Top 5 Reasons Insurance Companies Deny Roofing Claims
Roofing repairs and replacement fall under homeowner’s insurance, which can vary significantly depending on individual companies and policies. For example, some comprehensive policies may include hail damage coverage, while others require that you select and pay for this coverage separately.
In any case, you will want to review your policy thoroughly before undertaking any roofing repairs or a replacement. There are several instances where a new roof or more extensive repairs may not be covered, and the last thing you want is to be stuck with a massive bill because you didn’t read the fine print!
Why Do Insurers Deny Roofing Claims?
1. Damage Under a Previous Policy
Your homeowner’s insurance will only cover the most recent damage to your roof, not damage that occurred under a previous policy or ownership. Even if there is new damage, your claim may be denied if it is determined that old issues are the source of the majority of the damage.
2. Partial Damage Only
If your insurance adjuster feels your roof has not been damaged badly enough to warrant a full replacement, he or she may declare “partial damage,” resulting in your claim for replacement being denied. Fortunately, because this declaration is subjective and can change depending on the individual performing the inspection, it can often be appealed and overturned.
3. Untimely Filing
Insurance companies require written notification of damages within 365 days. If this timeline is not met, your claim may be denied. It is best to notify your insurer as soon as possible. You can do this by hiring a local roofer to perform an inspection (many times, this is free). They can help you document damages and provide other helpful information to give to your insurance adjuster.
4. Natural Degradation
If you are buying an older home, you will want to budget for a new roof. A roof that has experienced natural wear and tear, been poorly maintained, or simply reached the end of its lifespan is unlikely to be covered under a new homeowner’s insurance policy.
5. Manufacturer Defect
Despite stringent quality controls, defects can occur during the manufacturing of roofing materials and cause them to fail prematurely. If it is found that a manufacturer defect is the source of damage to your roof, your insurance company is not responsible and will probably deny your claim.
However, many roofing materials come with a standard manufacturer’s warranty, which covers replacement of defective products. You will want to discuss additional manufacturer warranties with your roofer before you begin your next project.
What Can I Do If My Roof Claim Was Denied Unfairly?
The above are all legitimate reasons for an insurance company to deny a claim. However, there are instances where a claim may be denied in part or in full for reasons that are unclear. If you received no explanation of why your claim was denied, for example, or your insurance adjuster failed to conduct a proper investigation of the damages, you may be looking at a bad faith claim. You will want to consult with a qualified insurance claims attorney to discuss your options.
Roth Milne has helped hundreds of individuals in Colorado navigate the claims process. We hold insurers accountable for bad faith claims and are willing to do whatever it takes to negotiate a fair settlement for you. If you need legal advice regarding a claim that was unfairly denied, give our office a call to set up a free consultation and see how we can help.