Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Roof Leaks?

Feb 22, 2021 | Personal Insurance

Having roof leaks can be a pain in the neck for most homeowners. This problem, however, is pretty common especially in old or second-hand houses. That is why making sure that it is covered by your Homeowners Insurance is a must to ensure that you will not be paying out-of-the-pocket charges in the future. 

Now the one million dollar question is this: Does Homeowners Insurance cover the roof leaks? 

The answer is a big YES!

Roof damage caused by a qualified peril such as fire, wind, and hail is covered by your home insurance under the dwelling coverage. Also, accidents like falling trees on your roof must be covered as well.

So let’s say, a tree from your backyard fell on your roof and caused damage. Then it suddenly rains that results in water leakage inside your house. Sure that your roof will be covered by dwelling policy but how about your couch and appliances?

Worried already? Don’t fret! Because if ever that the contents of your house are damaged, this should be covered by your home insurance’s personal property policy. 

On the other hand, damage to the roof of an unattached structure such as a detached garage, gazebo, and shed are not covered by your dwelling policy. However, it can be covered by other structure protection under your homeowners’ insurance as long as it is caused by a qualified peril. 

Also, make sure to read your insurance policy thoroughly. Because remember, not all insurance policies in each company are the same. Some homeowners insurance has windstorm and hail exclusions.

Meaning, any damage caused by the said perils will unfortunately not be covered. That being said, you must always ask your insurance agent about anything under your insurance policy. Believe me, knowing the ins and outs of your home insurance can save you a lot of time and effort!

What is not covered by your homeowners’ insurance? 

Generally, your home insurance will only cover damages that are caused by nature and sudden accidents. That being the case, damage resulting from poor maintenance and negligence are not covered.

Yes, you heard it right! Even if you tell your insurance provider that you are not aware of your leaking roof until it’s too late still, it is considered negligence.

For example, you are too busy with work that is why you didn’t notice that your roof is already leaking. It hasn’t been checked for years and you just don’t have the time to deal with it.

This type of reason is not accepted. As the owner of the house, it is your duty to maintain your house at all costs. Hence, having regular roof inspection is a must to avoid having leakage from an unqualified cause. 

Roof Coverage: How Does It Work? 

Your house’s roof is the most prone part of your house. It is like the skull for humans. It gets direct heat from the sun, it carries the heavy snow during winter, and it deals will the harsh wind throughout all seasons. That is why it is not so surprising if you will experience a roof leakage after experiencing a sudden accident like a falling tree, storm, tornado, and any type of nature’s act. 

Truly, we cannot control what will happen all the time. And this is the exact reason why you need your Homeowners Insurance. Dwelling coverage protects the structure of your house in times of trouble. So as long as the cause of the damage is from a qualified peril, your insurance will get you covered. You might not be able to control your home’s safety from having damage, but the good thing is, you can be prepared for it.

Things that you need to know about roof coverage 

  • Actual Cash Value and Replacement Costs Value

New roofs to 19-year-old roofs can be insured for their actual cash value or replacement cost value. But a 20-year-old roof or older can only be insured for their actual cash value. Well, this rule makes sense. It will be unfair and totally not profitable to any insurance company if an old roof can be insured for its current replacement cost value. It is very understandable because again, the roof is the most accident-prone part of the house. Being the most exposed plus its weak state is not something that any insurance company can gamble about. 

  • Deductibles

As always, you need to pay first your policy deductibles before your insurance kicks in. This one is old news to those who already have insurance whether it be home or auto insurance. But here is the thing, some policies in high-risk states impose higher deductibles. Just like in areas that are prone to windstorms, hail, and hurricanes. Homeowners living in those areas purchase additional coverage to ensure their house’s safety. This separate coverage only covers the peril that the area is high-risk at. 

Perils that are typically covered by most Homeowners Insurance 

Generally, open perils include damages from sudden and natural causes as well as accidents. 

Here are the common list of the qualified perils: 

  1. Explosions – The most common cause of the explosion is a volcanic eruption and chemical explosions. 
  2. Fire – This includes wildfires, lightning, and fire from accidents and riots. 
  3. Windstorms and Hail – Roof leaks due to damages from snow on top of the roof, heavy ice, and sleet. 
  4. Lightning – Damage to due mother nature’s wrath is also included. Lightning damages can be severe or straightforward. But either way, it will be covered since it is from a natural cause and can’t be predicted.
  5. Theft – Any sudden and accidental damage that caused leakage after a break-in or theft is mostly covered. So let say the intruder broke the pipes or the roof that results in leakage, then that must be covered by your home insurance. 
  6. Vandalism – Any damage caused by deliberate destruction from vandalism. 
  7. Damages from vehicles or aircraft – Damages of roofs that lead to leakage from accidents are covered. For example, an aircraft fell near your house which causes your electric post to fall on your roof and create holes. 

However, even though natural causes are usually covered some are still not such as a flood. Floods are mostly not covered by your standard Homeowners Insurance. Though some hazards may be included or excluded, depends on the risk and proneness of your area. But if you want to make sure that you will be covered, ask your insurance agent about your policy. If in any case that you think you are underinsured, you can always ask to add supplemental coverage to your policy so don’t worry. 

Perils that are mostly excluded from your Homeowners Insurance 

Fungus and molds are generally excluded from standard home insurance. But, if the molds and fungus are from a qualified hazard, then it will be covered. Here are examples of the hazards that are usually excluded. 

  • Floods 
  • Negligence or from wear and tear 
  • Landslides and mudslides 
  • Earthquakes 
  • Corrosion and smog 
  • Damages caused by pets 
  • Damages from war 
  • Smog

How to spot a roof leak? 

Knowing that there is something wrong with your house is not that easy. Aside from the fact that we are all busy trying to make a living; checking all the corners of your house to see if any weird hazards are going on can be such a pain. However, knowing this is very important to avoid further damage. So here are some tips that you can do to check if there is any leakage happening inside your home. 

  • Check your roof from the outside – Have anyone from your family or call someone who can check your roof regularly. One of the fastest ways to know if there are holes on your roof is by actually examining the outside part of it. Look if there are any holes, misaligned shingles, cracks, raised nails, misaligned gutter, and broken pipes. These can be signs that leakage is already happening inside your house. 
  • Look for any signs of leakage inside your house – Of course, it is wise to check first the place closest to your roof, right? That being said, start with the attic. So meticulously check the ceiling, walls, and corners of your attic. Look for any molds, fungus, moisture, discoloration of wood or cement, and elevated paint and wood. If you ever see these, it is already a red flag that leakage is already happening. 

If you happen to detect leakage in your house, examine if it just needs an easy fix. But if ever that it is more complicated and beyond your ability to handle, call for help. Having a professional to examine your roof leakage is best to ensure that no further damage will happen in the future. 

Times like this and having unexpected problems to deal with can happen anytime. Hence, having Homeowners Insurance is always the best option to be prepared.

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If you already have Homeowners Insurance in Denver, CO, or any other part of the US, or just looking for one, CALL US! We can provide you more options to enhance your coverage and explain everything that you need to know about your desired policy.