Does homeowners insurance cover roof leaks?

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A:

Roof leaks are covered under all perils homeowners insurance policies if the leak was caused by an act of nature.

Acts of Nature

Acts of nature include things such as storms, hail, ice buildup and fallen trees. These events happen suddenly and by accident. An insurance policy would cover roof leaks caused by these events if you have an all perils policy. For a named peril policy, such an event would need to be specifically listed on your declarations page.

Neglect

Neglect and a lack of maintenance is where there are likely to be problems when you file a claim with your insurance company. If the roof is 30 years old and has missing shingles, this is considered neglect and a lack of basic maintenance.

Report roof leaks to your insurance company as soon as you discover them. If you wait a prolonged period of time before filing a claim, subsequent damage such as mold – or the entire claim – could be denied by your insurance carrier.

Prevention

Allstate recommends that you have your roof inspected twice a year by a licensed professional. In reality, that may be costly. The age limit of your roof depends on the type of roof material used on your home. Speak with your homeowners insurance agent to determine the average age at which others with similar types of roofs end up replacing them or beginning to have costly repairs.

The location of your home should help determine the type and quality of your roof. In a northern climate, you want to protect your home against the forces of snow and ice, while a roof in a tropical climate requires protection from high winds.

By properly selecting, protecting and maintaining your roof, you can ensure that if an accident does happen, it will be covered under your all perils homeowners insurance policy.


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