Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Roof Leaks & Other Damage?

The roof arguably gets the most exposure to the elements compared to other parts of your home. Homeowner’s insurance can help protect this integral component from unforeseen damage. However, homeowners must understand that a home insurance policy doesn’t cover every type of damage that may happen to the roof.

One common question that comes up regularly is, does homeowners insurance cover roof leaks? You might also ask, what about hail and wind damage? We’ll explore each problem in detail in this article. 

What Kind of Roof Damage Is Covered by Insurance?

A typical homeowners insurance policy covers the structure’s roof and the cost of replacement if it sustains damage. However, this coverage depends on an important variable: What caused the damage?

Roof Leaks 

When you ask the question, “does homeowner’s insurance cover roof leaks,” the answer starts with identifying the cause of the problem. Home insurance covers roof leaks caused by a named peril in your policy, such as fire, wind, or fallen trees.

However, roof leaks that arise from lack of maintenance and general wear and tear aren’t covered by homeowners insurance. Insurance companies also typically deny claims for damage caused by pets, mold, and contractor errors.  

Wind Damage 

Your home’s roof can take a beating from high wind gusts, which can lift shingles and dislodge the roof’s underlayment and framework. Fortunately, most basic homeowner policies include coverage for wind damage and the ensuing water damage under what’s called dwelling protection coverage. In California, nearly 16% of home insurance claims come from wind and hail damage.

Tree Damage

A standard homeowner’s insurance policy covers most weather-related events, including fallen trees. However, as with other types of insurance, this may depend on what caused the tree to damage your roof or property.

According to the Insurance Information Institute, trees that fell due to named perils like wind, hail, or lightning qualify for coverage, regardless of who owns the tree. Typically, the insurance company will pay for tree removal, roof repairs, and interior damage caused by a fallen tree.

Other Types of Damages

Although standard home insurance typically covers damages caused by named perils, issues arising from other common causes of roof damage are less likely to qualify for coverage. For example, home insurance rarely covers damages caused by poorly maintained and aging roofing materials.

Tips for California Residents Filing a Roof Insurance Claim

If your roof shows signs of damage after a major storm or another event, use these tips to determine whether it might qualify for coverage under your homeowner’s insurance policy.

1. Review Your Policy

Sometimes, the answer to a question like, “does home insurance cover roof leaks,” is in your policy. Before making a claim with your insurance company, take the time to understand your policy by reading the fine print. Learn about your coverages, exclusions, deductibles, and what you need to file a claim. 

2. Assess & Document Damages 

Document damages by taking photos and noting the date and time of the storm. If you suspect it was severe, contact roof repair experts to assess the extent of the damage. As professional roofers, they can spot any underlying issues you or your insurance adjuster may overlook. 

Complete documentation can support your claim by giving your insurer a reliable record of what happened and details about the necessary repair or replacement. 

3. Get an Estimate 

Typically, a representative from the insurance company will come to your home and assess the damage before issuing a check for repairs. However, a homeowner can also get a supplemental estimate from a contractor that includes damages the insurance company might have overlooked. Keep in mind that most insurance companies will require a line-item estimate, so find out if your roofer can provide one.

4. Be Prompt

Most insurance companies require policyholders to reach out as soon as possible when damage happens. In California, an insurance company has 40 days to accept or reject a claim. An insurer can request additional time to review a claim, but they must provide notification to the policyholder every 30 days.

Once the roof inspection is done and you receive an estimate, contact your provider and file a claim. The insurance company may request the result of a professional roof inspection and the estimated repair cost.

Can My Damage Claim Be Denied?

While some homeowners receive approval and undergo the repair process without a hitch, others may get denied. Here are some of the top reasons why this can happen:

  • Lack of appropriate roof maintenance
  • Structural issues that existed before you bought the property 
  • Roof wear and tear
  • Previous damages 
  • Claim filed too late 

Because coverage isn’t always straightforward, homeowners must choose a roofing contractor that provides a comprehensive roof warranty. A roof warranty protects against sudden damage that can threaten the structure’s safety. Failing to maintain routine maintenance, regular inspections, or timely repairs can void your roof warranty

Prevent Roof Damage with Roof Repair Specialist

As you can see, the answer to the question, “does home insurance cover roof leaks,” may not always be clear. Even if you have a policy that covers damages associated with weather-related events, it’s still worthwhile to maintain your roof and have it inspected regularly to avoid claim denials. 

At Roof Repair Specialist, we help Southern California homeowners care for their roofs. We’re experts in routine maintenance and timely repairs and offer the industry’s best roof warranties. Reach out today to learn more or schedule a service! 

Five Signs of Rain Gutter Replacement

Rain gutters are among the things that you don’t notice when they’re working correctly. They do their job, and you go about your day without thinking about it. This is a good thing as long as they hold up–and they don’t always.

You might not know when to replace your gutters because the warning signs are subtle. Even in the mild southern California climate, your rain gutters must function properly to prevent significant damage to other parts of your home and property.

How Do You Know if Your Gutters Are Bad?

Sometimes you need a professional to look at the condition of your gutters to know for sure if you need rain gutter replacement. Much of the time, though, you can get a good idea yourself by spotting the major indications of bad gutters. These five signs will let you know when to replace your gutters.

1. Water Marks or Signs of Water Damage Near Gutters

If you look around your gutters, particularly just below them, and notice water stains or even signs of water damage, that’s a clear warning that the system isn’t functioning correctly. It’s an indication that you should have an expert take a look.

2. Cracks in the Rain Gutters

If you can see cracks on the outside of your rain gutters, they are likely close to the end of their lifespan. In fact, the damage could be even worse on the inside. Paint peeling away from the surface is also a sign of bad rain gutters.

3. Gutters Pulling Away From the Roof

This isn’t always a sign that you need rain gutter replacement, but it’s often a symptom of worn-out gutters. It could simply be an issue with the nails, and your gutters could be fine. But if they are pulling away from the roof, then there’s a good chance the system needs replacing.

4. Leaking Gutters

In California, rain gutters can be hard to monitor. You can look for other signs if you don’t see it leaking while it’s raining. There can be depressions, especially in a line along the ground below your gutters that drips have dug.

5. Rotten or Peeling Shingles Near the Gutters

Damage to your roof can often tell you when to replace gutters. If your rain gutters aren’t functioning properly, it can lead to water pooling, mildew growing, and other signs of deterioration. Your shingles will bear the brunt of the problem. They will start to break down, rot, and crack or peel away from the roof.

What Is the Most Common Problem With Rain Gutters?

The most common problem is clogged gutters. Gutters that stay clogged can deteriorate faster and lead to other problems. Water can sit against shingles and cause rot. The weight of debris and water in clogged gutters can pull them away from the roof. Having your gutters cleaned regularly helps alleviate this issue.

Water dripping from your roof and leaking gutters can damage the foundation, leak into the garage, or ruin landscaping. We all know how much it can cost to landscape a home in southern California, so you want to take care of your rain gutters.

How Often Should Gutters Be Replaced?

With regular cleaning and maintenance, your rain gutters can last over 20 years. Of course, their lifespan can get significantly shorter if they remain clogged for extended periods.

Should You Replace Gutters When Replacing Your Roof?

The lifespan of your rain gutters is similar to that of your roof. That means replacing your gutters when replacing your roof is a good idea. Also, it can be easier to do them both at the same time.

Contact Roof Repair Specialist for Rain Gutter Replacement

When it’s time to replace your rain gutters, contact the experts at Roof Repair Specialist. We can craft the right system for your home.