My home insurance company won’t renew my policy until I fix a leaky roof. Can they drop my coverage altogether?
UPDATED: May 5, 2014
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Asked May 5, 2014
Home insurance is written under the assumption that home is kept in proper condition. This includes a roof that does not leak as well as being free of debris such as leaves and tree limbs. Even a dead tree standing near the home could be a cause for the insurance company to decline a renewal because of the potential for damage if the tree falls on the home.
When you buy a home insurance policy, you are agreeing to use diligence in protecting the home. This includes keeping the roof free of obstructions which hold water or add weight to the roof, fixing any leaks, and replacing missing or broken shingles. Failure to do these things could result in a non-renewal or denial of a claim if the policy is renewed without an inspection or the insurance company, minor repairs of this sort are considered routine maintenance, and failure to make them is grounds for cancellation on the basis of homeowner negligence.
If the damage to the roof was caused by a covered peril, your insurance may pay for the repairs. To determine whether the repairs are covered under your policy, read the details of the policy or contact customer service. If the repairs are not covered, you will have to pay the costs out of pocket. If the repairs are covered, the type of your policy will determine how much of the costs are covered, and having Full Replacement Value coverage will help you out far more than an Actual Cash Value policy.
If your insurance company does not know about the leaky roof and renews your policy, you could still have a problem later. If another claim arises that includes the roof and old damage is discovered, the claim will be denied, even if it is not directly related to the leak, because you have falsely represented the home as being free of leaks. For this reason, making the repairs is much better than trying to pass of a leaky roof without getting it fixed.
Answered May 5, 2014 by Anonymous