YOU ASK:

Will homeowners insurance cover roof water leak damages and repairs?

WE ANSWER:

It depends on what caused the roof to leak. If the roof leaked or was damaged due to poor maintenance or due to the fact that the roof was old and deteriorated over time, it is not covered by the homeowners insurance policy.

Now, if the roof was damaged due to a covered event, such as a hailstorm, a strong wind or a tree falling on t, the insurance will pay not just to have the roof repaired but also for the damage the leaking water caused.

However, you should also check the terms and conditions of the policy. There may be a clause that stipulates that you should make immediate action to minimize any damage that the insurance company will have to cover.

For instance, if the roof was blown off, it is your responsibility as the homeowner to find something to cover the furniture or appliances so that they don't suffer any more damage. Or, you can make moves to transfer the appliances to an area that is covered and dry.

It is important that you review your homeowners insurance policy to check what exclusions are listed with regards to the roof. Some of the common exclusions include:

  • Age of the roof. Some insurance companies exclude roofs that are 10 years old.
  • Layering of the roof. Some insurance companies will only cover roofs that have one or two layers. Sometimes, shingled roofs are repaired by adding another layer of shingles to the existing layer. Sometimes, a house ends up with more than two layers. This is not covered by the policy.
  • Payments for routine maintenance. This is counted as your responsibility.
  • Replacement for entire roof. The insurance will only pay for the portion of the roof that was damaged.
  • Upgrades on your roof - such as work done using construction materials that are more expensive or higher quality than what your roof currently has.
  • Kind of materials used. The insurance company may exclude certain kinds of materials that are used for roofing. For instance slate or cedar roofs will not be covered by some policies.
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