Bay Area Roofing Contractor Explains the Correlation

A house protected by an Umbrella

What do your roof and your homeowner’s insurance (HOI) have in common? Most obviously, they both protect your home. Then there’s another relationship between the two, and it is becoming more significant as insurers look to cut their own losses: your homeowner’s insurance depends on the condition, installation, and materials of your roof, and insurers increasingly scrutinize the roof of a house in determining both handling of damage claims and initial coverage.

Since costs of maintaining your roof, including periodic full replacement, are not covered by HOI, the temptation may be to go with the lowest-bidding roofing contractor regardless of qualifications. Homeowners must beware, however, as a poorly installed roof can make a home uninsurable or can result in a post-damage inspection that reveals claims-voiding defects in workmanship or maintenance.

It’s not unreasonable, from the HOI provider’s point of view, to be cautious. Slipshod work by roofing contractors is shockingly common; insurers and roof consultants note that, in residential roofing, improper installation and repair are the rule rather than the exception. Just as good locks are required to insure a house against theft, a good roof is required to insure against damage from the worst that nature dishes out. In the case of a faulty roof, even a little rain can cause a lot of damage, allowing moisture to enter the house and fostering mold and rot. Not all insurance will cover such damage.

Not only bad installation, but good installation of the wrong materials can put your homeowner’s insurance on the line. Some policies are specific as to types of roofing covered. Ideally, your insurer will not sell you a policy that doesn’t cover the roof you actually have; but read the fine print. The terms may indicate exclusions for certain roofing materials. They may also exclude layers installed over an original roof, specifying, for example, only one layer or at most two layers of shingles. What’s more, some insurers cease coverage when a roof reaches a certain age, often 20 years; and if an older roof must be replaced after serious damage, the policy may pay out only the depreciated “Actual Cash Value” or ACV, rather than the true replacement cost. This will be noted on the declaration page of the policy; watch this page when you renew your insurance.

Because insurance companies won’t cover pre-existing damage, it’s wise to keep photos on file to provide a “before” picture. To help you with this, Ben’s Roofing photographs our work any time we do roof repair, maintenance, or installation. In the event of later damage, these photos can prevent headaches in your claims process.

Our Oakland Roofing Services Can Help

Ben’s Roofing is a member of the National Roofing Contractors Association, the leading authority in the roofing industry for information, education, and technical assistance. Membership keeps us in touch with the industry and helps us maintain the highest standard of work. Just as important is our business ethic of commitment to quality and to fair treatment of our customers. Contact Ben’s Roofing today at (510) 690-8570.