It's what every new homeowner fears most: unexpected damage to your property that stops you from moving in. Also it happened to us a week before the big day.
Everything was running efficiently last spring as our home had been painted. My loved ones was all packed up and prepared for an easy move. This is when an ice storm and heavy winds hit Southern Ontario, with the subsequent snow melt causing a rush water to breach the roof (more specifically, a skylight).
Fortunately, our contractor was on site to mitigate a lot of the initial damage, but a lot of the ceiling, pot lights, wood flooring, and carpets were beyond repair. Our insurance company would need to become involved.
“Water may be the new fire, meaning that insurance providers are now spending more for water damage than they are for fire damage,” said Pete Karageorgos, director of consumer and industry relations in the Insurance Bureau of Canada.
Much of the ceiling, pot lights, wood flooring, and carpets were beyond repair. Our insurance provider would need to get involved
It could be days before my insurance provider could send an adjuster to assess the harm, however they explained we're able to begin the cleanup and get ready for repairs. That provided the reassurance that at least a number of my upcoming claim would be covered, but that is also when things got tricky.
I was told that I would not be covered when the reason for the leak was a faulty or damaged skylight, while ice damming, which prevents melting snow from draining off a roof, was covered.
“It can sometimes be frustrating for homeowners because from an insurance company's perspective, it may be a maintenance issue, and insurance coverage is not really a maintenance policy,” Karageorgos said.
Having your homes roof inspected regularly, keeping drains and eavestroughs clear, and making sure shingles have established yourself, are required the homeowner, out of the box understanding what an insurance policy covers. There isn't any specific guidebook based on how various claims are handled, but consumers (homeowners and renters) should review their policies often.
“People do not have regular conversations using their insurance representatives,” Karageorgos said. “When you receive a new policy or your renewal each year, take a seat and review your coverages, what you are paying and getting, shop around if you need to, and take the time and effort. Insurance is an investment, would you like to take the time and still do it.”
It can sometimes be frustrating for homeowners because from an insurance coverage company's perspective, it may be a maintenance issue, and insurance coverage is not a maintenance policy
Insurance coverage is contracts, and those contracts stipulate the majority of what events a homeowner is covered for. In some instances, specific events is going to be mentioned to be excluded, and when it isn't listed, you can presume it's covered. Consumers also need to consider be it worthwhile to create a claim, as insurance companies may decide after multiple claims they don't want to cover you anymore.
In my case, I was asked to provide a letter from the roofer indicating the problem was brought on by ice damming. Fortunately, I was in a position to buy one, but when I hadn't, or maybe my insurance company's emergency contractor assessing the harm didn't agree, my claim could have been denied, leaving us on the hook financially.
“A lot of insurers want to see whether it's faulty workmanship,” said Nuno Torres, manager of Luso Roofing, that has been providing roofing services within the Gta for 25 years. “Shingles could be very old and weren't changed in a long time, or perhaps a flat roof is extremely old. This stuff shouldn't be covered because they are not really weather related.”
If my insurance company's emergency contractor assessing the damage didn't agree, my claim might have been denied, leaving us on the hook financially
Homeowners have enough money a complete inspection report to ensure they know the condition of their roof, however they must also do their research on who to employ for the job – so a second opinion is definitely advisable.
“Restoration information mill trying to make money sub-contracting the work out, but they are not always obtaining the highest-quality professionals out there,” Torres said. “Then homeowners are disappointed following the roof continues to be leaking.”
After a month within an Airbnb, my family was able to transfer to the house that now had new wood floors and fresh repairs to repair the harm caused by the leak. We get the roof checked frequently, and discussed our coverage in detail when our insurance plan was renewed. Before that, however, our insurance company wanted detailed receipts or invoices, together with photos, to exhibit the work was done in line with the things they paid out. Make sure to have those organized when the work is being completed to save lots of hassle and stress.