Nothing is ever completely gleaming and new. Furniture becomes scratched, drapes fade in the sun, and, with time, structural elements such as roof tiles or pipes may deteriorate as well.
It’s called ‘wear and tear’ – a term used by all insurance companies – and it’s important to understand since damage caused by normal wear and tear is not covered by insurance.
In comparison to vehicle insurance, where policies are often very comparable, home insurance policies can vary considerably. It is critical to understand your coverage in order to determine what is covered and what is not.
Here are a few recommendations from STARR Roofing & Gutters, a commercial and residential roofing professional, to get you thinking about your roof and home insurance claims.
What is Wear and Tear?
Wear and tear is the natural deterioration that occurs as an object ages. As an illustration, consider how quickly your carpets may become filthy and worn. You may also have corroded nails in your roof slates that allow water to seep into your property.
When it comes to home insurance, the majority of policies will only protect you in the event of an accident like a fire, flood, or theft. Wear and tear, as well as damage that occurs over time, will not be covered. Dampness, moisture, or rust are all examples of things that could cause this.
As a result, it is imperative that you thoroughly review your policy documentation to ensure that you understand what is covered.
The Reason Why Wear and Tear Isn’t Covered
As a homeowner’s insurance policyholder, you are expected to uphold your end of the bargain with the insurer in order to avoid any negligence that may result in property damage. Wear and tear are excluded from the policy to protect them from being held liable for damage caused by your failure to repair, replace, or maintain parts of your home that required repairs. As a result, it’s up to you to keep up with routine roof inspections and maintenance to avoid damage from wear and strain. In the event of a problem, you will be responsible for paying for the repairs, not your insurance company.
What Counts as Wear and Tear?
Acute Damage vs. Wear and Tear
Home insurance is intended to assist homeowners in managing the financial risk associated with damage to their houses caused by events beyond their control. The logic is as follows: occasionally, things go wrong in ways that you cannot control (lightning strikes, tree limbs fall, etc.). While you have little control over these disasters, you can mitigate their cost impact by purchasing homeowners insurance.
Those situations outside your control are examples of acute damage: something goes horribly wrong all of a sudden.
The type of damage that dwellings sustain is normal wear and tear and it includes the following:
Peeling exterior paint.
Scuffed or chipped wooden floors.
Loosening of hinges and door handles.
Warping and separation of the boards.
Roof shingles are becoming loose.
As with acute damage, wear and tear can result in costly complications. Consider a window crack that allows water to enter, resulting in widespread mold development.
Homeowners insurance specifically excludes damage caused by wear and tear, as part of the agreement between you and your insurance provider is that you would maintain the condition of your property. In other words, by doing routine roofing inspections and maintenance, you can avoid costly repairs.
How to Minimize Wear and Tear on Your Home
Therefore, what kind of maintenance should homeowners perform on a regular basis? The list is extensive and includes the following:
Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors should be inspected.
Ascertain that gutters are free of debris and that drainage spouts point away from the house.
Eliminate any plants that may grow in cracks and cause significant structural damage.
Caulk external holes.
Conduct a roof inspection and repair if necessary.
In all seasons, inspect your plumbing for leaks and freezing (in the winter).
Inspect the area for insects.
Check for mold.
What Kind of Roof Damage Is Covered?
Insurance coverage will range from policy to policy, so it’s important to check the specifics under your insurance plan. The dwelling coverage section of your homeowner’s insurance is typically where you’ll find what parts of your metal roofing are covered in the event of specific damages. Commonly covered events include fire, wind, and hail damage. So if a tree falls on your roof during a windstorm, or if it’s damaged by hail, chances are good that your dwelling coverage will help cover needed repair costs. If you have a shed, detached garage, or another unattached structure, those coverages may be found under a non-dwelling or “other structures” clause.
Keep in mind that with most homeowner insurance policies, you will most likely have to pay a deductible before insurance kicks in to cover the remaining balance. Your coverage plan might also cap total repair costs at a specific level. We always advise reading the fine print and knowing what’s covered and what isn’t long before you need it. Calling an experienced roofer to identify and confirm the damage in relation to your coverage before filing an insurance claim will help avoid the potential for your rates to increase from filing non-payable claims.
The Importance of Roof Maintenance
Over time, your roof will show symptoms of age due to the constant exposure to the weather. Wear and tear can have a negative impact on the lifespan and performance of your metal roofing, even if it isn’t something to be concerned about.
To avoid having your claim invalidated, you must maintain it properly. The insurance may challenge or lower your claim if the reason was discovered to be multiple missing tiles that you had not replaced.
It is best to take a proactive approach to roof care in order to avoid these issues in the first place.
As a GAF Master Elite® roofing contractor, STARR Roofing & Gutters delivers nothing but the best quality products and processes that will assure your new roofing system’s long-term weather protection and performance. When you choose us, you can gain access to the strongest warranties in the business, including the Golden Pledge® that offers a 50-year guarantee on the materials and 20-year coverage on the workmanship.