Jessica Fox Last Updated On: June 27, 2023

Homeowners & Roof Damage Insurance: What You Need to Know?

Your home is likely the biggest investment you’ll ever make, and the roof both helps protect that investment and is part of that investment. A roof is an incredibly important structural component of your home and a damaged roof can very quickly lead to structural, lasting damage to the rest of the home. 

Unfortunately, roofs can very easily be damaged. Damage can come from heavy rain, hail, wind, snow, and falling objects like trees. This damage can affect the structural integrity of your home and cause flooding, mold, and more. 

Roof insurance helps ensure that should damage occur to your roof, you can quickly fix or replace the roof without having to pay for the cost out of pocket. Replacing a roof is a very expensive endeavor and you never want to be in a position where you can’t afford to fix or replace your roof because of the potential damage that can cause to the rest of your home.

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Table of Contents

Roof Insurance Coverage

Most homeowner insurance policies cover roof damage under the dwelling section of coverage. The roof is covered for either named or open perils (your policy will specify which). This means:

  1. Named peril: The insurance policy explicitly names all the perils that are covered under the policy.
  2. Open peril: The policy covers everything except what’s explicitly excluded.

An open peril policy is much more beneficial in terms of coverage, but the premiums are higher. While most policies do include roofs, it’s important to make sure and understand exactly how it’s covered. 

Understanding the Limits of Roof Replacement Insurance Coverage

The age of your roof, for example, is a huge factor in determining your roof repair insurance coverage. The coverage for a roof that’s five years old versus twenty years old can be significantly different. In fact, if your roof is old or neglected, your insurance policy may not cover you for any damage that occurs.

Wear and tear isn’t covered by your roof repair insurance coverage either, so you’ll need to make sure you keep your roof up-to-date in order to ensure your coverage is valid.

If your roof isn’t covered to your satisfaction, many policies give you the option to increase the limit for dwelling coverage or purchase an additional insurance roof replacement endorsement. Both options come with higher premiums but may be worth it in the event of damage. 

Roof Replacement Cost

Roofs are expensive to replace, but it’s a reality of homeownership. Roofs should be replaced every 20-25 years (sooner if any damage occurs), but an inspection can tell you for sure when yours should be replaced.

Older roofs are more vulnerable to damage, so insurance companies may not pay your claim if your roof is out of date. Replacing a roof because of its age is not covered under your homeowner’s insurance; it would only be covered if damage from an open or named peril (whichever you’re covered for) occurred to the roof.

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Home Insurance Roof Leak Coverage

Roof leaks can be a contentious part of your roof replacement insurance coverage. The leak typically needs to be swift and sudden, rather than brought on by years of neglect to your roof, and it needs to be from a covered peril in your policy.

The thing is it can be difficult to prove that the leak was sudden and not caused instead by an aging roof. If you live in a climate with plenty of rain or snowfall, it’s important to keep an eye out for wear and tear that could lead to leakage after a big storm. 

Roof Repair Insurance Coverage Cost

Another factor you should take into consideration is the cost of repairing your roof. Low premiums are great until damage strikes and you have a high deductible to pay in order for your insurance provider to repair your roof. Maintaining your roof regularly can be more affordable than having to pay out-of-pocket should your insurance provider deny your claim. 

It’s also important to note that when it comes time to renew your homeowners insurance, having a roof over 20-years-old might mean that your insurance provider won’t renew your insurance or write a new policy unless your roof passes an inspection.

Protecting Your Roof to Avoid Roof Damage Insurance

Maintaining your roof regularly can help ensure you never need to make a claim against your roof damage insurance and help protect your home. Some tips to maintain and protect your roof include:
  • Have a roof inspection done to make sure it’s in good condition. The inspector can also let you know when you should replace it.
  • Make any necessary repairs as soon as possible so the damage can’t get worse or lead to other problems like leaks or mold.
  • Have pictures of your roof in good condition in case you need them to back up an insurance claim.
  • Prune or move any trees that could fall onto the roof in a bad storm.
  • If you live in an area with bad storms, storm-proof your roof with special shingles.
  • After storms, check your roof for any damage. Make sure it’s free of debris, it doesn’t collect water, and that the shingles are intact.
Preventative maintenance can help ensure you never need to file a claim and, if you do, increase your chances of being fully covered.  

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The Bottomline on Roof Insurance Coverage

Having a roof over your head is important, but you also need a roof that’s structurally sound. Damage to a roof can cause lasting damage to the rest of your home, so it’s important to replace or repair it right away. 

Keeping a roof in good condition will also help you if it comes time to file a roof insurance claim so that you pay as little to nothing out of pocket. Make sure you fully understand the roof insurance coverage in your homeowners insurance so that if damage occurs, you’re fully prepared.


Your roof is typically covered under the dwellings portion of your homeowners insurance, because it’s critical to the structural integrity of your home. Your roof will be covered for either open or named perils and depending on the age of the roof, it may be fully covered or covered under actual cash value for replacement.

Roof leaks may be covered by your homeowners insurance. It depends on what caused the leak and the condition of your roof; if the leak is sudden and caused by a peril that’s covered in your policy (eg. hurricane), then it should be covered. But if the leak is caused by gradual wear and tear on your roof, then it will likely not be covered.

Make sure you keep your roof in well maintained condition and replace it every 20 years or so. This will increase the chance that your insurance company will replace it in the event of any damage. File an insurance claim as soon as possible and gather any supporting evidence of the damage, like before and after pictures.


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