Will insurance cover roof replacement?
How roof insurance works
Roof insurance comes under your house insurance which is there to protect against the big events like fires, earthquakes and floods, as well as smaller accidents like broken windows, fences and burst pipes.
What home insurance doesn’t protect against is gradual damage.
If you think your roof could do with some maintenance, call us. Roofs often lift over time and preventative maintenance is the key to roof insurance. If your roofing nails are bleeding rust and areas are blistering, capping is lifting or flashings are loose, it’s time to get your roof looked at by a professional roofing company: us.
In order to know the maximum they would have to pay for a rebuild, New Zealand insurance companies now require homes to be insured up to a specified amount: Total Sum Insured. In the event of a claim, you will receive no more than the sum insured amount, even if the actual cost of rebuilding your home turns out to be greater.
Homeowners are responsible for setting their own total sum insured amount and ensuring your rebuild cost is kept up to date if renovations or other improvements are made. Your total sum insured also needs to cover retaining walls, recreational features, special features or carpets, decks, demolition and removal costs.
So, is your roof covered if your house is damaged in a storm, fire or earthquake? Will the insurance cover roof replacement? Yes, it will but only if you’ve calculated enough insurance cover to pay for a new roof as part of your Total Sum Insured.
Insurance comes with maintenance obligations which do affect the coverage of a claim. Many a homeowner has been left frustrated when trying to make a claim for roof insurance on their house insurance policy only to find they are not covered because the roof damage is deemed to have occurred over time.
When is damage not damage for insurance purposes? When it’s gradual. If a lack of maintenance has contributed to the damage of your roof, or your dodgy roof has led to damage in your house, then a claim may not be covered or only a percentage of the damage costs will be paid.
Insurance isn’t a maintenance contract. It’s there to help you recover from sudden, unexpected losses that can’t be prevented. Fire, earthquake, storm and flood are examples of events that can cause sudden damage, such as roofs being blown off or entire houses destroyed. Most insurance policies rule out any deterioration that happens gradually, such as erosion by weather or rotting due to exposure to moisture.
Water leaks due to a dodgy roof or rusting iron coming away are examples of damage due to wear and tear over time as building materials get older and deteriorate. As this is damage that could have been prevented, it will not be covered.
What this means for your roof insurance
Sudden, unexpected and unintended events are generally covered by your insurance, but roof damage that happens gradually over time is not. You need to take reasonable precautions to minimise the chance of damage through regular roof maintenance. Need advice? Get in touch with Auckland’s expert roofing team. We know all about roof maintenance.
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