The easiest way to find out what is covered under your homeowners’ insurance policy, and what is not, is to contact your insurance provider and refer to your written policy. Coverage will depend upon the cause of the roof damage, the age of your roof, what area you live in, and many other factors, so it is important to understand the specifics of your policy.
Our Miami property damage lawyers know how there are numerous ways your roof can be damaged, including hurricanes, fires, wind, rain, and hail. Roof damage is experienced at high rates in South Florida and many homeowners are unaware of their rights to roof repair or replacement.
Most homeowners’ insurance policies will cover roof damage caused by storm damage. Depending upon your insurance policy, the roof’s full replacement cost will often be covered, regardless of the age of the roof. For instance, if your 15 year old shingle roof that is in fine condition becomes damaged by a storm, your policy will often allow for complete replacement of the roof, without deducting for depreciation. Roof damage due to unpreventable reasons, such as vandalism or fire, is also usually covered.
Not all policies or all circumstances will allow for full replacement costs. Some policies will take into account the age of your roof at the time it is damaged. For example, if your roof is ten years old, you may be covered for the cost of repairing or replacing the damaged section of the roof in its entirety. If your roof is over ten years old, you may be reimbursed for the depreciated value of the damaged roof. The depreciated value will take into account the aging and wearing of the roof before the damage occurred.
In most cases, an inspector will be sent to your home to investigate the claim. If the inspector determines the damage stems from wear and tear or natural aging, it could be considered a maintenance problem and not be covered under your policy. You can contest this determination with the assistance of a licensed homeowners’ insurance attorney.
In some instances, water due to flooding or surface water may be covered under a different, additional policy. For instance, mold caused by a continued roof leak may not be covered under your insurance policy, but could fall under an additional policy. It is important that if you are experiencing roof damage, you contact the insurance company as soon as possible. Remove any furniture and belongings that could be damaged by the leaking roof and perform any other basic mitigation necessary to avoid further damage.
Replacing a roof can be time consuming and expensive. For this reason, it is important to take certain steps to prevent damage from occurring in the first place:
- Have your roof inspected by a trained professional who will be able to identify areas that may need immediate repair.
- Replace any worn or broken shingles. Consider installing impact resistant shingles, which will come with an additional upfront cost but are designed to resist damage from heavy objects and could save you money in the long run.
- Remove any dead trees around your property that could potentially fall on your home.
Greenberg Stone and Urbano: Assisting with All Homeowners’ Insurance Issues and Claims
Experiencing property damage is a stressful occurrence, potentially leaving you unable to live in your home and causing great financial loss. The Miami Homeowners’ Insurance Attorneys at Greenberg Stone and Urbano have assisted homeowners across the state in all matter of homeowners’ insurance related issues. For over 130 collective years, our dedicated attorneys have assisted clients across South Florida, earning us an AV rating from Martindale Hubbell and recognition as one of South Florida’s top firms by the Miami Herald. Allow us to put our experience to work for you. Call us at (888) 499-9700 or (305) 595-2400 or visit our website to schedule your initial consultation.