The roof is one of the most expensive parts of a house, so it makes sense that a homeowner would be worried whether their existing home insurance coverage would replace the roof upon damage. Well, there is no straightforward answer for that. If you have a standard home insurance coverage policy, here are some of the factors that may determine whether it can replace your roof in case of damage:
The Age of the Roof
Your roof's age determines the pre-damage condition of the roof, which in turn determines whether your insurance company will replace the roof. Most insurance companies only replace new roofs, typically those under a decade, because that allows them to eliminate damages caused by regular wear and tear. If a storm damages your roof, which has lasted several decades, the insurance company can argue that the roof was damaged because it was old and worn out and that it would have weathered the storm had it been newer and strong. In such a case, you may only get reimbursed for the pre-damage value of the roof, and not a replacement.
The Cause of the Damage
The cause of the roof damage is one of the preeminent factors that determine whether or not the insurance company will replace it. As a rule, insurance companies don't replace or even repair roofs damaged by maintenance issues or damages caused by DIY maintenance. Therefore, if your roof has been dirty, leaking, and covered with moss for a couple of years, you will find it difficult to have it replaced by your insurer if the leaks become too much and you need a new roof.
The Insurance Policy You Have
Home insurance policies differ on the type of compensation they offer. For example, there are policies that will give you the actual cash value of the roof (the value just before the damage) irrespective of whether or not it can replace the roof. There are also policies that promise to replace your roof irrespective of the cost.
Exclusions on Your Policy
Most home insurance policies exclude specific risks for which they will not compensate you. For example, a policy may exclude damages that occur when the property is vacant, damages caused by pets, and damages stemming from home-based businesses. If your policy excludes damages related to home-based businesses, then don't expect compensation if your home bakery starts a fire that ends up burning a section of your roof.