Roof insurance claims can be complicated. That's why it's so important to have the right homeowner for your roof.
Replacing a roof is one of the most expensive house projects that a homeowner will encounter. According to Home Counselor the national average 2020 that a homeowner will spend on installing a new roof is more than $ 8,000.
While you can save more than months or years on replacing an old roof, sudden damage from something like a windstorm does not give you that option. Do not wait until you need to file a claim to understand what your policy can – and cannot – pay to replace. Continue reading for general answers to some frequently asked questions. As always, your local Erie Insurance agent can provide you with more specific information (including a free quote tailored to your home).
How does homeowners insurance cover my roof?
Short answer: It depends on your insurance ̵
Longer answer: Buying insurance is about your level of comfort with risk. A cheaper insurance means that you can pay a little less right now, but you can get stuck paying more out of pocket later if you need to file a claim.
With homeowner's insurance, there are different ways to choose to receive compensation when you experience a sudden loss covered by your insurance. It is called your loss settlement option. Simply put, it is how your insurance company estimates the cost of rebuilding, repairing or replacing your things.
At ERIE, coverage for your roof is included in the cost of insuring your home. Loss settlement options for your home may vary by state, so talk to your ERIE agent to better understand your options.
Common loss settlement options for your roof include:
- Actual Cash Value (ACV) which factors affect the roof's age and condition to determine how much it is worth when you make a claim. It is called a depreciation amount. When the bill comes in from the roofers, an ACV policy affects depreciation and only pays up to the amount your roof is currently worth – even if the cost of repairing or replacing your roof is higher than that.
- Compensation cost that pays to repair the damage to your roof without depreciation.
- Functional replacement cost is the amount that it would cost to repair or replace the damaged roof with less expensive common building materials and methods that are functionally equivalent to obsolete, antique or custom building materials and methods.
Other loss settlement options, such as increased replacement cost and guaranteed replacement cost, are also available (and good to have) with your homeowner policy. These are designed to give you an extra pillow if you experience a total loss of your home. In general, they are less likely to kick in if you experience a covered loss of only roof damage.
Not sure what loss settlement option you have? You can find your housing amount and your policy restrictions on your tax return page. (If you are an ERIE customer, it is easy to find in your online account.)
So when it comes to insuring a large investment as your roof – you can see how your option for loss settlement can make a big difference in how you can get back after a loss.
Roof age and insurance
Remember that homeowners' insurance is designed to cover the cost of sudden and unexpected damage. In general, your insurance does not cover damage due to delayed maintenance or routine wear and tear on an old roof.
If your roof is worn or in poor condition, it can be a great financial burden to have a roof covered on an ACV basis. you must apply.
For example, let's say that your roof has seen better days. Then, bam! Lightning strikes and the neighbor's tree falls on your roof. What happens next?
- If it is insured on an ACV basis: If your roof is damaged near the end of its life, you will probably see a larger deduction for depreciation … but you will still get the same bill for what it costs to repair or replace it. It can make you stick to paying the difference out of pocket.
- With replacement cost: There is no deduction for depreciation. This means that you can pay a little more in premiums for that insurance (versus ACV) – but you will not incur out-of-pocket costs
One way to make a replacement cost policy cheaper is to increase your deductible. Your deductible is the amount you pay in your pocket after a liability for damages and before your insurance company pays its share.
Ask your insurance agent to show you the cost difference with different deductibles so you can decide which dollar amount is best for your budget. .
What makes ERIE's coverage different?
E ach insurance companies cover roof damage in different ways. It pays to understand how your policy works so that you do not encounter any surprises after you have to submit a claim.
Here are some factors – known as "regulations" – to look for:
- Ceiling Payment Plan or a breakdown of how your insurance company would pay for a roof requirement based on factors such as the age of the roof. (At ERIE, roof losses are paid based on the loss settlement you choose for your home.)
- Mandatory deductible or an amount that you must meet before the insurance company covers your claim. (ERIE allows you to choose your deductible for your home and property based on what is convenient for your budget.)
- Deductible for wind or hail or a separate dollar amount applicable for loss caused by wind or hail. Some carriers may require a higher deduction for wind or hail without you choosing. At ERIE, there is an optional customization that can help you lower your premium.
Applying for a home insurance claim for roof damage
Uncertainty is a part of life – but that's why you have insurance. If you think your roof is damaged and you are considering claiming, do the following:
- Prevent further damage. Once the scene has calmed down (like a hailstorm), take steps to prevent further damage to your home and belongings if it is safe to do so.
- Document what happened. Take pictures of the damage and list what was affected. (An updated home inventory can be helpful here.) List all dates or time frames for the event.
- Call your insurance agent. Your agent can explain your options and help you understand if and how to make a claim.
- Know how to detect a scam. Sometimes deceptive or dishonest entrepreneurs – known as "storm hunters" – dive for severe weather. Stormtroopers can point out existing damage, create their own damage or say that there is damage when it does not exist. Learn the signs for spotting hail and tips for hiring a reputable contractor.
Homeowners Insurance That Protects You Without Surprises
If you are unsure what your home insurance can cover – and what it cannot – ask your agent. Or you can request a home insurance contract from a local ERIE agent near you
Then relax and enjoy more of what makes you and your family happy knowing your home, the investments you made in your home and the things you value most are protected.