Your roof does a lot of the work of keeping your home secure against the weather. It sheds rain and holds up against the weight of snow. Since hail damage and wind damage are two of the most common insurance claims, however, it also makes your roof a likely candidate for problems.
There isn’t much you can do against violent storms or hail. They’re unpredictable. It’s one of the reasons why people get roof insurance in the first place.
You can, however, do several things about preventable roof problems. Keep reading for some key tips on roofing maintenance and navigating roof insurance claims.
You know how a new car loses value the moment you drive it away from the dealership? Your roof is the same way in terms of roof insurance. The older it is, the less actual value it carries.
That means the insurance company will pay progressively less for repairs the older your roof gets. You must also knock your deductible off the top. You can find yourself footing most of the bill for repairs if you maintain a high deductible.
Insurance companies may also deny a claim if the roof is in an obvious state of disrepair. If you want to avoid this, you should add roof inspection to your annual home maintenance routine.
Most inspections come at a pretty reasonable price, with the national average hovering at a little over $200. These inspections typically check for the integrity of the roofing material and the underlayment. The inspection may also include adjacent features like gutters, fascia, and eaves.
This inspection can provide you a heads up about leaks, damaged roofing material, or related problems, such as rot around your gutters. Knowing about the problems gives you a chance to fix them before they evolve into major issues.
The inspection report and any bills for repairs give you evidence to show the insurance company that you maintain your roof.
The nightmare scenario for homeowners is some kind of catastrophic damage to the roof. For example, a wind storm knocks a huge limb off a tree and drives it through your roof. In situations like that, your insurance company will typically recommend a full replacement. The primary exception is when one side of the roof is untouched and the existing roof is very new.
Wondering about non-catastrophe-related signs you need a new roof? You can click here to learn more.
Roof Insurance, Your Roof, and You
When it comes to roof insurance and getting coverage, your best strategy is an active process of maintenance. That means including things like a roof inspection on your home maintenance checklist. At the very least, you should look for obvious signs of damage like broken or missing shingles.
When you find problems or an inspection exposes them, get the repairs sooner than later. Insurance companies may treat failure to get repairs as grounds for claim denial.
Looking for more tips on home maintenance and repairs? Check out the posts in our Home Information and Property categories.