If you’re a homeowner in Oklahoma, you might be wondering if your homeowner’s insurance will cover a full roof replacement if your roof is leaking. And you’re not alone. This is one of the most common questions we get here at Messick Roofing.
Because Oklahoma weather brings strong winds, heavy rain, hail, tornadoes, and ice, we have roof damage happening around us on a regular basis and, thanks to that, many different kinds of roof leaks. Here are a few questions to answer whether your insurance will cover a roof replacement and help guide you through the process.
Will my insurance cover a roof replacement? Well, yes, but…
First, the answer is yes, homeowner’s insurance generally covers roof leaks. But that’s pretty much only if the leak started suddenly and can be directly attributed to a covered peril. Leaks that are caused by regular wear and tear, or from a roof that’s just too old, aren’t usually covered.
So, that means you need to take note of when the damage to your roof actually happened, because that’s one of the first things that your insurance company will want to know. Start documenting with photos the second you notice a leak. Documenting how your leak is tied to a recent peril is the easiest way to ensure your insurance company covers it.
How much will my insurance pay for a roof replacement?
That depends entirely on what kind of insurance policy you have, a full replacement policy or an actual cash value policy.
A full replacement policy pays out based on the actual amount of what it will cost to repair or replace your roof. On the other hand, an actual cash value policy will compensate you only for what the roof was worth at the time of the loss, taking into account depreciation.
So with a full replacement policy, it’s likely your homeowner’s insurance will cover the cost of the roof, less your deductible. But with an actual cash value policy, the age of your roof will drastically affect how much of the cost they’ll cover.
How can I tell where my roof leak is coming from?
You can do a fairly basic visual inspection yourself, says State Farm:
“A simple visual inspection of roof shingles — while standing safely on the ground — can help you identify spots where the roof might be wearing unevenly or where shingles are missing or damaged. Gutters and downspouts should be in good condition and kept free of debris that may prevent water from draining off the roof.”
You can also get up on a ladder to take a closer look at damaged areas. Hail damage, for example, can be fairly easy to spot. Look for areas of your shingles that are dinged up or broken, or look at the metal parts of your roof, like the flashing, and see if they’re dented.
Plus, it’s a good idea to check inside your gutters to see if any asphalt granules have washed off your shingles. That can also indicate that there’s been damage.
Should I go ahead and file a claim for my roof regardless?
Not necessarily. You’ll have to meet your deductible before the insurance company will pay out, so if the repairs on your roof are less than your deductible, then it wouldn’t be worth it to open a claim. It could also make your homeowner’s insurance rates go up over the next year, since the company will see that you have a claim on file and may deem your property a higher risk.
If you’re unsure, it’s best to have a professional roofing company come out and take a look at your roof. We can determine whether a repair or a full roof replacement is the better way to go.
We’re also familiar with what the insurance adjusters are looking for, so we can help you interface with your insurance company if you do need to file a claim, and make sure they cover as much of your roof replacement costs as possible.
Plus, there are ways to help mitigate any increase to your deductible. Choosing impact-resistant shingles, for example, can help you get a discount on your homeowner’s insurance when you replace your roof.
How can I keep my roof in good shape?
While your roof will always be subject to the elements, there are steps you can take to keep your roof in good condition:
- Schedule a periodic inspection: Hiring a roof inspector to take a look at your roof every few years could help find issues early. Finding a reputable inspector you can trust is essential — some roofing companies may claim there are issues simply to encourage you to replace your roof.
- Prune nearby trees: A tree too close to a rooftop can cause damage in a couple of ways. If there is a strong wind or ice storm, a tree branch can break, falling on the roof and causing damage to the structure. A tree branch can also rub against the roof for prolonged periods, deteriorating the surface or dislodging shingles. It is best to keep trees too close to a roof trimmed and clear of the area.
- Keep gutters clean: Gutters are meant to carry water — what could be a roof’s biggest enemy — away from the rooftop. If a gutter is filled with leaves or debris that clogs the gutter, water can overflow onto the rooftop, weakening the structure or causing interior leaks.
Digging into roof replacements and insurance coverage can be overwhelming, but you aren’t alone in this process. Messick Roofing & Construction has been providing quality roof replacements to northeastern Oklahoma since 1962, and we’re endorsed by the Oklahoma CIB and ORCA. Give us a call today at (918) 747-7141, and we’ll help you get started.
 Investopedia – Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Roof Replacement?
 The Bennet Law Firm – Roof Repair or Restoration?
 State Farm – How to spot a roof leak and know what to do
 Bankrate – Does home insurance cover roof replacement?