Does homeowners insurance cover roof leaks?
Water damage can be destructive and disruptive to a home or
business. Learn how your roof insurance coverage can save you time and money in the
Various factors could lead to water damage to your ceiling. One of which is a leaking roof.
This usually happens when shingles or tiles on your roof become weak or cracked. The
problem with leaks on the roof is that you cannot easily detect them until major water
damage has already happened. By then, it might be too late. Without a comprehensive
homeowner’s insurance, you might never recover financially if you are unable to fix the
Reading the policy to determine whether something, for instance, a roof leak is essential.
Fortunately, in most home insurance policies, the claim coverage is consistent, although this
rule can have some exceptions.
This article describes the types of roof leaks covered and uncovered by homeowner’s
insurance and the steps a homeowner should take if they suspect your roof is leaking.
Home Insurance for Covering Roof Leaks
If a leak in your ceiling or a covered issue has caused the leak, any damage tied to the leak
should be in your homeowners’ insurance policy. There is an open peril claims basis in many
insurance policies, implying that if the insurance does not exclude the peril, it gets
If there is a storm and the wind blow away several roof shingles from your roof, the rain will
leak into the ceiling. Most likely, your insurance would cover that. In another case where the
leakage is due to an incorrectly installed chimney flashing or deterioration, the insurance
policy does not cover the damage resulting from that.
Below are the perils not included in the coverage in most cases:
Ground movement because of landslides, sinkholes, and earthquakes
Damage by pets
Wear and tear that happens normally
Infestations, for example, bedbugs, mice, and termites
Some dog breeds
Vandalism, especially when the property has been vacant
Neglect and intentional loss Broken pipe bursts when the home is vacant
Theft for the homes that are under construction
Whether home insurance covers water damage whenever there is a leak depends on how
the roof leaks came about. Looking at your insurance policy, you can tell if the reason for
your loss is an included peril for cover. If the risk has a cover, your insurer will automatically
pay for the damages.
There are two types of covers involved in this instance.
- One is the dwelling coverage, which will cater to the damage caused to your home
structure if the peril is on cover
- The other one is personal property coverage. This one replaces all your belongings
that the leaks damage
Also, the insurer is the one who decides whether to pay for repair or replacement of the
covered property. That decision depends on the damage extent. Again, if your roof is old,
chances are that your insurer will not pay the replacement cost; instead, they will pay the
exact cash value.
Mold is also a common issue, and for it to get a cover, there are a few considerations which
The kind of insurance policy you have as a homeowner
How much time has passed from when was the cause of the loss?
How quickly can your issue get resolved, and how fast can the repairs get sorted
Do you have any particular endorsements?
Some home insurance policies do not cover roof leaks at all. Review your policy to find out
what type of coverage you have for this particular hazard.
If yours is a HO-8 policy, it might not cover roof damages. HO-8 is a home insurance policy
covering old and high-risk homes. Due to this reason, coverage for issues like winter damage
or falling objects that cause roof leaks are not in the policy.
How Do You Discover a Roof Leak?
A roof leak is not something you should ignore. If you suspect your home has a roof leak,
look for signs of water damage, such as rust around nails where either the flashing or
shingles have been compromised. Early detection will raise the chances of you getting
compensated by the insurance provider.
According to the experts, there are steps you should take to identify the roof leak. Let’s look
1. Find the Source of the Leak
The first sign is watermarks in the ceiling and possibly mold along the walls. Those two are
indicators of roof leaks. When you suspect a leak in the ceiling of your house, it is crucial to
determine if there are other signs of water damage in the unit.
If you find that the roof is leaking, look out for possible points of water entry.
- The shingles could be missing, cracked, or damaged
- Also look out for missing gutters or chimney cracks
- Check if your attic has weak joints allowing in water damage on a rainy day
- Other common signs of leaking roofs are moldy insulation and rotted wood
2. Document the Water Damage
To prevent any disputes over the cause and extent of the damage, document your home’s
water damage with pictures. The insurance company will rely on these details when you file
3. Make Temporary Repairs Immediately
Once you have confirmed a roof leak at your home, do not wait longer to begin repairs.
Since you know the source of the leak already, minimizing further damage should be easier
than waiting for assessment and compensation since they might be a while. You can use
buckets to trap the drips of water, and a wet vac to soak all the invading water. Otherwise
for repairs that you can’t handle, you will need to call the best roofer Buford.
4. Contact Your Insurance Company
If you have a home insurance cover, it is time for you to notify them and let them guide you
on how to file a claim. Just make sure you have documented the procedure closely but don’t
start making changes.
5. Check Your Roof Regularly
Ensure that the roof is in working order by checking it regularly. Additionally, look for
damaged, cracked, or missing shingles.
If the shingles have any of the mentioned problems, have them replaced immediately. Also,
inspect the chimney as well as the vent pipes for any noticeable damage. Then check if the
flashing gets tacked in the right way, and in place.
6. Watch Your Top Floor Ceiling
Inspect your ceiling by checking the top floor of your home now and then. That is how you
can catch the small leaks even before they escalate to a huge problem. Once you notice that
the highest ceiling gets damaged, you need to sort, repair and monitor the attic and the roof.
Should I File a Claim for a Leaky Proof?
The cause of the roof leak matters when you file an insurance claim. If your roof leaks
because of accidental reasons, then your insurance company will cover the costs of repairs.
But if your roof has been leaking for a long period of time or there is wear and tear, the
insurance company might deny that claim.
Before deciding whether you should file a claim, consider reading the home insurance policy
to ensure that your peril has a cover. That way, you avoid unnecessary frustrations. Also, do
not file claims on an old roof that needs repairs. At this point, you could get a
recommendation letter from the insurance company stating that you need to repaint the
ceiling. Otherwise they will cancel your policy or fail to renew it.
Note that the claim you raise with the insurance company can increase your rates. That
applies even if they have not paid any sum. Every insurance company has set rules about
how home claims affect the rates. You may need to consult the best roofing company Buford
to inspect the damage once you are ready.
How to File an Insurance Claim for a Roof That a Leak has damaged
Unless you have a minor leak, every major leak caused by a peril that your insurance
company has covered will require you to file a claim. Roof leaks can cause more considerable
damages if not handled by professionals, and this is how you file a claim when you have a
1. Take Photos of the Damage
You need to have evidence of an existing damage. In case you can view it from the outside,
take photos to show the affected area, together with the size of the room. Also, have
pictures of any water damage or flooding affecting any other room.
2. Get an Estimate of the Repairs
You need to consult a contractor to review the damages so that you can get a cost estimate
of what needs to get done. If the damage is minor, which will make the cost of repairs less
than the deductibles in your insurance, you do not need to file the claim.
If you are experiencing problems with your roofing Buford, worry not. Look for Buford’s
most reliable roof repair Buford professionals and begin the repairs.
For instance, if the repairs need $1000 to finish, and your deductible is the same, you will
pay the total from your pocket. The best-case scenario will be if the cost of repairs is higher
than your deductible. In this case, the best option will be to process the claim so that the
insurer can reimburse you.
3. File a Claim with Your Insurance Company
Contact your insurance service provider and let them know about the leak. The claims
department will send you the needed paperwork. That is where you will need to send the
photos you had taken earlier and show the extent to which the damage occurred.
Once you have filed the claim, the insurer will initiate the process of reviewing the damage.
Then they will calculate the payout you ought to receive according to the documentation
you sent them and the repair estimates. After completion, the insurer will write you a
cheque for the cost of the repairs needed, having accounted for your deductibles.
You should protect your roof because doing so is the best way to eliminate all the hustle of
following legal procedures of fixing a leaking roof. Nobody wants the mess that comes with
having roof leaks. It can be exhausting to follow up with the insurance every time there is a
leak; sometimes, you will have to do the repairs at your own cost.
- Ensure that your gutters are clean
- Get rid of all the debris that has accumulated on your roof after a storm
- Regularly trim the trees that overhang your roof
- When bad weather passes, inspect your home inside and out to check for any roof
damages. That applies primarily if there has been ice or hail.
It will be of great help if you take photos of your roof before and after the storms occur so
you can easily verify its condition in case of a leak. Those photos are vital when you need to
identify the extent and actual cause of the loss.
Proper roof maintenance can keep the leaks at bay, but the leaks can occur due to natural
causes (such as heavy rainfall) or accidents. No one should live with a leaking roof. The
resultant damage can be severe in the long run, so be quick to identify, monitor, and
document such occurrences. Just remember that your home insurance policy may or may
not cover the cost of repairs if you report.
If you do not trust your judgement and you are in Buford, you can contact our professionals
at Patriot Restoration who will evaluate your roofing needs and provide quality roofing