Some homeowners in Florida are taking a gamble with their insurance coverage by opting for a roof exclusion in order to save a few hundred dollars on their annual premiums. Taking this risk can have far-reaching consequences, especially during a tropical storm or hurricane. The roof is the first line of defense against wind, hail, rain, and water.
If the roof is damaged, like during Hurricane Irma, your insurance company will notify you that your insurance claim is denied. They will refuse to reimburse you the money to repair or replace your roof if your policy has a roof exclusion. A roof exclusion is a special endorsement contained within your homeowner’s policy.
It is often found on the declarations page, along with any other exclusions. The wording of the roof exclusion specifies that your insurance provider will not pay for damages to the roof as the result of wind, hail, rain, and other such events. In addition, the exclusion will mention other indirect damages your home could sustain, like water damage in the attic.
Even if you have a separate hurricane insurance binder in effect, the roof exclusion could limit the extent of damages you are reimbursed. With the start of hurricane season coming up soon, now is a good time to review your homeowner’s insurance coverage and any exclusions.
You can request a copy of your complete policy through your agent or insurance provider. Upon receiving the copy, read through it carefully. Pay attention to any wording that mentions anything about reductions in premiums and the reasons for their reductions.
For instance, most homeowners bundle their home and auto insurance with the same company to get a reduction on their premiums. Another popular reduction is on homes that have monitored security systems. These types of reductions in premiums are acceptable as they are not directly related to your roof.
However, if the reduction in the premium specifically mentions your roof is not covered, then you have a roof exclusion in your policy. It is highly recommended to call your agent and have this exclusion removed.
Keep in mind that to get a new roof installed on a home in Florida costs several thousands of dollars. Depending on the extent of damages and the size of the home, these can range from around $2,000 to as much as $10,000 or more.
Let’s say you are currently saving $200 a year on your homeowner’s coverage with a roof reduction. At the low end, you are talking ten years to break even. The likelihood there will be a major storm that impacts Southern Florida and causes roof damages over a ten-year period is highly probable.
In the long run, hopefully, you can see it is better to not have a roof exclusion in your policy. If you need help reviewing your current coverages on your home and any exclusions, or for help disputing a denied claim with your insurance company, please feel free to contact Silver, Bass & Brams at 1-888-897-1786 to speak with an insurance claims attorney today!