How will you know there’s a leak?
The sooner you find that tricky little hole or tear – the better it is for you financially. The damage from the water remains minimal and the chance of getting it covered by the homeowners' insurance policy is at all timely high.
If there is a mold or watermark along your walls – high chance that there is a gaping leak somewhere nearby. At this point, one must take due diligence to find the source of the leak at the earliest. A leak in the ceiling might have the culprit anywhere on the flooring in the room above.
A leaking roof might have started from a cracked shingle, missing gutter, or a chimney crack. Attics are the most common gateway to mold infestation – a red flag for water leaks.
What steps to take if there is a roof leak
The several recommended steps after noticing a water leak or any of its precedent signs are to:
1. Repair right away: DIY repair packs are dime a dozen at the nearest hardware stores. The sooner you repair it – the better for your pockets as the damage gets minimized. Even if you opt for a professional repair - at this point, it is important you document the repair process in detail to file a claim.
2. Inspect the Top Floor Ceiling: Regular top floor ceiling inspections help catch small leaks before they get bigger.
3. Check the roof: Chances are that the leak is emanating from a missed crack, damaged, or missing shingle. Prompt replacement should be the next step.
What will be Included under Cover?
Surrounding circumstances, specifics of homeowners insurance cover, and the causes of the leak all come together to decide if or not your claim gets processed. The reimbursement for a leak – and any damage after it – all depends on the original cause of the leak and whether or not they fall under the insurance policy listed perils.
The open peril list includes the following:
- Hail and windstorms
- Falling objects
- Weight of ice or snow
- Volcanic eruption
- Damage caused by aircraft
- Damage caused by vehicle
- Damage caused by electrical surges
- Damage caused by a discharge of water or steam
- Damage from any riot
What will be Excluded from Cover?
The insurance you have opted for is not going to pay for leaks from reasons outside the purview of its inclusions. Even molds and fungus are not covered under standard homeowners policies unless caused by incidents under the covered list. Although it offers protection in most cases, roof leaks happening from the following will not be covered:
- Attrition: Wear and tear, poor maintenance
- Natural Disasters: Earthquakes, landslides, mudslides, floods, etc.
- Pets: Any damage to the roof caused by your pet
- National Crisis: War or any government action
- Poor House foundation: If the house’s foundation is prone to settling, cracking, or warping
- Pests: Infestation by any insect or animal
- Miscellaneous: Smog, rust, corrosion
Annual inspections with proper documentation help one show evidence to an insurance company that the roof is, indeed, well-maintained. This helps you claim your process by proving the absence of pre-existing issues.
One must remember to file for claims within the stipulated time to be covered by the company for remediation and reimbursement.
How much do you typically have to pay?
Homeowners need to be aware of the deductible they need to pay even if the roof repair is covered by insurance. Before the company pitches in with the repair or replacement – the homeowner needs to pay an amount out of their pockets. Having an estimate of possible deductibles helps one decide whether to file for reimbursement or not – if in case, the repair cost is lower than the deductible.
It is always recommended to purchase a home insurance policy online because you get to learn about your desired insurance plans in detail. Apart from this, you can also renew your insurance plan online before the expiration.
Written By: PolicyBazaar - Updated: 09 February 2022