CAN I CLAIM ROOF REPAIRS ON MY INSURANCE
When it’s time to repair your roof, the quality of your home insurance can define the quality of the repair. For example, what if in the process of fixing a major roof leak, you find that your insurance policy supports a complete roof replacement?
Ideally, these are the things you want to know before starting repairs on your or hiring a professional roofing contractor.
In this article, we’ll discuss:
- What home insurance is
- When your roof repairs might be covered under home insurance
- When your roof repairs might not be covered under home insurance
And finally, we’ll introduce another avenue you may not have known about for reclaiming roof repair costs: home warranty insurance.
What is Home Insurance?
Home insurance is a protection policy that is purchased, usually from a bank, that allows homeowners to essentially “save for a rainy day” in the event that their homes require repair, restoration, or in the worst-case scenario, complete demolition resulting in a home insurance payout instead of repair.
How Much is Home Insurance?
Home insurance is typically an annual premium which, on average, can cost about $1,117 to $1,406 per year according to Canstar and Finder respectively.
It’s important to understand that all home insurance policies are different so compare packages before making a decision. Also, the prices listed above are for the home exclusively. Home contents are an added cost.
What is Covered Under Home Insurance?
Typical home insurance covers the homeowner’s home and contents (if added) in the case of an accident. It’s important to read and understand any insurance policy before purchasing.
In the case of Comminsure home Insurance provided by CommBank, as provided on their webpage, their policy covers:
- Accidental glass breakage
- Animal damage
With some additional benefits like:
- Alternative accommodation costs
- Contents in transit
- Damage by emergency services
- Demolition and debris removal costs
- Domestic pet cover
The items listed above are just some of the events and benefits covered. We encourage you to visit their site for a complete list.
CommBank is Australia’s leading provider of integrated financial services, including retail, premium, business and institutional banking, funds management, superannuation, insurance, investment and share-broking products and services.
Can I Claim Roof Repairs on My Insurance?
Whether or not your home insurance covers your specific roof repair project depends on the circumstances that caused the damage.
For example, in the event of a roof leak, home insurance will cover the repairs if the leak was determined to have been caused by falling trees or branches, other falling objects, windstorms, hail, extreme weather conditions, vandalism or accidents.
Basically, your insurance will cover roof leaks if the cause was unavoidable. Where it gets complicated is if your insurance company can determine if the roof leak or any other damage to your roof was caused by neglect or negligence on your part.
And so if it can be proven that damage to your roof was caused by a lack of maintenance or repair causing:
- Malfunctioning roofing components
- Mould or algae build-up
- Wood rot
- Nesting from birds, rodents or insects
- Settling, shrinking, or bulging infrastructure
Your insurance provider could find grounds to disqualify you from your policy. These causes are generally considered avoidable.
Keep in mind that these situations do not apply to every insurance provider, and we strongly advise homeowners to consult their policy in the event of any roofing damage.
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What About Home Warranty Insurance?
Home Warranty Insurance, or Home Building Compensation Fund (HBCF) as it is now referred to in NSW, is a compulsory certification undertaken for residential and domestic projects in Sydney. homeowners nationwide are protected by mandatory home Warranty Insurance for domestic and residential constructions.
Licensed building contractors and tradesmen are required to purchase and give proof of Builders home warranty insurance prior to commencement of their work.
As a homeowner, you are covered for both non-completion of work and failure to correct faults made within the nominated warranty period.
How Does Home Warranty Insurance Work?
Licensed builders or tradespersons in NSW need to get home building compensation (HBC) cover for each home building project over $20,000. Failing to take out HBC cover for such work is an offence under NSW law.
The cover will work to protect homeowners as a last resort if the tradesmen cannot complete building work or fix defects.
In the event that the warranty applies, the HBC will be responsible for paying some or all of the repair or replacement costs for your home.
What is Covered Under Home Warranty Insurance?
Home warranty insurance covers the homeowner (and subsequent owners) where the contracted building work is incomplete or defective. This includes when the builder has either passed away, disappeared, become insolvent, bankrupt during construction or has failed to respond to a rectification order within 30 days of issue.
The keywords here are ‘incomplete’ or ‘defective’.
In the case of roof contractor work, roof repairs are generally covered by your home warranty policy if the tradesman or builder is solely responsible for the damage.
The period of home warranty cover for major defects is six years after the completion of works, and two years cover for non-major defects.
If your roof damage is purely the result of storm damage or after trade damage (damage from a tradesman hired after the completion of the original contract), then the roof damage will not be covered by the initial home warranty contract.
Home Warranty vs Home Insurance - Save Your Money
Before making a decision to call your home insurance provider about your roof repairs, make sure that the damages to your roof weren’t caused by a past roof contractor.
If you can prove negligence on the part of a roofing contractor you’ve hired in the past, you can have their home warranty insurance cover your roof repairs.
Calling Your Insurance Company
Before calling any insurance provider it’s important to equip yourself with knowledge about your roof repair. This includes the scope of the damage, what exactly was damaged, the repair cost you paid and any other information you can gather.
If you used a professional roofing contractor to complete your repairs, ask them to give you all of this information as well as any photo evidence needed.
If you didn’t use a professional, you can always hire and ask for guidance on how to properly collect the information you need.
This is why you wait before calling your home insurance provider. You don’t want to give them any reason to exclude you from your insurance policy.
A professional roofing service will have the knowledge and experience to understand what questions and what information your insurance provider is going to expect from you. They’re going to understand general estimates you should be looking to receive if you are covered and whether or not you have a case, to begin with.
You don’t want to extend the process of filing a claim by having to “get back to your provider” with key information just to find you’ve been excluded.
You don’t want to end up paying out of pocket any more than you have to, or at all. We absolutely recommend you consult with a professional roofing contractor. It will save you time and money in the end.
If you need any guidance… We are the best providers of roofing and gutter cleaning services throughout New South Wales so please don’t hesitate to call our trusted team of roof and gutter experts. We’re here to help.