Does Homeowner Insurance Cover Roof Leaks?
Memphis is an area that gets hit with some very strong storms with high winds every year. Naturally, there’s a lot of roofs in this area that get leaks after these storms roll in.
Due to that, a common question that most homeowners have is whether or not their homeowners insurance policy covers a roof leak – and the answer is always “yes, no, and maybe.” Your insurance company will cover it, but only under certain circumstances. Since there are so many variables that determine the answer to this question, let’s break it down for you.
When Will Insurance Cover Your Leak?
Let’s start with the instance where homeowner insurance WILL cover your roof leak.
When your Memphis roof get damaged and has a leak a result of sudden and unexpected damage to the roof that was a direct result from the storm, then it will be covered.
Once a homeowner files an insurance claim, the insurance company will send an adjuster out to look at the damage. Your insurance company and policy will decide to what degree your roof will be covered. Some insurance companies are more lenient than others and will pay for the entire roof if enough damage is present. Others will simply pay to repair the damaged sections. In both of these situations (repair vs replace) the insurance company should pay to also repair any interior damage.
What is Sudden and Unexpected Damage?
Let’s look back to the “sudden and unexpected damage” we referred to: sudden and unexpected damage is damage that is directly tied to the storm itself. This can be wind causing the shingles to fold or blow off in the storm, physical dents in the shingles and home due to hail, and/or windblown debris like tree limbs that hit the roof. In short, if the storm directly did it, it is almost always covered.
When Will Insurance Not Cover Your Leak?
Let’s look at when roof leaks are NOT covered by homeowners insurance. (But may be covered).
This is where it starts to get a little confusing. Let’s take the same storm and let’s assume the same exact leak occurred in the same part of the roof.
You still call your insurance and they come out to look at the roof. During the inspection, the adjuster does not find any storm related damage and, instead, finds improperly installed shingles. More than likely, they insurance company is going to deny the claim. That being said, you should have a qualified roofer on the roof with the adjuster when he comes out because there may be damage that he/she is missing. A lot of adjusters don’t have roofing experience and it’s quite possible that they could miss something. Often times, when humans, in general, see things that are blatantly done wrong, it becomes their focus and they can’t seem to “look farther” than that. We see this happen quite often. This is not an attack on adjusters. They are human too and make mistakes.
What to Do If You Have a Roof Leak?
If you have a leak, it’s important to get the leak stopped before more damage can occur to your home. This can be either temporarily tarping the roof or getting it completely repaired.
Your first step should be to call a roofer to come out and assess the damage on your roof. THEN, based on the roofer’s damage assessment, you will have to decide whether or not to file a claim for the damage.
Be cautious: there are a lot of roofers who will urge people to call in claims regardless of whether or not it’s justified because there is a small chance they can talk the adjuster into approving a claim. There’s also a lot of roofers who will intentionally add damage to the shingles, which is vandalism and insurance fraud. We recommend you check their google reviews and BBB status before letting them come out.
At Restoration Roofing, we always urge people to let us look at the roof BEFORE you call in a claim. We will do our own inspection and document any storm damage before you call in the claim. If there is no damage, we will also advise you to not attempt a claim to avoid adding an unnecessary hit to your claim history.
We have the experience and expertise to help you with a detailed inspection report and filing your insurance claim. To get in touch with one of our project managers, give us a call at 901-854-3402 or click here to set up a free inspection. We offer free inspections that are easy and completed quickly. Make sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram for more tips on taking care of your roof.