What Is Homeowners Insurance?
Homeowners insurance is a type of property insurance that covers a private residence. It is an insurance policy that combines various personal insurance protections, which can include losses occurring to one’s home, its contents, loss of use (additional living expenses), or loss of other personal possessions of the homeowner, as well as legal responsibility for damages caused by the homeowner or members of their family to other people.
Most home insurance policies cover the home itself and the things kept inside it. But home insurance also provides liability coverage against property damage or bodily injury caused by you or members of your household. That means if someone is injured on your property or if you accidentally damage someone else’s property, home insurance can help pay for the resulting medical bills or repairs.
What Does Homeowners Insurance Cover?
Home insurance policies cover four main things: your home, other structures on your property, your personal belongings, and your liability.
The first two — your home and other structures — are typically covered for a percentage of their replacement value, which is the cost to rebuild or repair them. (Replacement value is not the same as market value, which is what you would sell your home or property for today.)
Your personal belongings are typically covered for their actual cash value, which takes into account depreciation. So if your five-year-old television is damaged beyond repair, home insurance would reimburse you for its current value — not what you paid for it when it was new.
Liability coverage helps protect you if someone is injured on your property or if you accidentally damage someone else’s property. It can also help pay for legal expenses if you’re sued. Most home insurance policies have at least $100,000 in liability coverage, but you can buy more if you need it.
Home insurance policies also come with a deductible, which is the amount you have to pay out of pocket before your insurance company starts covering claims. For example, if you have a $500 deductible and your home sustains $3,000 in damage from a covered event, you would pay the first $500 and your home insurance would pay the remaining $2,500.
What Does Homeowners Insurance Not Cover?
Home insurance policies exclude certain types of damage, such as wear and tear, floods, and earthquakes. That is why it is important to understand what your policy covers and what it does not cover.
Wear and tear is damage that naturally occurs over time, such as cracks in your home’s foundation or a leaking roof. Most home insurance policies do not cover this type of damage because it is considered preventable or a normal part of aging materials.
Floods are not covered by home insurance either. If you live in a high-risk area for floods, you will need to purchase a separate flood insurance policy.
Earthquakes are also typically excluded from home insurance policies. But if you live in an area where earthquakes are common, you can purchase earthquake insurance as a standalone policy or as an endorsement (add-on) to your home insurance policy.
What Is Roof Insurance?
Roofing insurance is a type of home insurance that helps protect your roof from damage. It can cover the cost of repairing or replacing your roof if it is damaged by a covered event, such as a storm.
Most home insurance policies include some coverage for your roof, but the amount of coverage varies depending on the policy. For example, home insurance typically covers wind damage to your roof, but it may only cover a certain percentage of the repair or replacement costs.
If you have an older home with an aging roof, you may want to purchase additional roof insurance to make sure your roof is fully covered. You can typically add roof insurance to your home insurance policy for an additional premium.
How to File an Insurance Claim for Roof Damage
If your home sustains roof damage, you will need to file an insurance claim. This process can be confusing and overwhelming, so be sure to follow the steps outlined below:
- First, you will need to gather all the necessary documentation. This includes photos of the damage, a copy of your home insurance policy, and any estimates for repairs or replacement.
- Next, you will need to contact your insurance company to start the claims process. The insurance company will likely send an adjuster to inspect the damage and determine how much the repairs will cost.
- Once the adjuster has inspected the damage, you will need to wait for the insurance company to approve or deny your claim. If your claim is approved, the insurance company will issue a check for the repairs. If your claim is denied, you can appeal the decision or purchase additional coverage.
It is important to keep in mind that home insurance typically covers only a certain percentage of the costs for roof repairs or replacement. You may have to pay for some of the repairs out of your own pocket.
You can avoid all this stress by purchasing additional roof insurance, which will cover the full cost of repairs or replacement. This type of coverage typically costs more than home insurance, but it can save you a lot of money in the long run.
It is worth noting that some full service roofing contractors can make the process easier for homeowners by working directly with the home insurance company. Because they understand exactly what needs to be documented and how the process works, this can streamline the claims process and expedite getting the repairs you need as quickly as possible.
Roof damage can be costly to repair, so it is important to make sure that you are fully protected. Home insurance can help, but you must be sure that you understand your policy and what it covers. You can also purchase additional roof insurance to make sure your roof is fully protected. Taking these steps will help ensure that your home is safe and sound.
What To Do If Your Roof Claim Is Denied
If you file a claim for roof damage and it is denied, there are a few things you can do.
First, check your home insurance policy to see if the denial is valid. Some roof insurance coverage excludes certain types of damage, such as wear and tear, floods, or other acts of God. If your policy excludes the type of damage you are claiming, then the denial is likely valid.
If you still cannot figure out why your claim was denied, contact your insurance agent or company representative and ask for an explanation.
If your policy does not specifically exclude the damage your roof sustained, check to see if you have the proper coverage for the repairs or replacement. For example, home insurance typically covers wind damage to your roof, but it may only cover a certain percentage of the costs. If you don’t have enough coverage, you may have to pay for the repairs or replacement out of pocket.
You can also appeal the denial if you think it is unfair. Start by writing a letter to your insurance company explaining why you believe the denial is incorrect. Include any supporting documentation, such as estimates for repairs or replacement.
If you are not satisfied with the insurance company’s response, you can file a complaint with your state’s insurance department. The department will review your case and determine if the denial was justified. If you are still not satisfied, you may choose to hire an attorney to seek satisfaction.
Preventing Roof Damage
Home insurance can help protect your roof from damage, but it is always best to prevent damage from happening in the first place. There are a few things you can do to help keep your roof in good condition:
- Inspect your roof regularly for signs of damage, such as missing or damaged shingles.
- Keep trees trimmed and remove any dead branches that could fall on your roof during a storm.
- Clean your gutters regularly to prevent them from becoming clogged and damaged.
- Make sure your home’s foundation is in good condition to help support your roof.
You can also purchase additional roof insurance to make sure your roof is fully covered. This type of coverage typically costs more than home insurance, but it can provide peace of mind knowing that your roof is fully protected.
How Do You Know If You Have Roof Damage?
There are a few signs that you may have roof damage, such as:
- Missing or damaged shingles
- Leaks in your home
- Sagging of the roof deck
- Dents in gutters or downspouts
- Granules from shingles in the gutters
If you notice any of these signs, it is important to have your roof inspected by a professional as soon as possible. Ignoring the problem can lead to further damage and costly repairs.
If you suspect that you have roof damage, the best course of action is to contact a professional for an inspection. They will be able to assess the damage and recommend the best course of action.
How to Find a Roofing Contractor Who Works With Your Insurance
An experienced, professional roofing company will likely not only be familiar with working with residential roofing insurance, but they may also be able to work directly with your insurance company to expedite the processing of your claim.
If you need to hire a roofing contractor, start by asking your insurance agent for recommendations. They should be able to give you a list of contractors who work with your specific policy.
Once you have a few names, do some research on each one. Check their website, read reviews, and contact them for more information. Be sure to ask about their experience with your insurance company and what type of coverage they recommend.
When you are ready to make a decision, get bids from each contractor. Be sure to compare the price, warranty, and scope of work before making your final decision.
Hiring a roofing contractor can be a daunting task, but it is important to take your time and find one that you can trust. By following these tips, you can be sure to find a contractor who will work with your insurance and get the job done right.
StrongHold Roofing & Solar In & Near Lakeland, FL
We offer a full range of roofing services for homes and businesses, including roof replacement, roof inspection, roof repair, and roof installation.
Our experienced team of roofers can work with any type of roofing material, and our customer support team can guide you through the process of filing a homeowners insurance claim if your situation warrants it.
Contact us today for a free estimate.