April 18, 2021
If you live in or around Hail Alley, you can expect three or four severe hail events in a single year. This can be devastating and can set you back in repair costs over time. You may face even more costs if you are not insured ad your roof sustained hail damage. In fact, in 2017 alone hail damage affected more than 10.7 million properties, amounting to insured losses up to $10 billion.
These numbers tell you that hail damage is nothing to laugh about, especially if you don’t have hail roof coverage. But what if you have homeowners insurance? Most homeowners believe that basic homeowner’s insurance gives you the protection you need for any damage that can occur to your home. But does this really mean that your homeowner’s policy covers hail damage to your roof?
Are you covered? You may be. To be sure, you need to look at your homeowner’s insurance policy. Basic roof protection is included in a standard homeowners policies. If you see that you have basic roof protection, then your roof is covered.
Once you confirm that you have homeowner’s insurance that comes with basic roof coverage, you will need to examine what kind of protection it provides. Look at the perils that are covered. If you have an All Risk or Open Perils coverage, this means that you have coverage for all types of roof damage.
However, if you have Named Perils coverage, you have limited coverage as stated on the kind of perils that are listed in the policy. If you have the latter, you need to see if hail damage is included in the named perils, otherwise, you have no roof coverage for that type of damage.
Why does this happen?
Coverage for roof protection varies among insurers. Depending on the quality of your roof at the time of activation of your policy, your roof coverage for hail damage may be limited or worse, nonexistent.
Some insurers will not provide roof coverage if your roof is not in good condition or if you refuse to make repairs. Some basic insurance policies may exclude hail damage from their list of coverage altogether. This is the reason why it is important to look at the fine print and zero in on the types of protection you want from home insurance so that specific protection is included in your policy.
Kinds of Valuation for Roof Damage
Once you have determined that your homeowner’s insurance does contain hail damage protection, the next step is to look at what kind of protection you have. Look at the type of valuation your insurer uses to determine coverage, whether it is replacement cost coverage or actual cash value.
Replacement cost coverage means that the insurer covers the cost of replacing a damaged roof. Actual cash value coverage means that the insurer will pay for the actual cash value of the roof at the time of the loss.
It is important to note that the actual cash value depends on the age of the roof. If there is a high amount of depreciation, this amount will be deducted from the actual cash value of the roof, unlike in a replacement cost coverage where there is no deduction for depreciation.
Roof Damage Coverage Limitations
As you examine your policy, you may notice that while you do have hail protection your insurer as provided limitations for roof insurance. This is standard practice for most insurers to put caps in amounts payable in claims. These limitations are often based on the unique properties of your roof, your location, and other conditions. These limitations may also be used by the insurer when deciding between replacement cost coverage or actual cash value coverage.
Factors that Affect Your Coverage
Insurers look at various factors when providing and limiting roof coverage.
The age of the roof
- The older the roof, the higher the premiums. Some insurers may refuse to renew insurance policies if the roof is more than 20 years old, if the roof fails inspection, or if you refuse to make repairs.
- Type of roof
Roofs that are durable and last longer tend to cost less to insure. These include metal, slate and tile which are durable, fire-resistant, and require little maintenance.
Insurers may look at the shape to see if it is more prone to hail damage than others. Gable roofs tend to cost more to insure because they are vulnerable to high winds, compared to hip and flat roofs, which are more resistant to wind damage.
You can expect high premiums if you live in hail country or along the coast, where there is a higher risk of damage due to natural disasters.
Tips to Get the Most Out of Your Roof Protection
The best way to get the best home and roof insurance for hail protection is to ensure that your roof is in good condition all year round. Regular maintenance and hail-proofing can put you in a better position to request full coverage for your roof so that you are protected from all types of roof damage, not just hail-related damage.
Keeping stray branches out of your roof and regular maintenance of your gutters can keep your roof looking good and new and can go a long way towards getting you the ideal premium rates for your roof. It is also important to take photos of your well-maintained roof right before any natural disaster.
This way, if your roof does sustain any form of damage, you can show insurers your Before and After photos as proof that the damage was due to natural causes. Lastly, aim to have replacement cost coverage for your roof, especially if you expect hail damage during the year. Negotiate with your insurer to see what it will take to get this type of coverage.
Some insurers are willing to upgrade your coverage to replacement cost coverage or lessen your premiums if you agree to replace an old roof or if you agree to do some repairs.
Damage to your roof caused by hailstorms can set you back hundreds to thousands of dollars in repair costs. Get in touch with us at Sellers Roofing Company-New Brighton to make sure that your roof stays in tip-top shape all year round.
If you are diligent in choosing the right insurance policy and you make sure that your roof stays in good condition, your homeowner’s insurance can provide you with the roof coverage you need, when you need it.
Give us a call today.
Check out this video on 5 Ways Your Insurance Company Avoids Paying For Your Roof Claim