Wind damage is responsible for a lot of destruction nationwide. Nearly 5% of all households in the United States file a claim for weather-related damage every year. If the home sustains damage due to natural causes such as hail, the homeowners insurance policy will provide protection. Homeowners policies are primarily designed to protect you from “Acts Of God” such as lightning strikes, hail storms, winds, and more.
So, does homeowners insurance cover wind damage to the roof? Yes, homeowners insurance protects you from wind damage on the roof. This will include replacements for shingles, tiles, wood, and other roof materials. If the roof collapses, you are also entitled to a replacement including labor costs and materials. Roof coverage is one of the core benefits of homeowners policies and wind damage is covered as a named peril. There are very few exclusions that apply (listed below).
There are different forms of wind damage and understanding how your homeowners insurance protects you against wind damage is crucial. This guide will look over the coverage benefits for wind damage and optional coverage options that can give you more protection with your insurance provider. Knowing how your HO-3 policy is designed can help you get the benefits you need when it’s time to file a claim.
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Homeowners Insurance For Wind Roof Damage
The homeowners policy has a coverage limit according to A) The current market value of the home or B) the full replacement value irrespective of the market value. This coverage limit is estimated based on the main dwelling which is considered the most important structure on your property. The roof is arguably the most important part of your structure because it protects your home from the elements. It is also the most susceptible to damage. This is why regardless of the cost of the repairs, you’re going to be covered.
Home insurance covers you for hail damage to the roof regardless of the size of the hail. You’ll also be covered for all falling objects such as trees that may collapse on your roof. If high winds carry tree branches and project them onto your roof, you’ll also be covered under a falling objects clause. If the roof of a side structure such as detached garage or a shed is damaged, you can also file a claim but you’ll be entitled to only 10% of the total coverage limit on your main residence.
To file a successful claim for wind damage to the roof, you’ll have to pay a certain deductible before the insurance company pays for the rest. This is a cost that you pay out of pocket before the insurer helps you repair the damaged roof. Learn more about your policy and consult them about your coverage limits to find out if you’re covered in all cases. For instance, if the roof costs $2500 to fix and your deductible is $500, you’ll have to pay $500 before the insurer pays $2000. The only exception is if there are special exclusions for wind/hail damage in your state which may require you to purchase coverage as an add-on to be protected. This is mostly the case in states with a high number of hail damage claims such as Kansas and Oklahoma.
Homeowners Insurance and Roof Leaks
Roof leaks can occur after wind damage if you have openings in certain areas of the roof. As long as the roof leak was caused by winds, hail, or any other natural cause, you will be covered for the repair costs. Each policy lists a number of perils that you can file claims on (including wind) and this means that as long as the wind caused a roof leak, the insurance company will pay for the damage. As mentioned, the only exclusions are in states that have limits on wind coverage and you must purchase those policies as an add-on.
Note that there can be other exclusions. For one, if the roof leak was caused by a lack of maintenance and wear and tear, the insurance company won’t pay for the damage. The insurer expects your roof is kept in top shape and if you knew the roof was flawed before it was damaged (but didn’t fix the damage!), they will refuse to pay your claim. The company only pays out for sudden and unexpected damages that arise from storms and other natural causes.
This means if the roof is aged and you had unresolved maintenance issues, the adjuster will likely find out and they will refuse to pay for the roof leak that ensued after the wind damage. The only way to prevent roof leaks in advance is to consult roofing professionals for routine inspections. Have them check out your roof for every 12 months to find out if you have any leaks.
Roof Protection: Preventive Measures
There are many preventive measures you can take to eliminate the risk of wind damage to the roof. The key here is to prepare in advance before a storm hits. The most important thing you can do is to trim all branches that are sitting on top of your roof. If you have a tree hanging over your house, this is a disaster waiting to happen. All it would take is a few strong winds to collapse the tree and end up collapsing your roof.
While you won’t have to chop down the tree, you can hire loggers to trim the edges and make sure the tree can’t project weight on your roof. If you have any dead or dying trees near your home, make sure to remove them on time because they’ll eventually fall and this might cause damage to a neighbor’s property as well.
To minimize wind damage, reinforce the windows and doors. Hire a professional roofer to inspect your roof and tighten the shingles or replace missing shingles. Check the garage door to see if it closes and opens properly. For side structures, make sure that they’re anchored to the ground property. Optionally, install storm shutters if your state gets hurricanes.