Roof leaks are covered by your insurance company if they are caused by a covered peril named in your policy. For example, hailstorms, wind and fire are usually covered perils. We are seeing some language in new policies which try to dance around these perils. A notably high amount of new policies in Florida state that if your home has wind damage from a hurricane lets say, there has to be an opening from the inside of the home where you can see the sky. So, for example, if your whole roof is compromised and water is leaking in everywhere your roof will not be covered unless there is a noticeable hole in it. These types of exclusions can be very frustrating and lead people to wonder why they are paying such high rates for hurricane insurance.
Just like in many other claim situations, a roof claim must be positioned properly and if you are unaware of the many statutes put in place to protect the homeowner you will not be indemnified properly. Florida’s building code states that if more than 25% of a roof is damaged, then the entire roof must be brought up to code. If your roof is older, this can mean a full roof replacement. Based on our experience, insurance companies are incentivized to minimize policy holders roof damage claims as much as possible. Many times they claim less than 25% of your roof was damaged, or only 25% of one section was damaged and as an uninformed homeowner, you accept their findings. We can tell you multiple stories, especially after hurricane Irma, of this happening. Hurricane deductibles are much larger than daily claim deductibles and many people were getting checks that would not even cover one square of their leaky roofs. One specific example was a home in Cutler Bay which was over 5000 square feet. They were paid about $20,000 for their entire claim and had a $60,000 deductible. After we were hired, based on that statute, we were able to obtain about $75,000 more for them to replace their full roof. There are other building codes that are in the homeowners favor as well that come into play with a lot of roof claims. Many tiles are discontinued or are of different dye lots. If you can not match the color, or if your tile has been discontinued, the insurance company must pay for the roof to be replaced. Imagine having one section of your roof a different color than another. We could go on and on with stories about types of things like this and hope that you realize that you don’t know what you don’t know. You would not try to do surgery on yourself, so why wouldn’t you hire a claims professional to handle your claim?