While no one likes to think about the damage that can happen to their home, the fact remains that sometimes, bad things happen, even when you least expect it. Most homeowners policies cover things such as roof damage, but you must be aware of what your policy specifically states before disaster strikes. For example, you’re most likely covered if a tree falls on your roof, but you may not be covered if your roof develops a significant leak.
What to Look For in Your Homeowner’s Policy
In regards to roof leaks, check to see what damages are excluded in your policy and assess whether you might need additional insurance. For instance, you’ll likely have good insurance coverage if you live in an area that frequently sees high winds that can cause damage to roofs, but you might not get relief if your roof is damaged due to an earthquake or sinkhole. Also, coverage on damage that’s done to your roof either, intentionally or accidentally, may vary according to your claim. It’s important that you take your time and ask as many questions as you can before you buy a policy. You should know exactly know what is and isn’t covered.
Check for Mold Coverage
Damage from mold is common in most American homes, and while most people think mold only appears inside in the basement or bathroom, the truth is your roof could develop a leak due to mold. Mold destroys wood and causes decay to shingles. Your insurance company might want to know what caused the mold to grow in the first place before deciding whether to cover the damage. Your insurance company will also be less likely to cover the mold damage if it resulted from a broken pipe or your failure to properly seal the pipe, as opposed to a ‘natural’ cause.
Damage Over Time Coverage
Also known as wear and tear, ask your insurance agent whether your policy allows for repairs to your roof for damage due to age. It’s important you maintain your roof as best you can through the years because your insurance policy likely won’t cover any damage due to age if you neglected to properly care for and maintain your roof.
What to Look for When Leaks Occur
It’s important you perform regular inspections of your home — especially the roof. The more regular the inspections, the more likely you’ll spot a small problem before it becomes a big one. Watch out for cracked, broken or missing roof tiles or damaged shingles. Also, look for bubbling, which may indicate decomposition. Lastly, inspect your attic for water damage due to a leaky roof. If you see anything out of the ordinary, call in a specialist to assess the issue before you file a claim.
When to File
File a claim as soon as you detect damage and need repairs, but remember, every policy includes a deductible, so you need to weigh the benefits against your out of pocket cost when filing a claim.