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Roof Damaged by Hail? Your Insurer May No Longer Pay to Replace It

   |  February 6, 2015

Hail constitutes serious threat to the longevity of a roof, significantly reducing its normal life span. If you live a state where hail is a serious problem, you probably have a reason to worry as insurance companies take steps to insulate themselves against having to pay for damage caused by these pellets. Are you really sure your roof is covered against damage by hail?

The actual cash value factor

In recent years, claims for hail-related damage have approximately doubled. Insurance companies have also taken action to guard against losses associated with these claims. They are now interested only in paying actual cash value at the time of damage rather than the full cost of replacing a roof. The argument is that your roof is not getting any newer and you should therefore be paid based on the age of your roof. So it means the amount you get in the event of damage becomes lesser as your roof gets older.

How to know if you are on or being transferred to an actual cash value policy

Before you buy a policy, it will usually be indicated in the agreement the nature of coverage offered, whether actual cash value or replacement value coverage. It is advisable to read and fully understand the declaration page. However, you are still not completely immune from being moved to an actual cash value policy, even though your policy may not originally be one. An indication that you are probably being considered for a policy paying actual cash value is when your insurer starts showing greater interest in the age of your roof. Another likely indication is when an inspector is sent from the company to evaluate the state of the roof.

However, there is a way out if you are not content with an actual cash value policy. You may ask your insurer to sign you up to a full replacement value policy, although you will have to pay extra money to be able to get such coverage.

Taking preventive steps

There is often no telling when the next hail storm will occur. Money and time will also have to be expended when such a weather condition causes damage to your roof. It is therefore important to take actions that could help guard your roof against damage. Here are a couple of suggestions as to how:

  • Ensure your roof shingles are in good state always. Worn or broken ones should be immediately replaced with strong, resistant shingles. Your insurer may use worn shingles as a cogent reason to cut your hail damage claims.
  • It is also recommended to replace your roof about every 10 years, if you live a region highly prone to hail storms.

Published: May 12, 2014

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