With your home’s roof being one of the most expensive parts of your house to repair out of pocket, you’re probably wondering: Does homeowners insurance cover roof replacement?
But if your roof collapses due to general wear and tear or poor maintenance, your insurance company won’t cover repairs. And coverage is also typically limited if your roof is more than 20 years old.
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Roof insurance: What you need to know
A standard home insurance policy will pay to replace your roof if it’s damaged beyond repair by a fire, tornado, hurricane, ice storm, or other covered hazard. However, you won’t be able to file a claim if the cause of your roof damage is due to lack of maintenance on your part or just general wear and tear, like a gradual roof leak. In addition, the age of your roof will also play a role in your claim reimbursement.
Keep in mind that there are some exceptions to roof coverage, depending on the type and severity of the damage.
For example, if a few shingles on your roof had slight nicks in them after a hail storm, your home insurance company may classify it as cosmetic damage and exclude it from coverage.
Another exception comes in the form of ice dam coverage. While your dwelling coverage will typically cover roof damage caused by ice dams and water, your personal property inside the home typically won’t be covered.
How the age of your roof affects what's covered by insurance
One of the biggest factors that plays a role in whether your home insurance company pays for roof replacement is its age and condition.
If you indicate that your roof is over 20 years old on your home insurance application, most insurance companies will require it to pass an inspection. Other insurers simply won’t write new policies for homes with roofs that are 15 or 20 years old. And if they do, they’ll specify that it’s only covered at its actual cash value — meaning depreciation is factored into your final payout.
Here’s an example of how the age of your roof plays a role in your claim payout, according to the Texas Department of Insurance. 
Actual cash value of roof
Claim payout to replace roof
Real-life examples of roof replacement and home insurance
Here are two examples of when your home insurance company would likely pay to replace your roof — and when it wouldn't.
Does homeowners insurance cover roof leaks?
Homeowners insurance will cover your leaky roof if the leak was caused by a peril that’s covered in your policy. It may also cover a roof leak if the damage was swift, sudden, and didn’t accumulate over a number of years. However, determining the cause of the leak is often contentious and it may be difficult to prove that the fracturing of the roof was sudden and not the result of years of wear and tear.
Does roof damage come with separate deductibles?
Sometimes. Homeowners in states that experience frequent tornadoes or hurricanes often have to pay a separate deductible for damage to their home and roof caused by wind or hail.
How to get insurance to pay for roof replacement
If you notice damage to your roof, be sure to contact your insurer immediately. To get insurance to pay for a new roof, you’ll want to do the following:
Hire a roofing company to make temporary repairs. Not only does roof damage create unwanted access points in your house, but you’re also risking further damage to everything inside.
Gather evidence of your claim. Take before and after photos of your roof, and keep all receipts of any work you've had done on your roof.
File an insurance claim. You might be able to do this over the phone through your agent, online, or through a mobile app — depending on your insurance company.
Schedule an appointment with your insurance claims adjuster. They'll survey the damage and decide if your claim is approved or not.
If your claim is approved, your insurer will reimburse you for the cost of roof repairs or replacement. You’ll first have to pay your deductible before your insurance coverage will pay out for a new roof or repairs.
How the age of your roof impacts your home insurance rates
One benefit of investing in a roof replacement is you'll typically be rewarded with lower home insurance premiums.
Here's how much you stand to save on your home insurance rates by replacing your roof:
Methodology: Annual rates are based on our analysis of home insurance premiums provided by Quadrant Information Services in March 2022 for ZIP codes in all 50 states plus Washington, D.C. Annual rates for old roofs are calculated by averaging the cost of policies for a roof that's 10 years old, 15 years old, and 20 years old with each carrier.
How to protect your roof from damage
A good way to keep your insurance costs down and protect your roof is to storm-proof it by installing impact-resistant shingles that are resistant to both cosmetic and functional damage. Not only will this limit the amount of claims you file, saving you time and money, but many insurance companies offer wind mitigation discounts for homeowners who have impact-resistant roofing.
You should also check if your insurance company offers any endorsements or additional roof coverages. Nationwide’s better roof replacement endorsement, for example, will pay to replace your roof with stronger and safer materials if it’s damaged by a covered peril.
Regular maintenance checks of your roof will also help keep it in good shape, especially if you live in an area that experiences severe weather.