Insurance Insights

Homeowners Insurance and Roof Storm Damage | 5 Things You Need to Know

5 minute read time

Weather events and storms can damage your home’s roof and also impact your home’s interior. To ensure you are prepared in the unfortunate event of storm damage, we’ve provided answers to the 5 most common roof storm damage questions.

1. Does my homeowners insurance cover storm damage to my roof?

Typically, yes. It will depend on your policy, but homeowners insurance usually covers: 

  • Wind damage
  • Hail damage
  • Damage from fallen objects, like tree limbs
  • Resulting interior damage from storm damage to your roof

So, let’s say strong winds blow shingles off your roof and the opening in the roof causes rainwater to leak into your bathroom and damages the wall. Your homeowners insurance will likely cover the storm damage to your roof and the resulting damage to your bathroom wall.

However, if the leak in your roof is not from storm-created damage, you may not have coverage for your roof. This is because homeowners insurance is designed to respond primarily to sudden events, such as wind and hailstorms. Aging, regular upkeep or maintenance are not covered by a homeowners policy.

2. What do I need to do after I find roof damage from a recent storm?

  • Take photos before and during clean up
    If you or a contractor begin any clean up prior to an inspection by a claim representative, consider taking photos. This might include shingles in the yard, hailstones to document size, damage to trees or personal property, etc. If emergency repairs are necessary, make sure you or your contractor document the scene with photos. 
  • Do your best to prevent damage in the meantime
    Your home is likely your most valuable asset and we know you want to keep it that way. Use of a tarp on the roof and consider other temporary emergency repairs to prevent further damage. If necessary, you may consider contacting a contractor to assist with these temporary repairs. 
  • Submit your insurance claim
    During this process, it's time to call your insurance agency to submit a claim.

If you involve a contractor in this process, please ask them to take photos of the damage and to provide an itemized estimate of what needs to be repaired.

3. Why does somebody need to evaluate my roof damage?

Claims professionals are well-versed in roof damage research and know what to look for when they evaluate a roof with potential storm damage. The goal of an initial evaluation is to do the best with the information available to assess the damages.

Roofers and contractors also evaluate roofs, but may not have the experience or training in identifying storm-caused damage. So, if you’re considering asking a contractor to help inspect your roof damage ask about the roofer's credentials for storm damage inspections and know that a claim representative will still need to do an inspection.

Vet any contractor you hire.

  • Before reaching out to a contractor for help with your roof, do some research. 
  • Make sure they’re licensed and insured 
  • Look up local contractors on the Better Business Bureau 
  • Ask local friends and family about roofers and contractors they recommend 
  • Contact your local Home Builders Association

4. Can I fix my roof myself?

First, please don’t start repairing your roof until a claim representative has inspected it. It’s a policy requirement.

If your damage is covered, your claim will include funds for professional installation or repairs, subject to the terms and conditions of the policy. It’s not just coverage for the materials.

You can choose to install your own roof. However, please make sure your insurance company has inspected your roof damage first. Also, the claim amount you may receive will be adjusted since you are not paying for professional installation.

5. Why did my neighbor’s insurance replace their roof but my insurance didn’t replace mine?

All roofs weather a storm differently. So, it is possible your neighbor’s roof may have damage, but your roof may have none. Your insurance company can only make decisions based on what the claim representative observes on your roof.

There are several variables that may impact how a roof weathers a storm: 

  • Age of the roof 
  • Amount of debris built up
  • Animal access 
  • How the roof is maintained 
  • How the roof was installed 
  • Brand and grade of roof surfacing materials
  • Style and slope of the roof structure 
  • Direction the slopes face 
  • What direction the storm came from
  • If the roof has tree cover or other natural shields protecting it from hail and wind

Advisors at Johnson Financial Group are here to help you understand your coverage and the best way to protect you and your assets. Contact an advisor today if you have any questions about your homeowners insurance coverage.

Insurance products are provided by Johnson Insurance Services, LLC. Not FDIC insured, not a deposit, not insured by any federal government agency, not bank guaranteed, may lose value. For your protection, coverage cannot be bound or changed via voicemail and is not effective until confirmed directly with a licensed agent.

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