Your home is likely the most significant financial investment you’ll make in your life. With the honor of homeownership come the certainties of maintenance and repairs. Unexpected roof repairs or replacements can be the most costly expense a homeowner will face.
To answer the question—does Indiana homeowner insurance cover roof damage or replacement?—the answer is yes. But it depends on numerous factors.
We’ve created this guide to help Indiana homeowners better understand their roof coverage options. By learning how different insurance policies handle roof damage, you’ll be better prepared should the unexpected happen.
How Does Homeowner Roof Coverage Work?
There are numerous types of home insurance policies—each with unique fundamental coverage, inclusions, and exclusions. Every policy allows coverage around a set of perils.
What Are Perils?
Perils are another word for damage from events that could threaten your home. They could include weather events or harm caused by other people’s actions—intentional and accidental. Policies have several ways of identifying what types of perils are included in repairs.
To understand how homeowner insurance affects your roof coverage, we’ll focus on the four main types of insurance for single-family homes.
4 Primary Types of Homeowner Insurance
The following forms of insurance policies are for single-home coverage.
1. Basic Form
Understanding basic form insurance provides a foundation for understanding how other homeowner policies are organized. Because of its limitations, homeowners rarely choose basic form coverage.
A basic form policy covers a limited list of 10 perils. These include damage caused by fire, an explosion, theft, and vandalism, among others. This type of policy is distinct in that it only covers this narrow, specific list.
2. Broad Form
Many homeowners carry a broad form policy. This is similar to basic form in that both are called named-form policies—meaning they only cover what is specifically mentioned.
In addition to the 10 perils covered in basic form, a broad form policy covers six more perils which may or not be relevant depending on the area. These additional perils include:
- Damage from sleet, snow, or ice
- Damage caused to your home by the accidental breakdown of a major appliance (for instance, if your water heater bursts). Note that this coverage doesn’t include the appliance in question, only the damage it caused to the rest of your home.
- Damage from freezing
- Water damage
- Electrical power surges
- Volcanic eruptions
A broad form policy will cover your roof only with the 16 specific perils included.
3. Special Form
A special form policy is the most common policy homeowners choose. These are often called all-risk, all-peril, or open-peril policies.
It’s vital for every homeowner to understand that even though this type of policy offers a much wider range of protection, these policies still come with an extensive list of exclusions.
All-perils insurance automatically covers every form of damage except for those excluded. The term all-perils simply means the specific damage does not have to be among any list of inclusions. But if it is a specifically mentioned exclusion, it won’t be covered.
These policies can also include:
- Liability for other people’s injury on your property
- Loss-of-use, if you have to leave your home during repairs or as a result of damage
Your roof damage will be covered for any peril it sustains unless it is mentioned explicitly under exclusions.
4. Comprehensive Form
A comprehensive insurance policy is usually reserved for a unique class of homes with a very high appraised value that also contains valuable personal property. Not every home can qualify for comprehensive coverage. And these policies only make sense if the replacement value of personal property, in addition to the value of the home, validates your need for extra protection.
A comprehensive form policy will cover your roof under any kind of peril except for the same type of exclusions found in a special form. In this instance, coverage is for a much higher cost repair or replacement.
Understanding Exclusions: What Conditions Might Mean My Roof Isn’t Covered?
In most cases, the list of perils determines whether your homeowner insurance covers roof replacement. Every policy has additional exceptions you need to know. The following are some of the most commonly listed conditions where your roof may not be covered.
1. Wear and Tear
General wear and tear damage to your roof happens over time and is usually treated as your responsibility.
2. Preventable Causes
Most homeowners think of insurance coverage as peace of mind in case a tree falls on their home or something like that. Even unexpected perils like this may not be covered if your insurance provider feels the damage could have been prevented by proper maintenance.
If you have trees near your home where limbs are close enough to cause damage, your insurance provider may deny a claim should they decide the damage would never have occurred if proper maintenance had been applied.
In addition, if roof damage causes flooding or other issues to your home, and the insurance provider views that damage as preventable, they may not cover it either.
3. Minor Cosmetic Damage
Even with a major weather event, if your roof is only marginally damaged, your policy may not cover it. Surface or cosmetic damage could mean a handful of shingles were blown off, but there was no significant damage.
Most policies will not cover any damage to your roof if it is 20–25 years old. This means that regardless of your coverage, an older roof may be your responsibility to repair or replace, no matter what perils may come.
It is possible your homeowner’s insurance covers replacing old roofs if they have been inspected and well-maintained before you take the policy out.
What Other Exclusions Do I Need to Know About?
If your roof is covered under your insurance policy, there’s a possibility it is only partially covered.
While some policies will cover the entire cost for repairs or replacement, others may consider the current market value, any depreciation from your roof’s prior condition, and age.
The best scenario is when a policy covers replacement cost value (RCV) as opposed to actual cash value (ACV)—the latter meaning any depreciated value or lack of maintenance is not covered under their terms.
Damage to other parts of your home directly related to your roof may not be covered if your carrier decides it was preventable by maintenance or repairs unrelated to a covered peril.
The Importance of Regular Roof Inspections and Maintenance
In 1735, Benjamin Franklin published a letter with a now-famous quote. Regarding the public protection of property from fire damage, Franklin said, “…An Ounce of Prevention is worth a Pound of Cure…”
As a homeowner, your ounce of prevention necessitates keeping an eye on the condition of your roof and its age. These greatly impact the usefulness of your current insurance policy and will inform you of possible plans you need to make to protect your investment.
DMG Exteriors offers roof inspection, repair, and replacement services in Indiana. Like a well-built roof, we believe that being reliable and providing the best service are foundational qualities that weather time.
What If My Policy Doesn’t Cover My Roof?
If your roof needs attention but isn’t covered under your insurance policy, we are pleased to offer you the industry’s best financing options. DMG Exteriors can help you ensure that you get the roofing repair or replacement you need as quickly as possible.
DMG Is Ready to Serve Your Needs
Whether you just need us to replace a few shingles or install an entirely new roof, DMG looks forward to the honor of providing you with our best service. Get in touch with us today or call us at (877) 286-7350 to schedule a free quote!