Fact-checked with HomeInsurance.com
If you have water damage on your ceiling or walls, you may have a leaking roof. Repairing a roof leak isn’t always cheap, but your homeowners insurance may cover the cost. This article will explain which roof leaks are covered by insurance, which are not, and what to do if your roof appears to be leaking.
When are roof leaks covered by home insurance?
Roof leaks are covered by homeowners insurance if they are caused by a covered – or named – peril. A peril is a situation or weather-related event, such as a fire or hailstorm, that can cause damage to your home and personal belongings. If your home is damaged by a covered peril, insurance companies agree to compensate you for your losses.
Assume a major windstorm blew a large section of your roof off, and a subsequent rainstorm brought water into your attic through the leaky roof. In this case, the roof damage would be covered because the leak was caused by a windstorm, which is a covered peril under most insurance policies.
Any sudden and accidental roof damage is typically covered by homeowners insurance, but it depends on the type of policy you have.
When are roof leaks not covered by home insurance?
When the cause of the leak is not a covered peril, roof leaks are not covered by home insurance. This includes general deterioration. Roof leaks are common as they age, but this type of damage is excluded from coverage. Most home insurance companies will also deny a claim for a leaky roof if it was caused by mold, pests, birds, wet rot, improper code materials, contractor/construction errors, or neglect.
Keep in mind that some homeowners’ insurance policies expressly exclude coverage for roof leaks. Roof damage may not be covered if you have a Modified Coverage insurance policy. Because Modified Coverage insurance is used to cover old and high-risk homes, these policies frequently exclude coverage for things like winter weather damage or falling objects damage that could cause a roof leak.
Steps to Fix a Roof Leak
If you fear your roof is leaking, act quickly. If you have a roof leak, follow these steps:
- Try to locate the source: of the leak if you discover water damage on your walls, ceiling, or near light fixtures. Here, security is crucial. Start by looking in your attic or a crawl space beneath your roof, or look around your house from the exterior. However, resist the urge to investigate by climbing onto the roof. If the leak is substantial, have a roofer or general contractor complete this inspection for you.
- Take pictures of the water damage: Take a lot of pictures of the water damage all over your house. Take a picture of the roof damage as well if you were able to locate the source of the leak. When you file a claim, you’ll need to provide this documentation to the insurance carrier.
- Make temporary repairs: Conde Roofing will promptly come out to inspect your roof leak and assist with repairs. This will help prevent further damage while you discuss costs with your insurance provider.
- Contact with your insurance provider: Make a call to your insurance company and inform them of the roof leak. An agent will walk you through the steps of filing a roof claim, which will be covered in further depth in the following section. If you suspect your insurance provider is being unfair, Conde can call them. Conde Roofing wants to make sure you get the most out of your insurance company.
File an Insurance Claim for Roof Leak
If you have a significant roof leak caused by a covered risk, you should file an insurance claim. If a roof leak is not handled and remedied by a professional, it can lead to major problems down the road. Here’s how to file a roof leak insurance claim:
Take Photos of the Damage
For estimation purposes, take photos of roof damage visible from outside your home or from your attic space. Include images of any roof leak-related water damage or flooding.
Get an Estimate for the Repairs
Have a Conde Roofing contractors inspect the damage and submit repair estimates. Repairing minor damage costs less than your insurance deductible, therefore it’s generally not worth submitting a claim. If the repair bill was $1,000 and your deductible was $1,000, you’d have to pay the full $1,000 in either instance. If the cost of repairs exceeds your deductible, you should file a claim and receive compensation from your insurer.
File a Claim with Your Insurance Company
In order to notify your insurance company of the roof leak, call them. A claims representative will send you the necessary paperwork and request that you share photos of the damage. After you file a claim, the insurance company will inspect the damage, calculate your payout based on documentation and repair estimates, and issue you a check for the cost of repairs, less your deductible.
Finding a Roof Leak
It’s not always easy to locate a roof leak, but it’s critical to investigate the source as soon as you notice water damage. First, consider the events that occurred prior to discovering the leak. If strong winds or hail were a forerunner, you may be able to narrow down the location of potential roof leaks.
Examine the roof from the outside to see if there is any visible damage, such as wind-blown, missing or damaged shingles, cracks near vent pipes, or a misplaced gutter. Another way to locate the leak is to look in your attic. Using a flashlight, search for black marks, mold, or water stains.
The Cost of Fixing a Roof Leak
The severity of the leak and the kind of roof affect the cost of roof repair. Roof repair costs about $650 on average, but prices can range from $150 to $3,000 or more. In addition to new roofing materials, you must pay for labor and damage to other areas, such as your chimney or gutters.
As a result, it’s best to get a repair estimate before filing an insurance claim. Small leaks that only cost a few hundred dollars to repair are unlikely to warrant filing a claim. However, if you’re dealing with a costly repair job that you can’t afford to pay for out of pocket, filing a claim is a viable option.
How to Protect Your Roof
Protecting your roof is the best way to avoid a leak in the first place. Gutter cleaning, roof debris removal, and frequent trimming of trees that overhang your roof are all important. After a storm, conduct a quick inspection of your home from the inside and outside to look for roof damage, especially if there is ice or hail. It’s also a good idea to photograph your roof before storm/hail season to confirm its condition in case a leak develops later. This is especially useful in determining the true cause of loss.
Roofing Services for Roof Leak Conclusion
- Roof leaks are usually covered by home insurance policies if they are caused by a covered, or named, peril.
- Insurance typically does not cover leaks caused by wear and tear, neglect, mold, or pests.
- Small leaks may not warrant a claim, but severe damage should be reported immediately.
A leaking roof might pose major issues. Luckily, your homes insurance probably covers the repairs. As a homeowner, you must regularly inspect your roof for damage and keep it free of debris. To avoid a costly insurance claim, remove small roof leaks before they cause severe damage inside and outside your home.