This time of year people are buying and selling homes. Hopefully they are smart about it – and getting a complete home inspection, title insurance, and quality home owners insurance that protects with “replacement cost” coverage to cover not just your roof, but all your personal goods at replacement value.
Securing Homeowners Insurance:
Insurance companies come out to your new home to determine the insurability of the property. They look at the structure to determine if there is any major immediate concerns. Due to the high cost of replacing a roof and the risks of water damage – the insurance inspector will look closely at the roof. Should water enters your home roof due to deterioration, defects, tears, cuts, poorly sealed penetrations, seams, failed flashings or caps their claim risk could jump “thru the roof”! It’s not uncommon for home inspectors to note that while the roof is older, there is still life within. It’s also not uncommon for insurance companies to refuse to cover a perfectly good roof (that may have 3 to 5 years left). They are concerned about paying out claims should the roof be damaged by hail, wind or whatever is covered in the policy.
What happens if the insurance company says – no??
Absolutely do NOT replace the roof of your dream home before closing. The bottom line is that the seller can’t sell the house if it is not insurable, so they need to replace it. Speak to your insurance company to get the details and what is needed before they will insure the structure.
Most homeowner insurance policies will provide coverage for roof damage caused by unpreventable reasons such as vandalism or fire. “Acts of God” such as hurricanes and tornadoes are also usually covered.
Although wind, rain, and hail are covered by your home insurance policy, there are many factors that determine if and how much of your home roof, gutters, and other exterior damage will be covered.
Bottom Line – If the home exterior damage was caused by an unavoidable event, your homeowners insurance policy will usually cover the damage. You won’t be covered if damage is a result of neglect.
Reducing the Risk:
Replacing a roof or other exterior property can be a time-consuming and expensive process. That’s why it’s important to take certain steps to prevent damage from occurring. That is why we recommend that you get your home inspected by a trained professional who can identify areas that may need immediate repair. Many homeowners will take “before” pictures of your home interior and exterior just in case your need to verify condition of property prior to major damage event.
Preventing leaks and inspecting your property are crucial responsibilities of the homeowner and could help avoid unnecessary damage.
Shingles wear out. Replace annually any broken and worn shingles.
Clean your gutters. Be sure to remove debris from gutter and the roof every season.
Remove any dead trees from around your property that could potentially fall onto your home.
Minimize the Damage:
The longer you let a roof leak go, the more damage you’ll have. Water damage can be expensive to repair. If you act quickly, you’ll be able to save your property from much of the water damage. Whether repairing or replacing your roof – always get a written estimate, and always hire a local certified roofer that will honor the manufacturer’s warranty.
If you are experiencing leaking due to a damaged roof, promptly remove any furniture or other belongings that could sustain water damage.
Grab your old towels, mops, and buckets to soak up the excess water to permanent prevent damage.
Hope this information helped you with your concerns, and when your insurance policy will or will not cover your roof and water damaged home. Contact a licensed agent at Cincinnatus Insurance to review your policy with you!