When buildings that are part of your business facility or your residence undergo roof damage, the financial cost of repairing the damage or replacing the roof can be substantial. The cost of restoring the property to its pre-loss condition will depend on the nature and extent of the damage as well as the elements that caused the damage. Factors like trees that blow over, severe wind, hail and rain storms can cause thousands of even tens of thousands of dollars in damage to your home or business. The value of the loss may be compounded by supplemental damage to personal property inside the home or damage to equipment, inventory and structures of a business. Damage to the roof of a structure can be as devastating as damage to the foundation of a building.
Although the repair or replacement of your roof generally is not a complicated process, the cost of such repairs can be significant. Generally, roof damage under a homeowners policy will provide coverage for unpreventable reasons like fire, vandalism and hurricanes. While hail and wind damage to roofs usually are covered to some extent and under certain circumstances, there are a range of factors that will determine if a particular claim is covered and the extent of such coverage.
The age of your roof could impact the degree to which your roof damage claim is covered depending on the terms, conditions, exclusions and limitations of your policy. Your policy will typically provide the full value for repair (or replacement) of the damaged area of the roof, but the insurance company might contend that the value of the claim must be adjusted to compensate for depreciation if the roof is old or older. In some cases, insurance companies will even attempt to deny the claim based on the contention that the damage is the product of poor roof maintenance rather than wind or a hail storm. There also are policies that will cover the full value of a roof without consideration of depreciation.
When an insurance company discounts an insured’s recovery based on wear and tear, a policyholder can be left in the awkward position of needing to seek a loan or to tap into his or her savings to repair the roof. Further, delays in repairing the roof while attempting to secure funds to complete the work can leave personal property inside the home exposed to the elements and future damage. In fact, a commercial or homeowners policy will impose a duty on the policyholder to undertake steps to mitigate further damage. Failure to comply with this duty can prevent compensation for subsequent damage caused by threats like windblown rain following damage to a roof.
Insurance companies often delay, deny or lowball claims, so homeowners can mitigate the risk of roof damage by taking the following precautions:
- Remove dead trees or drooping limbs
- Have the premises inspected by a professional who can identify potential hazards
- Promptly replace worn or damaged shingles
If you have questions about Florida insurance claims, you are welcome to contact my Miami commercial insurance claims dispute law firm. My law firm represents policyholders in claims disputes in Miami and throughout Florida. The Law Firm of J.P. Gonzalez-Sirgo, P.A. offers free consultations and case evaluations. No Recovery, No Lawyer Fees. Call 305-461-1095 or Toll Free 1-866-71-CLAIM.