HOMEOWNERS INSURANCE POLICIES & YOUR ROOF
It is important to understand what homeowners insurance policies cover and how to read an insurance scope. Policies are all very different and do not all cover the same things. Each insurance company has different policies and attitudes on how they deal with claims. Some are very helpful and easy to work with and some have a default stance of deny, delay, and disappear. Let’s focus on the important parts of an insurance policy that will help you understand what is covered, what isn’t, what your out-of-pocket expenses are going to be, and what options you may have to get more covered.
PART ONE: DOES IT COVER YOUR ROOF AT ALL?
Before diving in, it is important to ascertain whether your policy covers roof damage at all. Normally, insurance only protects against certain types of storm-related harm such as wind and hail destruction, fire or ice damage, lightning strikes, and tree collapse. Some policies will cover some but not all of these perils. Insurance companies will typically only provide coverage for a roof replacement when there are multiple broken shingles across the entire surface, and repairs won’t suffice. In some cases, if the existing materials cannot be used due to age or brittleness, they may cover a full-scale replacement even with minimal damage caused. Note that age, wear, and tear as well as improper installations aren’t accepted by homeowners insurance providers.
Some policies contain a “dwelling only” provision. This means that the insurance company will only cover damage to the dwelling itself, not any of its components or materials on it. In other words, if your roof is damaged, but not the dwelling underneath it, chances are you won’t be covered.
If you’re uncertain about a policy, don’t hesitate to consult with an experienced roofing professional. They can review it and decide if your homeowners insurance covers the claim or not.
PART TWO: HOW MUCH IS YOUR DEDUCTIBLE?
Once you make sure your homeowners insurance policy covers your roof, the next step is to determine the coverage amount and deductible. The homeowner must pay this set amount before their insurance company begins paying for repairs or replacements; keep in mind that a higher deductible generally means greater out-of-pocket costs for homeowners. Your deductible is an essential component of your contract with your insurance provider, like the fee you pay when visiting a doctor. Not paying it is considered fraud and can result in colossal fines, loss of coverage, or even prison time. Therefore, it’s also unlawful for roofers to “pay the homeowner’s deductible,” so steer clear from making this kind of request.
If financing this cost would be of assistance, a reputable roofing contractor can often make it possible. Those who are unable to finance the deductible should explore their options with their insurance provider.
PART THREE: RCV VS. ACV HOMEOWNERS INSURANCE POLICIES
Next, you need to determine if you have an RCV or an ACV policy.
A Replacement Cost Value (RCV) policy guarantees that no depreciation is lost when you replace your roof. This type of coverage comes with a bonus: the money can be recovered after submitting proof to the insurance provider that the work has been completed and invoiced, incentivizing homeowners to get their roofs fixed rather than pocketing cash illegally. To receive this benefit, however, you must perform the repair – otherwise, all depreciation claims are void.
An ACV (Actual Cost Value) policy only covers the cost of replacement, minus any depreciation due to the present condition of your roof. In such policies, you might come across an item called “non-recoverable depreciation”, which essentially implies that not only will you have to pay the deductible but also bear all depreciation costs out of pocket. This could be a huge shock for homeowners who aren’t prepared with enough funds as it makes replacing their roofs significantly more difficult.
Before the insurance adjuster arrives, it is essential to be aware of your policy type to avoid any unwelcome surprises. To ensure you understand your coverage completely and have an experienced advocate throughout the process, consult with a reputable roofer and provide them with all relevant insurance documents. A dependable roofing specialist will help you from start to finish throughout this task!
PART FOUR: CODE UPGRADES AND SUPPLEMENTS
It’s also critical to understand if the insurance policy covers code upgrades and supplements. These are components that your present roof lacks but local regulations demand, such as drip edge flashing, ice & water shield in valleys, taller step flashings, or a solid wood deck instead of space decking (1x planks). Investigate these key details so you can ensure your home has up-to-date protection against potential damages. Insurance companies typically won’t give the full payment for upgrades in their initial offer, understanding that most homeowners don’t understand they could get paid more. Therefore, having a roofer advocate on your behalf is so important; to make sure you receive the maximum reimbursement possible for all of your upgrade costs.
Supplements refer to any additional items requested after the initial scope of work. These could include upgrades or even items that were left out purposely by the adjuster to pay less, such as ridge cap replacement, steep pitch charges, and two-story drop charges. The supplement process is crucial for roofers since it allows them an opportunity to make more money than they would with a typical retail sale.
PART FIVE: FIND A REPUTABLE ROOFER TO HELP YOU THROUGH THIS PROCESS
Navigating homeowners’ insurance coverage for roof replacement can be daunting and tedious. However, enlisting the help of a reliable roofer ensures that you’ll maximize your reimbursement and receive top-notch service from start to finish.
Do your due diligence when hiring a reputable roofer; they should have an impeccable history in homeowners insurance claims and provide you with the necessary paperwork. Additionally, make sure that the contractor has all required licenses and certifications as well as liability insurance for extra protection. By carefully selecting the right roofing expert to assist you with your homeowners insurance claims related to roof repairs or replacements, you will be able to rest assured knowing everything is taken care of quickly and effectively!
Let Roof MD become your roof-claims advocate! Our experienced crew provides exceptional guidance and assistance to help you get the roof replacement you deserve. Schedule a FREE consultation today and let us take care of the rest for you.