Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Roof Replacement?

Learn about when homeowners insurance could help with roof repair or replacement costs and how age affects coverage.

Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Roof Replacement?

Most homeowners insurance policies cover roof replacement if the damage is the result of an act of nature or a sudden accidental event. But if your roof is old or requires maintenance and repair, standard homeowners insurance will generally not reimburse for roof replacement. If the roof is damaged by a covered hazard, such as fire or bad weather, homeowners insurance will cover the costs of replacing the roof. One thing you want to check is the age of your roof.

Even if your claim is supported, the age of the roof will affect the amount of checks you receive from the insurance company. Every policy is different, so it's just a generalized rule. That said, roofs less than 10 years old are usually fully covered. As they age more than a decade, they will depreciate, and the amount the insurance company will help you pay for the repair or replacement will reflect that depreciation.

Even in the face of depreciation, any check is better than no check, so keep it firm until the end. Repairing or replacing a roof can be one of the most costly aspects you can deal with as a homeowner. Having an old, worn roof can make it more difficult for homeowners insurance to cover damage to the roof. If there is a leak that is not associated with a hazard due to structure failure, lack of maintenance, or age of the roof, an insurance company will likely not cover the cost of repairing the damage or replacing the roof.

That's why it's important to keep your roof well maintained, as a roof that doesn't work can be expensive and most likely won't be covered by homeowners insurance. For example, if you have slate shingles that you can no longer get, you may need to replace the entire roof to make sure the materials match. But buying a new roof to replace an old one is most likely not covered by homeowners insurance. That's why it's absolutely crucial to hire a local roofing contractor with a strong labor record any time you need a roof job done.

If your roof needs to be replaced due to unexpected acts of nature or severe weather conditions other than flooding, you are likely to be covered. Damage to ice dams, such as icicles and ice buildup, is a common hazard on roofs, causing the roof to fall and form barriers around the gutter that can cause water to overflow and subsequent leaks or collapse of the roof. For example, if your roof is leaking or damaged due to covered losses, such as rain, hail, snowstorm, falling tree branch, wind, or fire, the insurance company usually steps in to pay for the repair or replacement up to the limits of your coverage. It will depend on the insurance company, but if you correctly used your claim payment to repair or replace your roof and you have some money left over afterwards, your insurance company may allow you to keep the excess money.