer who enjoys writing about mortgages, student loans, and helping people improve their health. His work has been featured on sites like Business Insider, Lending Tree, Fox Business, RateGenius, and more.

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