Does your insurance cover emergency roof repairs

Published: 24th January 2008
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Does your insurance cover Roseville roof repair

As homeowners, we are not always protected from the weather conditions that may be prone to the area we live in. Anything from rains, snow, frost, humidity and storms, we have to be ready to protect our home. Your roofing insurance coverage may be able to provide the coverage for several roof damages. When you obtain the insurance, it is always wise to check with your insurance agent about your policy's coverage as it relates to roofing insurance claims, and what is covered in the case of loss.

Homeowner's policies do not contain coverage for "match" issues. Your policy says the company will pay "to repair or replace the damaged property with material of like kind and quality" (language varies by state). That means, they owe to replace the individual shingles or tiles that were damaged by a covered peril (wind, hail, etc) unless your shingles are old, brittle, and cannot be repaired. In that case, the company must pay to replace the affected slope(s). Over the years, lawsuits established precedents, claims settlement statutes in each state. These guidelines address match as well as other issues. In some states it is customary to replace only the individual shingles, unless there is a reparability issue or mechanical mismatch which makes it impossible. In some states, it is customary to replace only the slopes containing damage. In other states, line-of-sight guidelines prevail, this allows replacement of roof covering on one or more elevations. Please check with your agent for more details.

If the shingles that are currently on your roof are no longer manufactured, the company is responsible for replacing your entire roof. But if your shingles are manufactured and do not match the existing shingles due to weathering, the company is only responsible for replacing the damaged shingles, not the whole roof.

Some homeowners insurance make adverse underwriting decisions based on the make up or condition of the roof of a home. The type of roofing materials include, but are not limited to: wood roofs, multi-layered roofs (composition shingles over wood or several layers of composition shingles), asbestos shingles, and sheet tin or aluminum roofs.

Here are some tips to reduce potential damages and home insurance premiums, when it comes to roofing:

Hailstorms do not usually result in the catastrophic damage associated with windstorms or fire. However, hail does result in significant damage to homes. The main area of a home susceptible to hail damage is the roof. The following are ways that can help mitigate damage in the event of hail:

1. Roof Covering - The condition and materials of the roof covering can improve the impact resistance. Worn asphalt shingles are especially vulnerable to hail damage. Impact-resistant roof coverings designed and tested to improve roof performance during hailstorms are available.

2. Roof Decking - The roof decking provides the structural support for the roof covering. Solid roof decking improves the impact resistance of the roof. Material and construction techniques can improve the stiffness of the roof decking and help reduce hail damage.

3. Roof Slope - Angling the roof reduces the force of impact from hail. Hail hitting the roof at a 90-degree angle causes more damage than hail hitting the roof at an angle that deflects the force of the hail.

Hurricane/ Tornado

The main areas of a home that could be improved to help mitigate damages and losses in the event of a hurricane are the roof, the windows, the doors, and garage doors (if present). Hurricane loss mitigation efforts should typically attempt to prevent a structure from being penetrated by the wind. Keeping the roof intact, and keeping the doors and windows sealed shut are of utmost importance.

Roof - The type and condition of roof can be a significant factor in the amount of damage sustained by a structure in a hurricane or tornado. For instance, gable roofs are more likely to suffer damage from the high wind generated by hurricanes/tornados. Also, the quality of the construction can affect the performance of the roof in high winds. When the roof decking is not properly attached to the roof frame, the roof may not survive high winds.

Loose shingles or tiles increase the susceptibility of the roof to high winds. Once the roof structure is compromised, the integrity of the roofing is weakened and the interior of the house and its contents become susceptible to water damage or even the collapse of the roof itself. Loose tiles and shingles also become dangerous projectiles in the high winds.


The two main areas of a home that could be improved to help mitigate damages and losses in the event of a wildfire are the roof covering, and landscaping. Fire loss mitigation efforts should typically attempt to prevent a structure from catching fire. Proper landscaping can keep the fire from getting close enough to the structure to ignite it, while proper roof covering can help prevent ignition from floating embers.

Roof Covering - The type of roof covering will depend on the other perils a home faces. Concrete or tile roofs are very fire resistant, but can be prone to hail damage. An asphalt shingle with good fire rating is often the most cost-effective choice a homeowner has. Wood shakes or shingles are to be avoided for homes exposed to wildfire, as these roofs are the most fire prone.

Winter Freeze

The easiest and most effective way to reduce potential loss from winter freeze is to conduct regular maintenance on your home and property. You should be aware of the potential hazards of seasonal temperature changes, and protect your home accordingly. The major areas of concern should be gutters, outdoor faucets, the maintenance of appropriate indoor and attic temperatures, as well as that landscape, whose proximity to your home might pose a winter freeze-related danger.

Gutters - To prevent or lessen the possible impact of a winter freeze, gutters should be cleared of debris and flushed out with a garden hose. This will help prevent ice dams from forming at the base of the roof, and in the gutter area.

We don't always know when Mother Nature will send forth her fury, but we can be prepared for unexpected disasters. Review your homeowners' coverage every year and talk to your insurance agent if you have questions. Don't compound the disaster of losing your home by not having adequate insurance coverage to replace it.

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