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Does home cover include roof damage

Jane

The main reason for taking out a home cover policy or home insurance is to protect you financially against unforeseen damage and the resultant repairs to your home. Normal wear and tear of your home are not normally included in a home insurance policy but may be included in some comprehensive home cover packages.

Does your home insurance or home cover, cover you against roof damage?

Whether your home insurance covers your home against roof damage is all dependent on how the damage is caused. If the damage is caused by an event you couldn’t have foreseen, then any resultant damage may be covered. If the damage is because you have a hole in your roof, or broken roof tiles you neglected to repair, then you probably are not covered by your home insurance or home cover.

You need to be clear about this because if your roof leaks in heavy rain, this may be due to normal wear and tear or poor household maintenance. If it’s not accidental damage, it is unlikely to be covered by your home insurance.

The accidental damage versus wear and tear query applies to most major household repairs and home insurance policies. For example with central heating boilers. Most standard home insurance policies will not cover boiler repairs or replacement. The reason being that repairs are usually necessary because of wear and tear, not accidental damage. However, these are usually covered by bespoke home cover packages.

Is it possible to get cover that offers protection against roof damage and repairs?

This type of home cover is not widely available. An internet search for roof damage cover or roof damage insurance produces search results for insurance cover for roofing and building contractors, not homeowners. It covers contractors against roof damage caused when they are repairing or working on a roof. Alternatively, other results are for home insurance that will usually cover homeowners for roof damage as a result of an unexpected event.

Roof damage is mentioned in some home cover packages but only in relation to the security of the house. Some home cover policies may include roof repairs, in a similar way to the cover provided for boiler, central heating systems, plumbing, drains and electrics within the home. These do not appear to be widely available at the current time.

What can you do to limit roof damage?

Good household maintenance is the key to protecting yourself against an expensive roof leak repair bill. Regular checks of your roof for broken roof tiles, damaged flashing and blocked or damaged guttering are worth the effort.

A roof flashing repair will mean employing a roofer. If the damage is spotted early, a competent DIY homeowner could fill a hole and attach a small patch cheaply and with little difficulty. Similarly, if you have a flat roof, repelling water is important to reduce the risk of leaks in the house. Blocked guttering will not remove water from your flat roof. If there are any damaged areas, water may leak into the property. A flat roof leak repair may be expensive, especially if the whole roof has to be replaced. Good maintenance of guttering will allow more water to be removed, making water damage and leaks less likely.

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Remember to maintain your roof

Damage in any of these areas can lead to roof leaks in heavy rain. Regular maintenance of your roof, carried out either by yourself or by employing a professional, will highlight problems with your roof, allowing them to be rectified before they cause a problem.

My roof is leaking what should I do?

There are several ways your roof can leak. Broken or slipped roof tiles, may cause a hole in your roof. Damaged flashing can cause leaks down the outside walls that get in at the roof’s edges, or where it meets other structures like a chimney. This can cause a leak from the chimney or a ceiling leak from rain, that gets under the damaged flashing. A ceiling leak repair may involve replacing damaged plasterboard, or plaster, as well as redecoration, which can be costly.

If the worst happens and your roof leaks in heavy rain or snow, what can you do to limit the damage to your home and save yourself an expensive bill?

Contain the water coming into your house - Use containers for this. Remember, if the leak is into your roof space, you need to be able to empty them easily. So they mustn’t be too heavy or large.

Locate where your roof is leaking - This may be obvious if you have a gaping hole in your roof, however, if the leak is from damaged flashing, there may be several smaller leaks down your walls from where they meet the roof.

Identify leak type - Determine what type of roof leak it is.

Stop the leak - Make a temporary repair.

Check your home insurance - If the roof leak has been caused by storm damage or something falling on the roof, check your home insurance to see if this is covered. If in doubt, ring your insurers. If you are covered, ring the home insurance helpline, they will probably have authorised roofing contractors you can contact. Depending on your policy they may do this for you.

Ask yourself, is it a DIY job? - If the roof leak is not covered under your home insurance, you will need to ascertain how much damage there is. Competent DIY persons may do this themselves but be mindful of health and safety. If you’re not sure, search for a reputable local roofer to assess the damage and give you a quote for the repair.

In conclusion, most home cover and home insurance policies only cover roof damage caused by unforeseen events. If your roof leaks in heavy rain, but it is due to poor maintenance, or because of existing damage you are not likely to be covered Regular roof maintenance will help prevent roof damage. It will also reduce the risk of expensive and unexpected roof leak repair bills.

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