Will my insurance company pay for my roof to be replaced?

Yes, if the damage is a covered peril under your homeowners’ policy, such as acts of nature like wind or hail and if repairs to the roof would not be feasible.

Does the age of my roof matter?

Not as far as determining whether the damage will be a covered loss. It does affect how much the insurance company will pay if you have actual cash value (ACV) coverage on your insured building vs. replacement cost coverage. Be sure to review your insurance coverage, ask your agent, or speak with an insurance claims specialist for clarification.

How much will I have to pay out-of-pocket?

This depends on the deductible you have selected as well as whether you have replacement cost coverage or an actual cash value coverage on your policy. If you have replacement cost coverage, your total cost would only be the amount of your deductible. If you have actual cash value (ACV) coverage, the insurance company will subtract your deductible from the total repair or replacement cost amount as well as a portion to cover the depreciation on the roof.

Depending on the age of the roof, with an ACV policy you could end up owing approximately 50% of the amount needed to replace the roof. Be wary of claims to “eat the deductible” on your roof.

If I get bids lower than what my insurance company paid, can I keep the difference?

Most likely you will not be able to although it can depend on how payments were issued. Some insurance companies will pay the entire lump sum at one time. Most companies no longer pay in this fashion. They will issue a check for a portion of certain items on the estimate and then require that the balance of the work be completed and an inspection by a claims representative accomplished before they will release a final payment for the total claim. If any amount is withheld pending final completion, the final bill and payment will be determined by the actual invoiced amount and not just the original estimated amount.

As an example, insurance company A says it will allow $10,000 to replace your roof. With a deductible of $1500, you will receive $8,500 IF the final job actually cost $10,000. If the final invoice was for $9,000, instead of the original 10,000, you would be paid $7,500 since your deductible was $1500.

An insurance company only owes the actual amount of the repairs so as not to exceed the original adjusted amount unless additional damage was discovered that was not included on the original insurance estimate. If any additional damage is inspected and approved for repair by the insurance company representative, the amount you receive could exceed the amount of the original estimate. Quality roofing companies know what to do if additional damage is discovered and will work with your insurance company to ensure that you are properly reimbursed for damage resulting from a covered peril.

Will I get the same quality as I have now?

Yes, unless you choose differently.  Most insurance companies pay for “like kind and quality”. If you substitute with lower quality roofing components to “save money” you will void your warranty with most manufacturers.

Can I request to get an upgrade on the materials being used?

That is always an alternative as long as you understand that any increase in grade or quality of materials that increases the price above what was comparable for the originally-existing roof will be your responsibility.

This is actually a great time to consider upgrades since the insurance company is going to absorb the bulk of the cost. If you suffer a subsequent covered loss on the new roof, you will be paid for what it takes to repair or replace that roof and its higher-grade materials. Sometimes a higher or better quality of roof can contribute to a lower premium for the same type of insurance coverage. Check with your insurance policy, agent, or an insurance claims specialist for clarification.

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