Skip to Content Top

How to Get Insurance to Cover Roof Replacement Costs

Steps In Getting Insurance To Pay For Your New Roof

If your roof has been damaged or you have serious roof leaks and the entire roof needs to be replaced, you may be wondering if your insurance will cover the costs. The answer to that question depends on the type of homeowners insurance policy coverage you have to cover a leaky roof. In this blog post, we will discuss the distinct types of roof replacement insurance coverage available and what kind of damage is often covered by insurance. We will also talk about how to ensure that your insurance company covers the costs of your roof replacement and what you can do to prepare for future roof damage.

Understanding The Types Of Roof Coverage

Roof replacement coverage protects your home from the costs of repairing or replacing your roof. There are three main types of roof replacement coverage available: actual cash value, roof replacement cost, and extended replacement cost. It is important to get roof coverage insurance for your home to ensure your roof is protected.

Actual Cash Value

Actual cash value coverage reimburses you for the depreciated value of your roof and gutters. For example, if your roof is 10 years old and needs to be replaced, your insurance company will reimburse you for the depreciated value of your roof. This type of coverage is typically less expensive than roof replacement cost or extended replacement cost coverage.

The benefit of having actual cash coverage value is that you will not have to pay out of pocket for the initial cost of replacing your roof, as the payout if often fairly quick. However, the downside is that you will not be reimbursed for the full cost of replacing your roof.

Replacement Cost Coverage

Roof replacement cost coverage reimburses you for the actual cost of replacing your roof rather than only paying for the depreciated value of your home's roof. Because this type of coverage pays for the entire cost of replacing the roof, it is more expensive than actual cash-value coverage, which pays only for the depreciated value.

The benefit of roof replacement cost coverage is that you will not have to pay anything out of pocket for the cost of replacing your roof, also called a deductible. Or, if you do end up paying some of the cost out of pocket for a damaged roof, you will be reimbursed for those costs. The downside is that this type of coverage is more expensive than actual cash value coverage.

Extended Replacement Cost Coverage

Extended replacement cost coverage is an optional insurance add-on that pays for 10%-50% more than the cost of replacing your roof. This insurance type is put in place for unexpected labor, higher than normal costs for roofing materials or construction cost increases due to natural disasters or other complications. By paying for this insurance, homeowners ensure they are not caught by surprise when a roof replacement project costs more than originally anticipated.

The benefit of extended replacement cost coverage is that homeowners do not have to pay out of pocket for the cost of replacing their roof, even if it costs more than the roof itself cost originally. One con for paying for extended replacement coverage, however, is that recurring insurance costs are higher than actual cash pay coverage or replacement cost coverage. Before choosing make sure you ask your insurance agent the costs of various coverages and the claim process.

Know What Kind Of Roof Damage Is Covered By Insurance

It is important to know what kind of roof damage is covered by insurance so that you can be sure to file a claim when necessary. The types of damage typically covered include storm damage, hail damage, fire damage, wind damage, and fallen tree limbs.

Storm Damage

Storm damage including hail damage is one of the most common types of damage to a roof. Most homeowners insurance company policies cover storm damage, including tornados, hail, snow, hurricanes, and freezing rain. However, it is important to check with your insurance company to be sure that your policy covers a hail storm or accidental damage, for example.

If your roof is damaged because of a storm, it is important to file a roof claim as soon as possible. Your insurance company will send an adjuster, or the insurance adjuster may hire a professional inspector or roofer, to inspect the damage, determine if it was pre-existing damage or a lack of maintenance to determine the cost of repairs or replacement for wood roofs, metal roof or asphalt shingles types of roof.

Fire Damage

Fire damage is another type of damage that is also typically covered by a standard home insurance policy and is also common. The fire can be caused by a number of mishaps, be it from a cigarette, lightning, putting tinfoil in the microwave, catching aprons on fire from a gas oven, or even an electrical fire. Therefore, it is wise to take precautions to avoid fires, such as not leaving candles unattended, not smoking in the house, and making sure that your electrical wiring is up to date.

While most homeowners' insurance policies cover fire damage, there are some that do not. It is important to check with your insurance company to see if your policy covers fire damage in the dwelling coverage. If it does not, you may want to consider adding this coverage to your policy.

If your roof is damaged by fire, you should submit a claim as soon as feasible to obtain the appropriate reimbursement. As with storm damage, your insurance provider will dispatch an adjuster to examine the damage and roof features like missing shingles, the roof's age and assess the cost of repair or replacement.

Wind Damage

Wind damage is another type of damage that is typically covered by homeowners' insurance policies. Wind damage can be caused by a number of things, including hurricanes, tornadoes, and even high winds from thunderstorms called straight-line winds. Insurance policies also sometimes cover siding and windows. However, it is important to read your policy and understand exactly how much coverage is offered for several types of windstorms so that you do not find yourself under or over-insured for any subsequent damage from wind.

As with fire and storm damage, if your roof is damaged by wind, you should file a roof insurance claim as soon as possible to get the compensation you deserve. After you have filed a claim, an adjuster will be sent to your home to inspect the damaged areas and determine the cost of repairs or replacement.

Fallen Tree Limbs

Another type of coverage typically offered by homeowners' insurance is fallen tree limb coverage. This type of coverage is important because, as trees age, they can become brittle and break easily, especially during severe weather conditions. If a tree limb falls on your roof, it can cause severe damage.

Most insurance policies will cover the cost of repairs if a tree limb falls on your roof; however, some will cover only a portion of the repair costs and some will cover costs only under certain circumstances. Therefore, it is important to check with your insurance company to see what type of coverage is offered for this type of damage. Additionally, sometimes when you get a homeowner policy, they will require dangerous tree limbs to be cut to avoid limbs falling on your house. Be sure to comply with these measures for any additional roof coverages you might need.

Damages Insurance Doesn't Cover

There are some types of damage that insurance will not cover. These include damages caused by disasters such as floods or earthquakes, or simply damages caused by improper installation.

Improper Installation

One type of mishap that insurance does not typically cover is improper installation. If your roof is not installed correctly, it can void your insurance policy. In other words, insurance will deny replacement if they find the roof was installed improperly even if it did undergo storm damage. Consequently, you want to be sure your roof is stable and properly built before the stormy season and before any other wear and tear occurs. Having a properly installed roof is why it is so important to hire a qualified and licensed contractor to do the installation. Additionally, be certain that you get everything in writing and that you understand the roof's warranty measures before signing the paperwork.

How To Ensure Insurance Will Cover Your Roof Replacement

When a storm or other accident occurs, there are a few things you can do to help ensure your insurance company covers needed roof repairs. Some of the things you can do include covering your roof, filing a claim immediately, hiring a roofing contractor to inspect the damage, waiting to repair your roof until the claim is approved, and consulting reputable roofing contractors.

File A Claim With Insurance Immediately

After you have covered your roof, the next step is to file a claim with your insurance company as soon as possible. It is important to do this because most insurance companies have a time limit within which you must file a claim. In fact, most policies require you to file a claim within 30 days of the incurred damage.

If you wait too long to file a claim, your insurance company may deny your claim outright. So, be careful to file your claim in a timely manner to ensure your damage is covered.

Hire A Roofing Contractor To Inspect The Damage

After you have filed your claim, you will want to hire a roofing contractor to inspect the damage. The roofing contractor will be able to give you an estimate of the repairs needed and can also provide documentation of the damage to submit to your insurance company.

This is important because, although the insurance company will send out an adjuster to assess the damages, the adjuster may not always assess the damages properly. An insurance company will not pay for repairs that are not documented. So, if you hire a roofing contractor for an inspection before the adjuster comes, you will have the detailed report needed from your roofing contractor before proceeding with repairs.

Consider Waiting To Repair Your Roof Until The Claim Is Approved

Once you have submitted your claim and documentation of the damage to your insurance company, you will need to wait for the claim to be approved before proceeding with repairs. Although it may be tempting to go ahead and repair your roof as soon as possible, you should consider waiting until the claim is approved.

The reason you want to wait is that you do not want to be caught paying for everything out of pocket if the claim is denied or if the company wants you to go with a specific roofing contractor, but you have already spent money on a different contractor.

Consult Only Reputable Roofing Contractors

When it comes time to repair your roof after storm damage, it is important to consult only reputable roofing contractors. This will help to ensure that you are getting a quality job done and that you are not taken advantage of by a contractor looking to make a quick buck.

If you have a contractor coming to you after a major storm and asking to repair your roof, take caution. You may be talking to a storm chaser-someone who goes into areas that have been affected by a major storm and tries to get business from homeowners. These contractors often are not reputable and may do a poor job on your roof. They also may try to commit an insurance scam, telling you that your insurance company sent them or that the company will reimburse you for the bill. So, be sure to consult only reputable roofing contractors and get more than one estimate before proceeding with repairs.

How To Prepare For Future Damage

Numerous events and mishaps can damage your roof. Consequently, it is extremely beneficial to prepare for the future damage that your roof might undergo. So, maintain records of previous roof inspections, take yearly photos of your roof, and use an installer who offers a workmanship guarantee.

Maintain Records Of Roof Inspection

One way you should consider preparing for roof damage is by maintaining records of your roof inspections. You will want to have a history of your roof in case you need to file an insurance claim in the future.

Some roofing companies, such as Mighty Dog Roofing, offer this service for their clients. Consider looking into signing up for this service so that you will have an accurate and up-to-date record of your roof's condition. This will help you be ready for any mishap, natural disaster, or another unexpected event that damages your roof.

Take Photos Of Your Roof Each Year And Immediately After Damage

Another way to prepare for potential roof damage is by taking yearly photos of your roof. These photos can be helpful in a few ways. First, if there is already damage on your roof, the pictures can serve as documentation for your insurance company. Second, even if there is no damage on your roof, the pictures can help you identify potential issues early on before they become bigger problems. Finally, the photos can prove that the roof's damage was the result of a storm rather than a problem that had existed before the storm or disaster.

Like maintaining records, Mighty Dog Roofing offers this service as well. For a small fee, they will come out once a year and take pictures of your roof. This way, you will not have to worry about getting up on your roof yourself and you can be certain the job will be done carefully and precisely.

Find A Roofing Installer With A Workmanship Guarantee

Finally, to protect yourself from paying high fees for damage that could happen in the future, find and use a roofing installer who offers a workmanship guarantee. Doing so will protect you in case there are any problems with the installation of your new roof or problems with any replacements or repairs needed on your old roof.

Finding an installer with a workmanship guarantee ensures that you will not have to pay for any damage that is the result of a problem with the installation or workmanship. Mighty Dog Roofing offers this guarantee to its clients, so you can be sure you are getting a quality job done when you use their services.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Roof Insurance Included Or Supplemental?

Most homeowners' insurance policies cover roofs as part of the home's structure if the damage is due to a sudden accident or an act of nature but not if it is due to typical deterioration because of time. However, there are some events, such as floods and earthquakes, which are not typically covered by homeowners' insurance. In these cases, you may need to purchase a supplemental policy to get coverage for your roof.

So, be sure to ask your insurance company about what is and is not covered in your insurance policy, especially regarding roofs. If roof insurance is not covered, consider asking about supplemental coverage you could add to your policy.

What Is The Difference Between Damage Coverage And Replacement Coverage?

Damage coverage is what most homeowners' insurance policies cover. This type of coverage covers the cost of repairing or replacing your roof if it is damaged by a sudden accident or an act of nature.

Replacement coverage, on the other hand, covers the cost of completely replacing your roof, regardless of the cause of the damage. This type of coverage is typically more expensive than damage coverage, but it may be worth the cost if you live in an area that is prone to severe weather or if your roof is old and will need replacement soon.

Can You Keep Insurance Money And Not Replace Roof?

Technically, you are permitted to keep the excess claim money from a roof repair. However, keeping all the money and not replacing your roof at all depends on the circumstance and the insurance company. If you own your home completely, the insurance company will typically give you the money to repair the roof, even if you do not end up replacing the old roof.

Insurance companies might not give claim money directly to residents who do not own the home they are in free and clear. Instead, the insurance company may give the money to the mortgage lender or straight to the roofing contractor and bypass you as the homeowner or resident completely. So, check with your insurance company to find out what they allow you to do with the claim money and whether you will receive it directly.

Will Insurance Cover A 15-Year-Old Roof?

Depending on the insurance company and the policy you have, most insurance companies will cover roofs that are 15 years old. However, the companies will not simply cover any damage that occurs, especially to an older roof.

Oftentimes, your annual insurance premium will increase as the age of the roof increases. That way, insurance companies feel safer offering coverage that will cost the company a great deal of money. If, when buying or renewing an insurance policy, your roof is older than the company feels comfortable with, the insurer may decline your insurance request or refuse to renew your old insurance policy.


In short, accidents happen. Your roof may be the victim of a strong windstorm, an unexpected fire, or any other mishap. Having the right insurance policy that will provide you with the coverage you need is imperative. So, determine what amount of coverage you need, what type of coverage would be best for the area you live in, and what rates will be the best for your needs.

After you have determined the coverage you need, take precautions so your roof is prepared for future damage and act quickly after your roof is damaged to ensure your insurance will cover the repairs. By taking these steps, you will be better prepared to deal with any insurance hassles or roof damage that might occur over time.