Does Home Insurance Cover Roof Leaks?

Last updated: 05/09/2023 | Estimated Reading Time: 7 minutes

Some home insurance policies cover roof leaks, but that doesn’t mean that every type of leak will result in a successful claim. If you’ve noticed your roof starting to leak, or are concerned about this happening in the future, your first step should be to consult your insurance policy documents.

In this guide, we’ll help you to get a better understanding of how roof leaks are viewed by most home insurance providers and whether you have a chance at a successful claim.

In This Guide:

My Roof Is Leaking, Is It Covered by Insurance?

Your roof leak might be covered by your home insurance, especially if it’s explicitly stated in your terms and conditions. However, even if your home insurance does cover roof leaks, it will usually only cover certain types of leaks.

Home insurance is designed to protect you against costs that arise in emergency situations, such as a bad storm or burst pipe. If your roof leak happened suddenly after a bought of bad weather or due to a tree branch falling on your home, your home insurance will likely cover the repairs.

However, if your roof leak is due to a lack of maintenance or just general damage that has occurred over the course of many years, your home insurance policy is unlikely to accept your claim. This is because it’s your job to make sure your home is in good working order and replacing or mending your roof is considered routine maintenance.

Could My Home Insurance Reject My Leaking Roof Claim?

Yes, there are a number of reasons your home insurance provider may reject your claim for a leaking roof. For example, even if your roof began leaking after a storm, if your roof was poorly maintained and was already in a state of disrepair, your home insurer may refuse to pay out. You will need to make sure you understand your home insurance fully before making a claim and gather any evidence you need to support it.

Tips for Making a Successful Insurance Claim on Your Roof Leak

If you feel confident that your leaking roof should be covered by your home insurance provider, there are certain steps you can take to give yourself the best chance at making a successful claim.

Collect Evidence

When you notice your roof leak, you’re going to need to collect as much evidence as you can to prove to your insurer what’s happened. Make sure you take photos of the leak and any visible damage. For example, if you can see a tree branch on your roof, try and document this in case it gets blown away later. If the leak gets worse over the course of the storm, keep taking photos so that your insurer can see how the leak progressed.

It’s also a good idea to have evidence that you’ve maintained your roof properly. For example, if you recently had work done or had a new roof installed not long ago, make sure you keep the paperwork so that your insurer can’t argue that the leak was caused by normal wear and tear.

Tell Your Insurer as Soon as Possible

It’s important to ring your insurer soon after the leak starts rather than waiting until it gets worse. Some home insurance policies require you to arrange repairs through your provider, so having your roof repaired before telling them could make your claim less likely to be approved. Other home insurance companies may want to send a loss adjuster to assess the damage, so having all of your paintwork repaired before this happens could result in a rejected claim. Even if you think you understand how your home insurance company will deal with your claim, it’s always best to ring and ask first.

Do Everything You Can to Minimise Damage

While it can be difficult to get a severe roof leak under control, taking small steps to minimise the amount of damage it causes can work in your favour when making a home insurance claim. You’ll also have fewer repairs to carry out if your claim is rejected, saving you money.

Always try to place a bucket or pot under the area where the leak is affecting your home. If it’s difficult to contain the water, move furniture and valuables out of the way to make sure they don’t get ruined.

My Roof Leak is an Emergency, What Should I Do?

If your roof leak is an emergency and is causing water to rapidly enter your home, you can call a contractor to come out and perform the repair. As long as you have enough evidence to support the need for a quick fix, your home insurer should understand that you couldn’t wait to have the repair approved through them first. If the emergency is so severe that you can’t stay in your home, your home insurance provider may even cover the costs of a hotel or rental property if you have alternative accommodation cover.

What Will My Home Insurance Cover?

Not every home insurance policy covers the same types of damage. The type of damage your policy will cover will depend on whether you have buildings insurance, contents insurance or combined cover.

Buildings insurance is what will pay for emergency roof repairs, but it won’t cover the damage any leaking water does to your furniture or décor. To have this covered, you’ll need contents insurance as well. Contents insurance covers almost all your belongings, but some particularly valuable items, such as laptops or phones, may be exempt. To insure these items, you may have to take out additional cover or upgrade your policy.

However, if your roof leak damages the structure of your walls rather than just the paintwork, buildings insurance should pay to have these repairs fixed. For example, if your roof leak occurred while you were away for a week and your walls were completely damp, they may need more extensive repairs.

I’m Renting a House and My Roof is Leaking, Will Home Insurance Cover Me?

A roof leak in a rented house is the landlord’s responsibility to repair. Tenants don’t need to take out buildings insurance for properties they don’t own, as these costs fall to the landlord. However, your landlord usually won’t be responsible for damage to your belongings as a result of a roof leak (unless the leak was caused by their own negligence), which is where a contents insurance policy for renters comes in.

You should be able to claim for damages to your furniture or belongings through your contents insurance, but be sure to collect evidence of the leak as well as the damage that occurred to your belongings. This will help your insurer to understand exactly what happened.

Will Home Insurance Cover a Leak in the Roof of My Flat?

Home insurance works in a similar way for flats as it does for houses. If you’re renting, your landlord will need to repair any leaks and if you own your flat as a freeholder, your home insurance may cover your roof leak depending on its cause. However, if you own your flat as a leaseholder, repairing a roof leak may not fall to you. Check the details of your lease agreement and find the individual that’s responsible for maintaining your building before arranging any repairs yourself.

Finding Home Insurance that Covers Roof Leaks

If you’re worried about roof leaks or other home emergencies, we can help you find a home insurance policy that suits your needs. Regardless of whether you’re looking for buildings or contents cover, here at Money Expert, we can provide you with quotes for a wide range of policies that offer different levels of protection.