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Question DetailsAsked on 6/9/2014

will homeowners insurance pay full repair costs to a storm damaged roof of any age?

I have storm damage to a flat rubber roof under a deck. My insurance claim money only covered approx. 40% of my total roof repair estimates. They also say that they are not responsible for pulling up and replacing the deck over the roof. How can I verify that this amount is all that they are liable for without hiring an independent adjuster, who will take a percentage off the top? Also, will my insurance go up substantially after this claim is made. FYI, I have not ever placed a claim in 20 years ownership of this property.

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Voted Best Answer

First, unless you have replacement value coverage, most policies prorate the age of the loss, so if it is say 20 years old they might say it had 5 or maybe (for long-life shingles) 10 years left, so would pay 5/25 or 10/30ths of the replacement cost. Since you have been there 20 years so roof sounds like it is at least that old, 40% payment would have been a pretty good payment rate if based on depreciated value rather than replacement cost. Or did you mean that the payment covered only 40% of combined roof replacement and deck removal/ replacement, combined ?

Second, read the fine print about roof decks and repairing roofing under a deck. I would say if they did not have a disclaimer, assuming the deck was not illegal, they are liable for whatever is necessary to repairing the roof. If this means removing and replacing the deck, that would be a legitimate part of the job cost as it has to be done to do the fix. Same as drywall repair and painting is covered if a hole has to be knocked in a wall or ceiling to do an electrical or plumbing repair. Ditto if you have a leak that damaged roof sheathing so it rotted and had to be replaced, even if the leak was due to say 1 hole in the shingles - the claim would also cover tearing off and replacing the overlying roofing materials because you could not replace the sheathing without replacing them too. I would ask to talk to a claims supervisor (assuming deck was legal in your area) and explain roof could not be fixed without removing and then replacing deck, and use the above examples in your argument. If he does not agree, then nicely tell him you are going to get an attorney and an independent claims adjuster and be talking to the state insurance commission - that may convince him the thousand or two difference in coverage is not worth the fight. And yes, will probably increase your premium unless you have a "one claim free" policy, and ditto if you had a "claim-free" discount - that will probably disappear for 3-5 years of new claim-free period. But that will be the case regardless of the deck issue.

Answered 6 years ago by LCD

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