Roof replacement is no small feat, and for many homeowners, relying on insurance claims to cover the costs has long been a valid option. However, a pressing concern has emerged as navigating these claims becomes increasingly difficult.


The top environmental factors affecting the insurance industry are:

  • Inflation. Policy premiums have not risen as fast as the costs to replace the insurance losses, so carriers are raising policy premiums to catchup, as well as limiting what they are paying out to prevent further cash losses for their companies. Unfortunately, this involves limiting what roofing losses they are choosing to cover.
  • Contractor driven claims. Filing claims for roof replacements is a recent phenomenon. Nowadays, filing a claim is often the first step prior to actually replacing your roof, so the insurance company is adding restrictions to avoid paying for roofs that were not truly damaged in recent storms. There are several roofing companies whose sole job is to have customers file insurance claims.

Restrictive changes insurance companies have made for roofing claims:

  • Requiring a specific loss date. Homeowners must now provide a specific date for the date of loss, or the date of the storm.
  • Documented loss date. The loss date provided must be in the insurance system as a documented date of loss. This system could be Benchmark, Accuweather, or other insurance specific systems that document large storm events. If the date is not in their system in the last 12 months, your claim will likely be denied.
  • Minimum hail and wind size events. Insurance companies will require their system to document a minimum size of hail, or minimum wind speed to cover an event. If the documented hail size was below their threshold (often below 1.00″), then they will likely deny.
  • Limited time period for covering claim. All claims must be submitted within 365 days- some within 6 months.

Other changes to consider:

  • Avoiding paying for wear and tear. Insurance companies are now more cautious in distinguishing between damage caused by sudden events and the natural aging process. Convincing insurers that roof issues stem from covered perils rather than regular wear and tear has become a formidable challenge.
  • Policy changes and exclusions. If you have an insurance policy that has been updated since 2019, you likely have some changes in your policy that protect the insurance company:
  • Increased deductible. This could be specific to roof-related claims, or in general.
  • Cash value policy. This means the insurance company will pay for the current cash value of your roof, and not the replacement value.
  • Lack of endorsements. The policy could have an aesthetic exclusion that says unless the storm damage causes widespread leaks, they are not on the hook to cover. Another item is law & ordinance coverage which requires the insurance company to replace the roof to current building standards.

In addressing these challenges, homeowners are encouraged to take a proactive stance. Regular roof inspections, timely repairs, and meticulous record-keeping can help documentation when it comes time to filing a claim. Seeking guidance from roofing contractors well-versed in insurance claim nuances can offer valuable insights.