Roof damage is covered under standard home insurance policies since the roof is an integral part of any home structure. It is important that homeowners understand that not all damage to a roof requires a complete replacement, nor will a homeowners insurance policy cover a new roof unless the damage results in a total loss.

Your homeowners insurance agency will inspect roof damage and determine whether repair is possible or if replacement is necessary.

Determining A Total Loss Roof - Or Not?

There are many ways a roof can sustain damage. Minor issues that home insurance companies will typically pay to have repaired include incidents that affect only a part of the roof, such as blown off shingles or even a hole in the roof.

Damage that results in a total loss and having a homeowners insurance claim rep more likely to authorize a full roof replacement include widespread problems that affect greater than half of the roof.

Regardless of whether a roof is repaired or replaced, the purpose of a homeowners insurance policy is to restore the roof its prior working condition before any damage occurred.

How Do Insurance Adjusters Decide To Repair or Replace?

When determining whether damage to a covered structure will be repaired or if it qualifies for a total replacement, home insurance adjusters must consider a number of factors:

  • Type of Damage - Some damage is more easily repaired than others.
  • Extent of Damage - The more damage that is present, the more likely it is that a total loss will be decided.
  • Ability to be Repaired - Can the damage be easily or actually repaired.

Based on these factors, there are times when adjusters will only approve roofing repairs, even when a homeowner may think the roof is a total loss. These professionals are very skilled in analyzing roofing damage; however, a homeowner can always seek the opinion of an expert roofer to write an estimate.

Smaller issues like slight differences in shingle colors do not normally warrant total replacement. On the other hand, if a qualified roofer can show there is more damage than what was initially found by the adjuster, a homeowners insurance company may honor the request for a roof replacement.

There may be other factors that affect what an insurance company will and will not pay for based on the age of the roof, its condition prior to the damage, and whether or not it has received proper care and maintenance.

Weighing Costs and Damages

The goal of homeowners insurance companies is always to return roofs to the condition it was in prior to the loss. This fact enters into any decision about whether to pay for repairs or replacement. There are times when inspecting the damage and determining associated costs, an adjuster will approve a total replacement even if repairs are possible. This usually happens when it would cost more for repairs than a complete roof replacement.

Determining whether a roof qualifies for home insurance repair or replacement is not an exact science. Homeowners insurance agency adjusters must consider every claim on an individual basis. Generally speaking, a homeowners insurance policy will pay what is necessary to resolve roofing problems in a cost-effective way!

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