Insurance is a strange concept. We are essentially betting against ourselves. If nothing bad happens, we don’t get back our money. We only benefit if something does go wrong! But it is incredibly necessary, especially when you own a home. Homeowners insurance can save you hundreds of thousands of dollars in case of an accident such as a fire. It will cover your home itself as well as the possessions inside it. Considering the alternative in such an event, paying for homeowners insurance is a no-brainer.
Of course, all insurance comes with its fair share of caveats. Policies won’t pay out if you don’t follow certain rules and practices. When it comes to homeowners insurance, maintenance issues can cause you to lose out. Let’s take a look at one of the things that makes a house a house. The roof. When something happens to your roof, or if it leaks, homeowners insurance will pay out. But if you haven’t maintained it properly, you may not get what you expect. According to Lemonade, here are the maintenance issues that can cause you to lose out on your insurance in case of a leaking roof.
Mold, fungus, and wet rot
In fairness, every roof in the world is going to fall prey to mold, fungus, and wet rot. At least to some degree. Your roof is outside during all weather, and it is impossible to avoid any damage from wetness. However, it is when the mold, fungus, and wet rot lead to leaks that insurance won’t pay out. Homeowners insurance puts the onus on you to take care of waterproofing on a regular basis. It truly is irresponsible not to waterproof your roof yearly, considering that these issues get compounded and neglecting to do so will almost certainly lead to issues. The good news is that it is not difficult or expensive to waterproof during the dry season. You can do it yourself if you are not afraid of heights.
Wear and tear / Neglect / Lack of maintenance
Let’s face it. Your roof is going to deteriorate over the years. There is no way to prevent this, even if you do the necessary maintenance work. However, a well-maintained roof can last for decades without leaking. If issues do arise, you can fix them before they ever become a problem. Your insurer will have an expert assess whether you would have avoided the problem with proper maintenance. If they find that this is the case, they won’t pay out for the roof or the ruined possessions.
Do you have pigeons living in your roof? What about rats and other vermin? These creatures may seem harmless, and you may not want to kick them out of the place they have made their home. However, they cause gradual damage to your roof and this is avoidable. Check your roof regularly for any creatures living there. You will generally know if there are pigeons or rats in your roof, but insects that eat away at the structure do not make quite as much noise. You can get humane pest control solutions to help you take care of removing the pests from your roof. If you do not take care of this, your homeowners insurance will not pay out when it leads to leaks.
When do they pay?
If all of the above will give your insurer a reason not to pay, when exactly will they pay? The general rule is that they will pay for anything you couldn’t have prevented with basic maintenance. In other words, if a tree falls on your roof or it is ripped up from the house in a heavy weather event, the damages will be paid for. The reality is that you generally don’t have to worry about your insurance not paying out if you are taking proper care of your home. Your roof will not leak for no reason, and with proper attention you will be on top of any potential issues. Homeowners insurance is not a coverall, and is certainly not an excuse to neglect your house. The good news is that, as a handyman who enjoys the work, you have nothing to worry about.