8 Reasons Why Roof Claims Are Denied by Insurance

8 Reasons Why Roof Claims Are Denied by Insurance

May 01 2023

Roof damage can be a stressful ordeal for any homeowner. After all, a properly functioning roof is vital for the safety and security of your home. Filing an insurance claim for roof damage can be a complex process, and it is essential to be aware of the possible reasons behind claim denials. In this friendly and informative blog, we will discuss the top reasons why roof claims are denied by insurance companies, and we will provide some helpful tips to avoid these pitfalls.

  1. Pre-existing Damage or Wear and Tear

One of the most common reasons for roof claim denials is pre-existing damage or normal wear and tear. Insurance policies are designed to give homeowners insurance cover for sudden and accidental damages, not issues arising from neglect or lack of maintenance. If an adjuster determines that the damage was present before the policy was issued or resulted from normal aging, your claim is likely to be denied.

Tip: Regularly inspect and maintain your roof to avoid any pre-existing damage, and document your maintenance efforts to support your claim if needed.

  1. Incorrect or Inadequate Coverage

Another reason for roof claim denials is having the wrong type or insufficient coverage. Homeowners should thoroughly review their insurance policy to ensure they have the appropriate coverage for their specific type of roof and potential risks.

Tip: Review your policy with an insurance agent to understand the extent of your coverage and any exclusions, and consider adding additional coverage if necessary.

  1. Filing the Claim Too Late

Insurance companies have strict deadlines for filing claims after the damage occurs. Failing to file within this time frame may lead to your claim being denied.

Tip: Act promptly when you notice roof damage and contact your insurance company as soon as possible to report the claim.

  1. Incomplete or Inaccurate Documentation

Proper documentation is crucial to the success of your roof claim. Insurance companies may deny claims due to insufficient evidence or documentation to support the claim.

Tip: Document the damage as thoroughly as possible, including taking photos and videos, keeping receipts for any repairs, and maintaining detailed records of any communication with the insurance company.

  1. Failure to Mitigate Further Damage

After a storm or other event causing roof damage, homeowners are required to take reasonable steps to prevent further damage. If you fail to take action to cover roof damage, such as covering a damaged area with a tarp or making temporary repairs, your insurance company may deny your claim.

Tip: Take immediate steps to protect your property from further damage and keep records of the actions you take, including receipts for materials and labor costs.

  1. Installation Error

Another reason for roof claim denials is installation errors made by contractors or builders. Insurance companies typically do not cover roof damages resulting from poor workmanship, incorrect installation, or the use of substandard materials. If your roof has failed or experienced damage due to installation mistakes, your insurance claim may be denied.

Tip: When installing a new roof or making significant roof repairs, choose a reputable, licensed, and insured contractor to ensure quality workmanship. Request warranties or guarantees from the contractor, and keep records of the work done in case of future issues. Regularly inspect your roof, especially after installation or major repairs, to identify any potential problems early on.

  1. Manufacturer’s Defect on Materials

Occasionally, insurance claims may be denied due to a manufacturer’s defect in roofing materials. In these cases, the damage to your roof is not caused by a covered peril, such as a storm, but instead by faulty materials. Insurance companies generally exclude coverage for damage arising from defective products, as the responsibility lies with the manufacturer.

Tip: To protect yourself against manufacturer’s defects, research and select high-quality roofing materials from reputable manufacturers. Keep a record of your roofing materials, including manufacturer information, warranty details, and purchase receipts. If you suspect a defect in your roofing materials, promptly contact the manufacturer to address the issue and potentially file a claim under the product warranty.

  1. Insurance Adjuster Interpretation of Roof Damage

At times, a roof claim may be denied due to the insurance adjuster’s interpretation of the damage. The adjuster might not recognize the damage as being caused by a covered storm event or may underestimate the extent of the damage. This can lead to a denied claim or insufficient compensation for the necessary repairs.

Tip: To avoid insurance denial or misinterpretation of the damage, consider hiring an independent roofing professional or a public adjuster to assess your roof and provide a detailed report of the damage, including the cause and extent. This unbiased assessment can help you challenge the insurance adjuster’s decision if necessary. Additionally, ensure that you have clear and thorough documentation of the damage, including photographs, videos, and weather reports from the time of the storm, to support your claim.

8 Reasons Why Roof Claims Are Denied by Insurance

Real Storm Damage: Signs and Insurance Coverage

When assessing your roof for storm damage, it’s crucial to know what to look for and what types of damages are typically covered by your homeowners insurance policy. Here’s a bullet-point breakdown of common storm damage indicators and whether they are generally covered by homeowners’ insurance policies:

  1. Hail Damage:
    • Visible dents or pockmarks on shingles
    • Cracked or broken shingles
    • Granule loss on shingles
    • Coverage: Yes, if damage is sudden and accidental
  2. Wind Damage:
    • Missing or torn-off shingles
    • Curling or lifting shingles
    • Broken or damaged flashing
    • Coverage: Yes, if damage is sudden and accidental
  3. Debris Impact:
    • Cracks, punctures, or tears caused by fallen tree limbs or other debris
    • Damaged or dented gutters and downspouts
    • Coverage: Yes, if damage is sudden and accidental
  4. Water Damage:
    • Leaks or water stains on ceilings and walls
    • Mold or mildew growth
    • Damaged or saturated insulation
    • Coverage: Yes, if caused by a covered peril (e.g., wind-driven rain), but not if due to wear and tear or improper maintenance
  5. Structural Damage:
    • Damaged or sagging roof deck
    • Cracked or broken rafters or trusses
    • Coverage: Yes, if caused by a covered peril (e.g., a tree falling on the roof)

Remember, it is essential to review your specific insurance policy for coverage details and exclusions. Coverage may vary depending on your home insurance policy’s terms and conditions, as well as any additional endorsements or riders you may have.

8 Reasons Why Roof Claims Are Denied by Insurance

What to Do If Insurance Denies Your Roof Claim for Storm Damage

If your insurance company denies your roof claim for storm damage, don’t lose hope; there are still steps you can take to advocate for yourself and potentially reverse the decision. First, carefully review your insurance policy to ensure you have a clear understanding of your coverage and any exclusions.

If you believe the denial is unjustified, gather all relevant documentation, such as photos, videos, and any professional assessments of the damage. Next, consider hiring an independent roofing expert or a public adjuster to reevaluate the damage and provide a detailed report supporting your claim. Armed with this information, submit a written appeal to your insurance company, clearly outlining the reasons you believe the denial was incorrect and providing supporting evidence.

It’s essential to be persistent and follow up regularly with your insurance company to ensure your appeal is addressed promptly. If all else fails and you still believe your claim was unfairly denied, consult with an attorney who specializes in insurance disputes to explore your legal options.

Find A Roofing Contractor to Help With the Insurance Process

Navigating the complex insurance claim process for roof damage can be a daunting task. To ensure a smoother experience, it’s essential to enlist the help of a professional roofing contractor with expertise in handling insurance claims. A knowledgeable contractor will not only assess the damage and provide necessary documentation but also guide you through the claims process and communicate with the insurance company on your behalf. One such company is Restoration Roofing, a family-owned and operated business in Memphis, TN. With a strong reputation and a commitment to excellent customer service, Restoration Roofing has helped hundreds of Memphis homeowners successfully manage their insurance claims. By partnering with a reliable and experienced Memphis roofing contractor like Restoration Roofing, you can confidently navigate the whole roof insurance claim process and get your roof back in top condition as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Give us a call at 901-854-3402 or fill out our Contact Us form and we will reach out to you with our next available inspection. Make sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram for more tips on finding the best roofing contractor for you.