What Does Roof Insurance Cover?

A home insurance policy will pay to repair or replace your roof if a fire, ice storm, vandalism, or other covered peril damages it.

Jessica Martel
Written byJessica Martel
Jessica Martel
Jessica Martel

Jessica is a freelance writer, professional researcher, and mother of two rambunctious little boys. She specializes in personal finance, women and money, and financial literacy. Jessica is fascinated by the psychology of money and what drives people to make important financial decisions. She holds a Masters of Science degree in Cognitive Research Psychology.

Chris Schafer
Edited byChris Schafer
Chris Schafer
Chris SchaferSenior Editor
  • 15+ years in content creation

  • 7+ years in business and financial services content

Chris is a seasoned writer/editor with past experience across myriad industries, including insurance, SAS, finance, Medicare, logistics, marketing/advertising, and many more.

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Updated February 9, 2024

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While you might not think about your roof on a regular basis, all it takes is one leak to remind you of the important role it plays.

The average cost to install a shingle roof on a 2,000-square-foot home ranges from $8,500 to $20,500 and more, according to the American Society of Home Inspectors.[1] That’s why it’s important to review your home insurance policy to understand how it covers your roof. A strong policy can help you avoid dipping into your savings or going into debt when leaks start.

Here’s what you need to know about your home insurance policy’s roof coverage.

Quick Facts
  • Homeowners insurance policies typically cover damage to your roof from a covered peril.

  • States with a higher risk of severe weather, such as frequent hurricanes, may have exclusions or separate deductibles for events like windstorms or hail.

  • Insurance companies often don’t cover roofs more than 20 years old. In some cases, insurers only offer limited roof coverage for older roofs.

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Does homeowners insurance cover your roof?

In most cases, a standard home insurance policy will pay to replace your roof if a natural disaster — such as a fire, tornado, hurricane, ice storm, or other covered hazard — damages it beyond repair.

For example, if a tree falls on your house during a storm and damages your roof, this is typically covered. Your insurance might also provide coverage for tree removal — usually up to $500.[2]

If you have to file a claim for a damaged roof, the amount you get back depends on whether you have actual cash value coverage or replacement cost coverage.

With actual cash value coverage, your insurance company will pay the replacement cost of your roof, minus depreciation. If you have an older roof, this could result in a substantial deduction. If your roof’s newer and in good shape, the difference won’t be as large.

With replacement cost coverage, your insurance company will either cover the cost of restoring your roof to its original condition or replace it, whichever is cheaper. There’s no deduction for depreciation.

The following tale provides an example of how the type of coverage can affect your out-of-pocket costs.

Coverage TypeActual Cash ValueReplacement Cost Coverage
Cost of new roof$12,0000$12,000
Depreciation on existing roof$7,000Does not apply
Insurance payout$5,000$12,000
Deductible$1,000$1,000
Out of pocket$6,000$1,000

The difference in these policy types shows why it’s so important to review your policy so you know exactly what’s covered and if there are any exclusions.

Factors that affect whether your roof is covered

Several factors affect whether your home insurance will cover your roof replacement.

Age of roof

Your roof’s age can affect the cost of your insurance coverage. A new roof typically results in a lower rate. If you have an older roof, your insurance company might request a roof inspection before agreeing to cover it. If your roof is more than 20 years old, some insurance companies may decide not to offer coverage or may only cover the roof for its actual cash value.

Deductible

Before your insurance pays for a claim, you’ll need to pay a deductible. If you live in a state that has frequent hurricanes, tornadoes, windstorms, or hail, you may have a separate deductible for windstorm damage.

Insurance companies in these states often sell homeowner insurance policies with percentage deductibles for storm damage instead of traditional flat-amount deductibles.

If your home receives damage, you’ll typically pay a flat dollar amount before insurance covers the rest — for example, a deductible of $500.

But with a percentage deductible, the amount you pay is based on your home’s insured value. If your home is insured for $400,000 and you have a 5% deductible, you have to pay $20,000 before your insurance kicks in. Percentage deductibles often range from 1% to 10%.

How Much to Make Your Homeowners Insurance Deductible

How Much to Make Your Homeowners Insurance Deductible

Cause of damage

Before your insurance company agrees to pay for roof repairs, it’ll want to know the cause of the damage. Your policy outlines the perils that it covers, as well as any damages that it excludes.

If the damage is due to regular wear and tear or poor maintenance, your insurance likely won’t cover it.

That’s why it’s a good idea to have an inspector come and check out any damage to your roof as soon as possible so they can quickly identify the cause.

Types of roof damage covered by home insurance

Your insurance company will cover your roof damage if it’s due to a covered peril. It’s important to check your policy for any exclusions to the types of damages covered, such as exclusions for windstorms or hail. Examples of roof damage that typically receive coverage include:

  • Falling objects

  • Fire

  • Hail

  • Lightning

  • Weight of snow, sleet, or ice

  • Wind damage

  • Vandalism

  • Wildfire

Types of roof damage not covered by home insurance

Examples of damages that often don’t get coverage include:

  • Earthquakes

  • Flooding

  • Lack of maintenance

  • Rodent or pest damage

  • Wear and tear

  • Wind or hail exclusions in high-risk states

Why it’s important to have roof insurance

Your roof is responsible for keeping the elements out and providing your family with a safe and dry place to live. The cost associated with keeping a roof over your head isn’t cheap. 

The price can vary based on the size of your home and the type of roofing materials you use. Practicing seasonal roof maintenance can prevent you from having to tap into your long-term savings or going into debt.

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How to file a homeowners insurance claim for roof damage

If you experience water damage due to a leak in your roof and need to file a claim with your home insurance company, follow these steps:

  1. Inspect your roof for damage. Assess your roof carefully to determine the extent of the damage. Take notes and photos if possible. If you’re not comfortable getting on the roof, have a professional take a look. Many reputable roofing companies provide free inspections. This will help you determine whether the damage is worth filing a claim for. If the damage is minimal and likely won’t cost more than your deductible, you might decide to pay out of pocket.

  2. Review your insurance policy terms. Reading through the information in your policy will help you determine if the damage warrants filing a roof claim. Find out if your insurance is likely to cover the damage, what kind of reimbursement you can expect (actual cash value or replacement cost), and how much you’ll have to pay as a deductible.

  3. Contact your insurance company and start a claim. Depending on your insurer, you can file a claim online or over the phone. Your insurance agency will ask for details about the damage and will also schedule a time for an insurance adjuster to assess the damage.

  4. Protect your home from additional damage. Do what you can to prevent further damage to your home. For instance, you can put a tarp on the damaged area of your roof to prevent water from getting in. Next, keep receipts for any expenses you incur trying to prevent further damage, as your insurance company may reimburse you.

Roof insurance FAQs

Still have more questions about roof insurance? Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions.

  • Does homeowners insurance cover roof leaks?

    Whether your homeowners insurance covers roof leaks depends on the cause of the leak. Leaks due to a tree that falls on your roof during a storm or due to hail damage are typically covered by insurance. Roof leaks that result from poor maintenance or normal wear and tear generally don’t have coverage. Review your homeowners policy carefully to identify what it covers and what it excludes.

  • How much is it to replace a roof?

    The national average cost to install a shingle roof on a 2,000-square-foot home ranges from $8,500 to $20,500, according to the American Society of Home Inspectors. The cost to replace your roof will vary based on several factors, including the type of material, the design of your roof, the size of your home, and the cost of labor.

  • Does homeowners insurance cover shingles blown off a roof?

    Most homeowners insurance policies will cover you if your shingles are blown off your roof in a storm. However, if you live in a state where companies have tornado or hurricane exemptions, then you may not have coverage. Make sure you read through your policy to determine any exemptions.

  • Will home insurance cover a 15-year-old roof?

    In many cases, insurance companies will cover a 15-year-old roof. However, your insurance will come at a higher cost, and some insurers may only agree to pay the actual cash value. With actual cost coverage, your insurance company will pay the replacement cost of your roof, minus depreciation. If you have an old roof, this could result in a substantial deduction.

  • Will home insurance cover a 20-year-old roof?

    Many insurance companies won’t cover a roof that’s more than 20 years old. Other companies might provide coverage but only at actual cost value. Actual cost coverage will pay the replacement cost of the roof, minus depreciation.

Sources

  1. Homeinspector.org. "How Much Does a Shingle Roof Cost? (2023 Guide)."
  2. Insurance Information Institute. "Am I Covered?."
Jessica Martel
Jessica Martel

Jessica is a freelance writer, professional researcher, and mother of two rambunctious little boys. She specializes in personal finance, women and money, and financial literacy. Jessica is fascinated by the psychology of money and what drives people to make important financial decisions. She holds a Masters of Science degree in Cognitive Research Psychology.

Chris Schafer
Edited byChris SchaferSenior Editor
Chris Schafer
Chris SchaferSenior Editor
  • 15+ years in content creation

  • 7+ years in business and financial services content

Chris is a seasoned writer/editor with past experience across myriad industries, including insurance, SAS, finance, Medicare, logistics, marketing/advertising, and many more.

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