Does Homeowners Insurance Pay for a New Roof?

roof replacement
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Your roof is falling apart, and you think it’s time for a new one. Of course, you don’t want to pay out-of-pocket for a new roof. When you are searching for a way to make ends meet while replacing your roof, it's always a good idea to check if your homeowner's insurance can give you a hand. 

Homeowners' insurance can cover roof replacement costs. You could file an insurance claim for roof repairs or replacement if the old one was damaged from natural causes like hail, storms, and falling trees. However, if the damage was man-made or due to wear and tear, your insurance may not cover it. 

If you’re not sure whether you should buy a new roof, I’ll give you an overview of the costs for a new roof and teach you how to use your homeowner’s insurance to minimize the price.

I’ll also walk you through how to increase your chances of getting insurance coverage for a roof replacement. 

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How Much Does a New Roof Cost?

Considering how your roof contributes to your house’s overall integrity, it won’t surprise you to know that new roofs are expensive. There’s no one-size-fits-all price for a roof.

How much you pay depends on several factors.

A new roof averages about $8,580, according to Home Advisor. What you’ll end up paying ranges between $5,588 and $11,690. The cost depends on the materials, the number of square feet, and the location. You’ll spend about 40 percent on materials and 60 percent on labor. 

No matter how you look at it, paying out-of-pocket for a new roof will break the bank.  However, if insurance companies refuse to cover roof damage due to wear and tear, does that mean you have no choice but to get a new roof on your own dime?

Well, maybe, but there may still be ways to get help from your insurance company when it comes to covering costs.  Filing a claim can sometimes get you what you want regarding roof repairs, so it never hurts to give it a try. 

Still, you’ll have to convince the insurance company that the roof damage wasn’t your fault. So, if you have an old, ill-maintained roof, you’re less likely to get help from your policy.

How Much Does a New Roof Save You on Homeowners Insurance?

When it comes to roof replacement, you have a Catch-22. You cannot afford to replace a roof without insurance, but you cannot claim insurance unless you prove your roof was new when it experienced damage.

You can save 5 % to 35% on homeowners insurance if you already have a new roof. That’s because new roofs have a lower risk of damage from natural and man-made causes. The lower the risk of damage, the more likely an insurance company will cover roof repair or replacement costs.

Considering the above discount, choosing to get homeowner’s insurance after replacing a roof will save you from paying higher monthly costs. 

In addition, it can ensure that you don’t have to repair your roof out of pocket later. 

How to Get Insurance to Pay for Roof Replacement

You’ve probably heard horror stories from people who claimed their insurance company refused to pay for roof replacements. You can rest assured you won’t experience the same horrors with careful preparation.

To get insurance to pay for a new roof, follow these tips:

1. Check if the Cause of Damage Falls Under “Covered Perils”

Before anything else, it’s essential to read your homeowners insurance policy cover to cover.  If you don’t understand what you’re claiming insurance for, you’ll end up wasting time. 

Pay attention to the “covered perils” section in particular.  If the insurance company defines each covered peril in detail, read those parts carefully. 

If the company lists a covered peril, but doesn’t define it or defines it vaguely, you may claim it based on that covered peril.  Not sure if you have a “covered peril” on your hands?

Try consulting a lawyer who specializes in home insurance claims. You’re probably not filing a suit at this point, but it won’t hurt to know your legal rights ASAP.

2. Make a Thorough Assessment Report of Your Roof

Your insurance company isn’t going to approve your claim based on a general statement like “My roof is in shambles.” However, if you can explain how and why your roof is in shambles, that’s better.

Here’s how to make an assessment report of your roof:

  • Inspect your roof as wholly as you can. Treat your roof like a crime scene. If you see anything you can use as evidence to support your claim, leave it the way you found it.
  • Take photos of the damage and the surrounding areas. Remember to mark the date and time you took the photos. Note the location of the pictures as well.  
  • Print out reports of weather disturbances as proof of the cause of damage to your roof, if applicable. If a tree fell on your roof during a storm, use weather reports from the time to support your claim. Likewise, tornadoes and hurricanes are covered. 
  • Make a write-up to complement the photos. For example, you can say, “A hailstone fell on [x location] and caused this giant hole to appear.”
  • Gather documents on the work done on the roof in the past. The insurance company might be interested in how well you maintained your roof over the years. They are more likely to cover the repairs or replacements on a well-maintained roof. 

Since you’re probably not a roofing expert, you might miss a detail or two. Nonetheless, an assessment report can save you time and money once the experts come over to do their inspection.

3. Pick a Reputable Roofing Company in Your Area

If you Google “roofing company + your location,” you’ll come across plenty of companies claiming they’re the best in their field. But how do you know they are the best?

When choosing a roofer in your area, consider the following:

  • Reviews: Look for unbiased reviews about the company online. Stay away if you see people complaining about how the roofer can’t even do basic repair work. 
  • Qualifications: Check if the contractor has the license to operate in your state.
  • References. Can the roofer provide references attesting that they can do what they claim to do?
  • Bond: If a roofing contractor has a bond, it means you don’t have to worry about added costs in case you file a claim against the contractor.
  • Insurance: You don’t want to be financially responsible for a laborer’s accident while they’re working on your roof.
  • Estimate: The contractor should give you a rough estimate of your roof’s actual cash value or replacement cost.

4. Make Your Claim With the Insurance Company

If your insurance company outlines steps to follow when claiming roof replacements, follow those to the letter. The last thing you want is to lose out on a claim due to a technicality. 

If you exhaust your options and the insurer refuses to pay up, that’s the time you hire a lawyer to help file a claim against the company.

Conclusion

Under the right circumstances, you can get your insurance company to pay for a new roof. If your policy covers roof replacements, any of the “covered perils” applies to you, and you do your homework, you probably won’t have too much trouble claiming from your insurer. 

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