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Insuring the Roof Over Your Head


The basic concept of insurance is to put someone back to the place they were before the loss.  From insuring your phone from “water damage” after you drop it in the toilet to insuring a cigar for fire insurance, there are lots of options available. Due to the frequency of hail and wind damage claims to roofs, you would think that assessing the loss, adjusting and repairing a roof would be down to a science.  From our perspective as insurance brokers, something that used to be so basic and easy is now becoming one of the biggest challenges for the insurance industry.

Roof damage claims becoming more and more difficult for everyone involved.  We are seeing Insurance companies being restricted from actually setting foot on a roof to assess the damage due to workers compensation restrictions.  We are seeing the quality of some roofing products going backwards.  We are seeing workmanship issues when contractors have too much work and not enough qualified employees.  We are also seeing frequency of claims increasing to the point where roof claims alone are making the math upside-down and backwards for insurers.  And most importantly, we are seeing multiple perspectives on how roof damage is assessed, adjusted and repaired, which leaves the consumer guessing as to what they are actually covered for. 

I remember seeing a post on social media where a homeowner was airing their displeasure over having their roof replaced for the fourth time in the past seven years. Simple math on this situation shows that the insurer will likely have to collect premiums for the next three and a half decades without another claim just to break even financially on that policy. 

Due to the increasing difficulty of roof claims, insurance companies are changing their coverage, deductibles and the way they assess loss.  This makes it very important to understand who is insuring you, what coverage they provide on your roof and what your responsibility is in the form of a deductible in the event of a loss.  It is always better to have these discussions prior to the loss, but understand that even after the loss you still have some control of the situation.  One suggestion is to find a roofing contractor that you trust and have them assess and provide a quotation for the repair to your insurance company.  Insurance companies often have preferred contractors and vendors, but they are also willing to work with your contractor if they are competitive. 

The other suggestion is to work with a broker that knows you and has your back in the event of a claim. 

Be sure to seek advice and purchase insurance from those who understand your business!