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Ask a Pro: Does Homeowner’s Insurance Offer Roof Leak Coverage

Posted April 3, 2020 by Patrick Morin
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Homeowner’s insurance and what it covers leads to a labyrinth of questions. Part of the responsibility of owning a home requires you to make sure that the roof over your head is in top shape and well maintained. There are times when your roof will inevitably take some damage, compromising it. Often times these problems show up in the form of leaks in your home. Now the question is, does homeowner’s insurance offer roof leak coverage? The short answer is: it depends on your insurance. Here is a breakdown of what your insurance can and cannot cover.

Roof Leak Coverage? It Depends

Most home insurance providers offer different types of coverages. These coverage plans are dependant on your insurance company, your locale, and your premium. Like most insurance clauses, there are specific instances that warrant coverage for your roof leaks. Such cases are known as “Covered Perils.”

What is a Covered Peril?

A covered peril is defined as hazards or events that create damage to your home. While the fine print for most of these perils is subjective to the insurance company, most policies cover natural damages. These covered perils include the following.

Fire & SmokeLightning Strikes
Windstorms and hailExplosion
Vandalism and mischiefDamage from Automation
TheftFalling Objects
Weight of ice, snow or sleetWater Damage

There are other hazards and events that can constitute a covered peril. For more information on covered perils, click here

What Type of Insurance Coverage Cover Roof Leaks?

Coverage A (Dwelling Coverage)

roof leak coverage

Dwelling Coverage is a home insurance policy that helps protect the home’s overall structure. This usually includes roof repairs, perils, and other causes of damage. Many homes in the Pacific Northwest are surrounded by trees. Assuming you have Dwelling Coverage included in your insurance plan, should strong winds bring a heavy branch down on your roof, your Insurance company can help cover the costs. This is a notable difference from your standard home insurance. 

Dwelling coverage is a purchasable coverage that is usually equal to the cost of rebuilding your home in the event of a “complete loss.” This amount is not equivalent to the market value of your home as your home’s price is subject to market values. Instead, this coverage focuses more on rebuilding costs, which account for local construction and materials. This coverage, like most homes, is unique to the homeowner. Contact your homeowner’s insurance provider for more details.

The Run Down

In summary, unless your roof leak is caused by what is defined as a “covered peril,” and you hold a dwelling insurance coverage plan, chances are the insurance company will not cover your roof leaks. On the flip side, your repairs should be covered if you notice that your roof is coming into contact with any of the aforementioned hazards, and you have dwelling insurance. This is assuming your insurance company has reason to believe that your roof leak is a result of a peril that has hit your home. To help you better understand the complexities of dwelling coverage, here are some made-up scenarios.

Scenario #1:

Terry owns a two-story home in Portland, Oregon. The weather is wet and rain has been coming down per usual, but no sign of hail or heavy windstorms. Terry has asphalt shingles on his roof, lives in the suburbs with no trees nearby, and has dwelling coverage in his home owner’s insurance plan. One day he notices water and mold beginning to pool on his bathroom ceiling, which eventually begins to leak. He calls his insurance company, asking if roof leak coverage is available to him. They inform him of his policy and specify that they can only cover it if there was reason to believe the leak was caused by a “peril.” Soon thereafter, an insurance inspector comes and performs a thorough inspection. The insurance representative informs him that the shingles located above his bathroom ceiling have shifted due to roof moss, which is not a covered peril. Terry promptly calls Roof Life for moss removal and general repairs.

Key Points:

  • Roof Leaks were caused by roof moss, which was not a covered peril.
  • There was no hail or heavy windstorms as of late, which is a covered peril.

Scenario #2:

Tamara owns a two-story home in Portland, Oregon. The weather has transformed from heavy rain to hail and heavy windstorms. Tamara holds dwelling insurance coverage, has asphalt shingles for her roof and lives in a neighborhood with quite a few trees surrounding her home.  Knowing better than to go outside, Tamara wisely decided to stay home and wait it out. Soon she notices a puddle of water forming in her bathroom floor, which is caused by a roof leak. She calls up her insurance company who informs her that she has dwelling coverage in the event that a “peril” has caused her leak. Soon, an inspector comes to the property, analyzes the roof, and tells her that her roof has sustained some damage. He details that strong winds may have caused an uplifted shingle and hail damage to the underlayment. Dismayed, but determined, Tamara calls up Roof Life of Oregon for general roof repair and shingle replacement with her coverage in hand.

Key Points:

  • Tamara’s roof damage was caused by a “covered peril” which was the hail and windstorm
  • Tamara held dwelling insurance, which helped cover the costs of her roof leak.

In short, unless you have a Dwelling Coverage included in your plan, your insurance may not cover the cost of your roof. Assuming you do have Dwelling Coverage and you’ve noticed a leak forming in your home, your coverage is only activated when there is reason to believe that the leak was caused by a “Covered Peril”.

Need to Know For Sure?

If you are experiencing a roof leak in your home and would like to know if it is because of a “covered peril,” call the experts here at Roof Life of Oregon for a FREE roof inspection! With over 37+ years of experience in the industry, we can assure you that we have seen almost every scenario played out with homeowner’s insurance. Since we started, we have resolved thousands of roof leak cases around the Pacific Northwest. Roof Life is specially equipped to handle your case with professionalism, experience, and expert advice. If you’re looking to get client-focused help to ensure you get the most out of your roofing troubles, call us today!

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