Buying a policy
Replacement cost or actual cash value
Some policies pay up to the full cost to repair your roof at current prices. This is called replacement cost coverage. Some policies pay less if the roof is older or showing wear. This is called actual cash value coverage.
When you renew your policy, check to see if there are changes to your roof coverage. As roofs age, some companies will switch to actual cash value. And if your roof is in poor condition, your company might not cover your roof at all. Your company should tell you when they change your coverage. Learn about replacement cost and actual cash value.
A deductible is an amount you must pay before your company pays. Ask your agent if the deductible for wind and hail damage is different than the deductible for other types of damages. If it is, you might pay more out-of-pocket if your roof is damaged in a storm.
Filing a claim
You can file a claim if a storm, tree, or something else damaged your roof. If you have replacement cost coverage, the company will pay with two checks. The first check will be a partial payment. Your company will send the rest of your claim amount after you’ve started repairs.
Remember, your insurance company won’t pay for a new roof just because it’s old or worn out.
Replacing your roof
Consider using roofing materials less likely to be damaged by wind, hail, or fire. Your insurance company might give you a discount for using them.
Read our tips on hiring a good contractor and avoiding scams.
Maintaining your roof
Your insurance company will inspect your roof when you apply for insurance. They may charge you more or refuse to insure you based on what they see. Use this checklist to keep your roof in good shape:
- Remove tree limbs hanging over or near your roof.
- Check your roof for missing or damages shingles after a storm.
- Check your chimney for loose bricks that might fall on your roof.
- Keep gutters clean to keep water from damaging your roof.
- Hire a roof inspector every few years to find issues early.