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Does home insurance cover roof repair?

The answer depends on what caused the roof damage. Home insurance does not cover damage due to normal wear and tear. Homeowners bear the financial responsibility to maintain the property, which means replacing old items when they wear out.

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However, if a peril covered by the home insurance policy damaged the roof, then the insurance company would pay for the repair, minus the deductible. Damage from hail, snow and ice, fallen trees and lightning would be covered, for instance.

Contact your insurance agent or company for details and for guidance in filing a claim if the damage is covered. If full roof replacement is in order, ask about home insurance discounts for impact-resistant roofing materials. Some roofing products qualify for discounts because they are less prone than standard shingles to damage from hail, flying debris and wind. Impact-resistant shingles cost more than standard shingles, but with the insurance premium discount, they can pay for themselves in a few years.

Shop carefully for roofers. Ask for recommendations from neighbors and friends. Your insurer can likely also provide a list of preferred contractors. Get at least two written estimates. Make sure the contractor is licensed and the contract spells out all the pertinent details, including the scope of work, cost, guarantees, schedule and other expectations, before you hire a roofer. Don't pay for the job in full or sign a completion statement until the work is finished and an inspection shows it was done properly.

For more, see Home insurance basics.

Last updated: Sep. 22, 2012
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