Florida is the state in the US with the highest risk of being hit by a hurricane. Miami has the highest chance of being hit by a hurricane at 16% followed by the Key West region. Both of these cities rated the highest in the states are located in Florida.
So, where does this leave homeowners in the region? How do you pick yourself up and continue after the damage caused by to your property and especially to the roof?
The question whether homeowners insurance covers roof damage is one that many people in the region wrestle with. With roof damage your home might be exposed to further water damage raising the claims. Roof damage also leaves you vulnerable and the integrity of your home is affected.
Many insurance providers pay special consideration to the roof when they are giving homeowners insurance. Inspections need to be carried out to ensure that your roof structure is strong. Some insurance providers may even refuse to give homeowners insurance if you have an old roof, usually more than 20 years old.
What is Covered?
When a hurricane happens, damage may occur to your roof because of the wind. Most homeowners insurance will cover damage to the roof that is caused by vandalism, fire and “acts of God” which include storms and hurricanes. Damage caused by winds is therefore covered by homeowners insurance. Most of the damage that occurs during hurricanes to the roof is due to the strong winds.
If the winds carries debris like rocks and branches which cause damage to your home, that damage will be covered for by your policy. Further when the damage to the roof is due to wind and then water damage the items in the house that kind of damage should also be covered by the homeowners insurance.
If the hurricane causes flooding, then the damage due to flooding is not covered. You can decide to pay for another deductible to cover damage caused by flooding. It is important to read your policy document and ask all the relevant questions when you are applying for homeowners insurance.
Will the Insurance Cover Leaks?
Many homeowners are left with leaks after a hurricane happens. Leaks can cause extensive water damage to your home if they are not taken care of immediately. Homeowners insurance will cover leaks if they were caused by the hurricane and not for any other reason.
If you have had leaks in your home prior to the hurricane, those leaks will not be covered. Only those leaks that were sudden will be covered.
It is therefore imperative that you protect your roof from leaks. This is done simply by regular maintenance practices and carrying out simple repairs where damage has occurred. If the damage is from a peril that you have insured against then the damage should be covered to keep your roof strong and protective.
Exclusions and Limitations
If your roof gets cosmetic damage after a hurricane, this type of damage will not be covered. This is slight damage that doesn’t affect the integrity of the structure or cause water leakage. However it affects the aesthetics of your roof because it might get some small nicks and dents.
If you have an old roof usually above 20 years, you might only be covered under an actual cash value policy. This means that the insurance will pay for the value of the roof after 20 years of depreciation. You will cater for the rest out of your pocket.
If you have an ancient roof it might be time to replace it with a modern one which is storm proofed to get better terms on your homeowners insurance and lower deductibles.