Reasons Insurance Companies Deny Roof Claims

by Flora Richards-Gustafson ; Updated July 27, 2017
The type of shingles you have may not be covered by your insurance policy.

Roof damage is one of the most expensive losses a homeowner can experience, especially if the whole roof needs replacement. Insurance companies are particular about the types of roof claims they accept, and the details are always included in the fine print of your homeowner’s policy. When an insurance company denies your roof claim, you cannot always point fingers at the adjuster.

Maintenance Issues

If your roof has damage because of a lack of maintenance, chances are your insurance claim will be denied. Failure to perform routine maintenance on a roof will show a claims adjuster that you had the power to prevent roof damage, but did not take the steps to do so. Routine roof maintenance includes preventing and killing moss growing on the roof and removing debris. Debris and moss can cause water to accumulate on a roof, which can weaken adhesives used on the roof and encourage the growth of mold and mildew. Additionally, not routinely cleaning your gutters can cause water to seep into the parts of the roof closest to them and cause water damage.

Roofing Materials and Layering

Some insurance companies deny roof claims because of the roofing material used, particularly if the materials are hard to find. For example, a homeowner’s insurance policy may not cover a slate roof or one made of cedar shakes. Additionally, if a second layer of shingles was added to your roof in lieu of a total replacement, this may disqualify your roof from insurance coverage. Review your homeowner’s insurance policy with your insurance agent to see if exclusions such as these apply to your roof.

Warranties

If you have a newer roof, your insurance company may deny a claim for its repairs if the roof is still under warranty. Insurance companies do not want to spend money if they do not have to. Additionally, taking advantage of an existing warranty may be better than filing a claim because you won't have to pay the insurance deductible.

Excluded Losses

Some events that could damage a roof may not be covered in your homeowner’s insurance policy. Allstate Insurance states that excluded losses may include damage from earthquakes, water damage, mold damage, hail, dry rot or volcanoes.

Age

The age of your roof can be a determining factor in whether you have coverage for it or not. Some insurance company's policies state that a roof that is older than a specific number of years may not be covered.

About the Author

Flora Richards-Gustafson has been writing professionally since 2003. She creates copy for websites, marketing materials and printed publications. Richards-Gustafson specializes in SEO and writing about small-business strategies, health and beauty, interior design, emergency preparedness and education. Richards-Gustafson received a Bachelor of Arts from George Fox University in 2003 and was recognized by Cambridge's "Who's Who" in 2009 as a leading woman entrepreneur.

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