Whether it’s a drizzly December or summertime shower, a leaky roof is the last thing you want in your property. While it may be tempting to pop a bucket under the leak and let it subside, the best course of action is to tend to it immediately. But will it be covered by your home insurance?

It’s important to know what you are and aren’t covered for before you proceed with work on your home, as you may be hit with unexpected costs should your insurer reject your claim.  Fortunately, our guide to leaking roof insurance claims will clear things up…

Home insurance

Accounting for 26% of claims, escape of water is actually the most common type of domestic property insurance claim. According to the Association of British Insurers (ABI), domestic escape of water claims amounted to £483 million in the first 9 months of 2017 alone. It’s a figure which has risen 24% since the same period in 2014, with an average claim of £2,638 over the three years.

While this may seem like insurers provide a guaranteed payout for leaks and leak repairs, the ABI also estimates that one in five home insurance claims are unsuccessful. The reason? It’s mostly down to people not being aware of what their insurance covers.

Will they cover my leak?

Whether or not your home insurance will cover the repairs for a leak depends on the specific policy. However, by and large, insurers will cover the cost of leaks where the property has been reasonably maintained.

If your roof is old and poorly kept, the insurer can essentially blame you for the leak, as you have let your roof get in a state where a break and leak is imminent. In this case, they may agree to cover the cost of any damage to your home from the leak, but not actually the repair of the leak itself.

Another key area is trace and access. Leaks aren’t always easily identified, with the root cause potentially deep within the structure of the roof. This means it’s sometimes necessary to pull up parts of the roof or use thermal imaging to detect the source of a leak.

Trace and access means your policy includes the cost of investigation and repair, so it’s important to look out for in your home insurance policy. You should also check for standard exclusions, which outline which damage is excluded from your policy, such as damp or wet rot.

How it works

To file a home insurance claim, you first need to report the incident to your provider. Following this, they will appoint an adjuster, who will evaluate your claim. After assessing your property and the damage, they will tell you how much will be contributed by the insurance company, which will be sent to you as a cheque or deposited directly into your bank account.

One thing to be clear on is whether your insurance company has a preferred suppliers list. To make sure the job is completed to the right standards, some insurance companies will only pay out if you use one of their suppliers. In other cases, you may be allowed to choose your own company to complete the repairs.

Maintain and prevent

To avoid your home insurance claims being rejected, it’s a good idea to have maintenance carried out regularly. As well as removing liability, this will prevent most leaks occurring in the first place, keeping your roof in tip top condition.

Maintenance includes everything from having gutters cleared to getting slipped roof tiles fixed as soon as possible. That way, you can stop them developing into a more serious problem – and stop water getting into your property.

Have your roof inspected once or twice a year to check for these problems and nip them in the bud. Most importantly for your home insurance, keep a record of any inspections and maintenance that are carried out on your property.

Spotting problems yourself

While a professional inspection is the best way to look for problems close up, you can also perform your own inspection to check for any clear issues. This will help you catch the problem early on, and should make it quicker, easier and less expensive to repair. With that said, do not attempt to get onto the roof, as this requires extensive training. Here are some issues to look for:

  • Curling, cracking or missing roof tiles – Tiles can become damaged or loose during harsh weather. You should be able to spot these from the ground, as they will stand out from the rest of the roof’s covering.
  • Guttering problems – Check for debris, cracks or overflowing water on your gutters. If water isn’t flowing freely down the drains, it may be held on the roof or spill down onto walls, which can lead to water ingress over time.
  • Ceiling spots – From inside your property, you should look for any dark spots around your ceiling or roof. This usually indicates a point of entry for water, which will mean water leaking in even if you don’t see it happening there and then.

Get the right solution

To avoid hassle and extra costs in the future, it’s best to avoid any quick fixes and get your roof properly repaired. DPR Roofing specialises in long-lasting repairs for roofs across Leeds and the surrounding areas. In many cases, we remedy problems where other contractors have failed. And we can do the same for you.

Need More Help?

For expert help and advice or for a more accurate quote speak to our friendly team today.

Call us on 0113 335 0043