Here in Miami, we all probably know someone who has had to deal with the insurance companies over storm damage to their home. As we recently saw on Wednesday, August 2, even a relatively small weather system like Tropical Storm Emily (technically downgraded to a tropical depression at that point) can cause major damage. As the forecast is showing, we’re not done with hurricane season quite yet. Not even close, since forecasters are expecting an very active season as the waters warm up.
Not surprisingly, one of the questions I get asked most often as an attorney whose cases often revolve around storm damage is “does my insurance cover damage that my roof sustains during a storm?” In fact, because the roof is susceptible to damage from high winds, hail, lightning strikes, and falling debris, one of my primary jobs as an attorney who handles insurance litigation is to get the insurance companies to cover the costs of various types of damage. You’d be surprised by what they try to get away with (or maybe not; they’re insurance companies, after all).
While I’d like to be able to tell every single person who has asked me this question, “yes, your insurance policy will cover your damaged roof in full,” in reality, it’s a much more nuanced issue. The fact of the matter at hand is that the fight to get the insurance company to cover the cost of your damaged roof begins the moment you pick a policy and sign on the dotted line. Without studying your policy in depth, the most I can say is, “it depends…
On Your Roof’s Age
If your roof is under ten years old, most claims will be covered in full. However, roofs that are any older might only be covered partially or not at all. Some insurance companies will even refuse to write new contracts for homes with roofs over 20 years old. The reason for this is that older roofs are more likely to sustain serious damage during storms.
On the Source of Damage
Most home insurance policies cover damage from large storms like hurricanes and tornadoes. But whether your roof is covered when excessive rain, wind, or hail occurs depends on the language of your policy.
On How Well You Maintain Your Roof
Many insurance claims are denied or only partially covered because the insurance company deems the damage to have been preventable with proper maintenance. One common example that many homeowners face is a roof that leaks. When you have a leaky roof, the water can damage wood floors, carpets, electronics, and even the foundation of your home.
You might think that you know what your home insurance policy covers, but because insurance policies are intentionally long, convoluted, and filled with jargon, you could easily be mistaken. If you want to protect your home and make sure that your insurance company does its job, call the insurance experts at RRBH Law. We understand that no two cases are alike and will help you protect your home. Call today if and we can help you right from the start to work with reputable contractors who will fully assess the extent of your damage. If your storm damage claim has been denied, then RRBH Law can work with your insurance company on your behalf to help you receive the compensation you and your family deserve.