What Type of Roof Damage Is Eligible For An Insurance Claim?
Many homeowners with insurance policies have confidence in their provider to fix or pay for any damage done to their homes, including their roofs. What they don’t know, however is that not all damage is covered by all insurance companies.
And when it comes to roof damage in South Florida, insurance companies are not exactly happy about it. The recent increase in hurricanes has subjected them to huge losses through consistent claims. This has also put homeowners in a tight spot, causing a huge increase in insurance rates.
Thankfully, the new homeowner insurance amendments in South Florida have reduced the burden that homeowners bear.
Standard Homeowner Insurance in South Florida
The standard homeowner insurance policy varies in the sense that no company’s specifications are the same. Hence, the need to pay attention and read every line thoroughly and go for what you deem best for you.
Typically, the homeowner insurance should cover your home repair or reconstruction cost and personal property loss suffered in the cause of the accident. The standard homeowner insurance covers dwelling which is where structural damage, your roof included, personal property, other structures which accommodate your garage if detached, personal liability, medical payments, and additional expenses.
Although roof damage is covered by the standard homeowner insurance in Florida, the requirements that qualify you for a claim are complex.
Roof Damage Covered by South Florida Insurance Policy
Ideally, roof damage caused by extreme weather conditions like tropical hurricanes and windstorms should be eligible for an insurance claim if your provider can find proof that the damage exists. However, the conditions attached by the new senate bill are different.
A partially damaged roof may qualify for an insurance claim, especially if the material is new. If the number of damage threatens the lifespan of the roofing material, your provider may decide it’s best to replace them entirely.
In Florida, for example, new roofs below ten years of age get a full replacement by your insurance provider, while those over ten years only get a reimbursement amount depending on the specific age and roofing material.
However, when your roof is ruled a total loss, you are eligible for a full replacement provided you file for a claim within two years.
In the new Senate Bill 2D, Governor Ron DeSantis ruled in favor of homeowners and required that insurance companies accept claims for roofs that are 15 years old or have up to 5 years before expiration. Such claims are not without terms and conditions.
Types of Damage Rejected by Insurance Companies in South Florida
Insurance companies in South Florida reject home insurance claims that are based on neglect and sometimes old age.
Wear and tear caused as a result of neglect does not count under the home insurance policy. An insurance provider would be right to deny such a claim because the damage could have been prevented with proper maintenance culture.
Similarly, an insurance company may not issue a policy or approve a claim for your old roof, seeing that the roof will need a replacement in a few years. For example, if your roof is already more than 15, there’s a chance that you will need to replace them in 3-4 years.
Also, if you used very expensive roofing material, confirm with your provider to be sure that your roof is not excluded from your insurance policy.
The Right Way to File an Insurance Claim in South Florida
Homeowners are often disappointed when their insurance provider rejects a claim. It can be frustrating, especially when you have put in so much maintenance work to keep your roof intact.
However, one cannot exactly blame your provider for seeing the state of the insurance industry in Florida over the years. According to several reports from insurance experts across Florida, insurance companies in Florida have been losing billions to claims so they will need supporting evidence before paying for a roof repair or replacement.
What does this mean for you? You have to be able to tie the damage to its true cause. In other words, document every storm or hurricane damage by taking sufficient pictures and keeping repair receipts. This will prove to your insurance provider that your roof damage wasn’t caused by a lack of maintenance.
Your provider will then go ahead to confirm your claim by sending an adjuster to inspect your roof. If they confirm that there is damage, they look into your estimate, scrutinize it and approve your claim.
Things to Consider Before and After Filing a Claim
1. Obey Building Codes
It is important that your building has obeyed the local building codes. In South Florida, certain building codes specify using protective materials to build new houses and retrofit old ones. Adhering to these codes means lower chances of windstorm damage and reduced insurance claims.
If your roof has a hurricane strap, for instance, your insurance provider is likely to consider that the damage did not result from neglect.
2. Beware of Roofing Scam
The second step is to use approved roofing companies to install your roofs. According to numerous reports by insurance experts, roofing scam is one of the major factors crippling the insurance industry in Florida. The Senate Committee led by Boyd has therefore introduced some property insurance amendments to caution homeowners and check local roofing contractors.
Your insurance provider will not approve your claim if their adjuster proves that your roof suffered damage due to poor installation.
3. File a Claim Early
File a claim as quickly as possible. The longer it takes, the easier it is for the insurance company to deny your claim.
4. Avoid Further Damage
Lastly, it’s important to prevent your home from further damage as a provider will not pay for them.
Even if your building obeys all the South Florida building codes, your home is still not fully insulated against the horrible impact of hurricanes and wind storms. So whether you like it or not, you will be dealing with roof damage and at some point an insurance claim.
The best thing you can do is to have a maintenance plan and keep repair receipts.