How to Read Your Roof Insurance Policy

roof insurance

Which would you rather do: get a cavity filled at the dentist or read through the coverage of your roof insurance? Yeah, neither option generates a lot of excitement. Most of us would say neither!

Insurance coverage can get confusing and it seems like all the words tend to blend together on the page. However, the details do matter especially if you have to make a claim

Knowing what your homeowner’s policy will cover on your roof can make a big difference in your wallet and your expectations.

Read on to learn how to read your roof insurance policy. You’ll see what key things to look for so you will be prepared.

Roof Insurance Coverages

The secret to understanding your roofing coverage is understanding some of the key terms companies use. For home coverage, the two terms you should know are replacement cost coverage and actual cash value coverage.

Replacement Cost Coverage

Replacement cost coverage is what most of us think of when we think of insurance. The company will pay to replace the cost of your roof at current market prices.

This means they will pay all the expenses except for your regular deductible. Most insurance companies offer this type of coverage.

Actual Cash Value Coverage

Actual cash value coverage takes into consideration your roof’s actual age and depreciation when paying out. This means they only pay what the roof is worth and not the total cost of replacement.

If your roof replacement is $15,000 and you have a $2500 deductible, the cost to replace would be $12,500. If the insurance company is using actual cash value coverage, they will deduct what they pay based on the age of the roof.

They could say that your ten-year-old roof has a cash value of $10,000. This means you would be paying another $2500 after your deductible.


Roofing Insurance Deductibles

The insurance roof replacement will have a deductible for any work done. This is the part you are responsible to pay when a claim happens. You want to know the details of this so you aren’t surprised when you make a claim.

Deductible Costs

Deductibles for a roof repair can vary depending on how you set your policy up at the beginning. A higher deductible will often lower your insurance payment. This can look attractive, but remember that this is the part you pay for.

If you have a high deductible but don’t have cash reserves to cover it, making a claim could be very difficult for you. Think about your cash reserves when you are picking a deductible and what you can afford.

Insurance Deductible Fraud

As a homeowner, you are responsible to pay for your deductible. If a roofer offers to waive the deductible, this is insurance fraud. Your insurance company could deny the whole claim if they find out.

This means you will be expected to pay your deductible for any claim you make on your roof.

Roof Insurance Policy Details

You should pay attention to the key policy details when it comes to your roofing coverage. There are often small policy coverages that change based on circumstances or what you agree to when you sign.


Read through the details of what exclusions apply to your roof insurance. Regular wear and tear damage will normally be excluded. This is why you want to focus on keeping your roof properly maintained.

Animal damage and insect damage are often excluded along with poor workmanship or faulty materials. Make sure to itemize the exclusions when you read through your policy so you are not surprised later.

Time Limits

Many times the insurance companies will have a time limit for claims based on specific weather events. If hail happens in your area or a tornado came near, they often set a time limit for you to claim damage.

Some insurance companies will also have time limits on your roof’s age. They may stop coverage after a specific number of years unless you get a new roof. Be aware of your insurance’s time limits.

Reinstatement Coverage

You may ask, “Does insurance cover roof replacement?” If your whole roof needs replacing, insurance will often have a reinstatement coverage section dealing with it.

They will usually have a percentage of the entire replacement cost that they will cover. It could be anywhere from 80% to 100% based on your coverage. Make sure to ask about your reinstatement coverage when getting the policy.

Roof Documentation

Understanding your roof insurance is a good first step to keeping your home safe. The second step is to have good documentation on your roof.

Starting Point

When you move into your home, take the time to get pictures of your roof and ceilings. These pictures should have the date on them to document the shape it is in at the beginning.

Then you can take pictures each year to compare them and see if any damage is happening. This helps you stay on top of any issues before they get out of hand.


A roof inspection is something you want to do every few years to make sure it is in good shape. There may be small things happening that you don’t see from the ground that a good inspector can catch.

This can help you catch potential leaks before they do damage or cause mold in your attic.

Roofing Policy Options

When it comes to roof insurance, remember that you have options. You can talk to different companies and even compare quotes of similar coverages. You don’t have to accept the first coverage offer someone gives you.

Take the time to ask questions and make sure the policy fits your budget and protects your roof.

You can also compare roofing estimates just like you compare roofing insurance. Best Roofing Estimates helps you compare the costs of local roofers and can save you up to 30% on your roof repairs.

Get quotes now on your roofing work to find the best price for your area.


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