When something goes wrong with your roof, things can easily go wrong for the rest of your home. Water only needs tiny cracks or holes to infiltrate your interior and start messing things up. Something as simple as clogged gutters can lead to extensive roof damage as a result of a roof leak.
That’s where homeowner’s insurance comes into play. But does homeowner’s insurance cover roof leaks, and what are the stipulations regarding that coverage?
Here’s everything you need to know about roof leak insurance and what your overall policy should include.
Roof Leak Coverage? It Depends
Are roof leaks covered by insurance? That depends on various factors, the first of which is your current homeowner’s insurance policy.
Different homeowner’s insurances offer different types and levels of coverage. Roof leaks may or may not get covered depending on how the insurance company categorizes the damage.
For example, a roof leak as a result of heavy rain and storm conditions may be seen as a perfect fit for their coverage. A leak that developed over time due to roof negligence may not be considered something that falls under their umbrella. How you would prove either of these situations to be the case would be a whole other complicated process.
Always make sure to research what a policy covers and find something that lines up with your expectations. Some homeowners opt for HO-1 basic form insurance, but you’ll quickly find that it has the most limited coverage. It only protects you against specific “covered perils” and provides coverage at your belongings’ actual cash value.
Don’t be afraid to call and ask for clarification. See if they have any additional options you can tack onto your policy for an extra cost.
What Is a Covered Peril?
In the world of homeowner’s insurance, a covered peril is defined as the event you file a claim for that the insurance company then agrees to reimburse.
Fire damage is almost always considered a covered peril as it can happen anywhere in the world. Flood damage is not always covered since you’d have to live near a body of water for that to happen.
Here are some of the most basic covered perils:
- Fire or lightning
More extensive policies add in other events such as snow-related damage, appliance accidents, freezing, and power surges. Some claims for reimbursement have exclusions due to neglect, intentional loss, wear and tear, and other factors.
Leak repairs are one of the most common roofing problems you’ll encounter as a homeowner. While patch jobs are easy, it’s not always simple to get coverage when that leak results in further water damage. As previously mentioned, your insurance company may see it as damage the homeowner could have avoided.
Most policies provide coverage over your home at its replacement cost value. Your personal belongings are covered at their actual cash value.
When you put in your claim, your insurance company will send an auditor to assess the cost of repairs or replacement. However, they will also look to confirm your claim that the damages were outside of your control and unavoidable.
Types of Covered Peril Homeowners Policies
There are three main types of covered peril homeowner’s policies available that may or may not cover your damaged roof and roof repair costs.
- Broad form HO-2 policies are one of the most common options. They’re more comprehensive than HO-1s and cover your home and belongings. Some of the additional perils covered include damage from snow and freezing, which can both lead to a leaking roof.
- Special form, or HO-3, policies are the most common option for single-family homes. This type covers all risks from HO-1 and HO-2 as well as liability coverage and loss-of-use coverage.
- Comprehensive form homeowner’s insurance is as the name implies. It covers everything HO-3 does but with some differences.
Most notably, both your home and personal property are insured at their replacement cost. You also have much higher coverage limits, which helps if you want to protect more expensive items like jewelry and certain electronics.
Covered Perils vs Named or Open Perils
Covered perils are events that your insurance covers. They’ve agreed to it and account for it when you sign up for a policy.
A named perils policy is the more affordable option, but it only protects you from very specific events. For example, the policy may cover damage from fires but not flooding.
Open perils coverage provides protection against nearly every type of loss aside from those explicitly excluded. It’s usually considered a type of commercial property insurance. Businesses purchase it to protect themselves from unpredictable risks they may face during the work day.
Homeowners can differentiate the policies based on the amount of coverage. Generally speaking, a named peril policy lists what they cover and are more affordable. Open perils coverage is pricier and lists exclusions.
Roof leak insurance may be found in either policy, but they may or may not cover damage resulting from the leak.
How Dwelling Coverage Plays In
Dwelling coverage is the part of your homeowner’s insurance policy that helps pay off your rebuild or repair job. When you purchase your initial policy, the insurance company will assess your home’s value and replacement cost coverage. This will help determine your deductible.
In most cases, you don’t purchase a separate dwelling coverage. It comes built into your homeowner’s insurance. If you’re unsatisfied with the amount or type of coverage, you’ll have to find another insurance policy.
Make Good Use of Roof Leak Insurance
Does homeowner’s insurance cover roof leaks? Lucky for you, roof leak insurance should cover at least some of it. You’ll need it, especially if you live in an area with more extreme weather conditions, such as blizzards or hurricanes.
When the time comes for repairs, call Roof Life of Oregon. Our team of roofing professionals offers a lifetime workmanship warranty, free checkups, and interest-free financing. Contact us for a free quote and to learn more.