Do Home Warranties Cover Roofs?


If you’re wondering if home warranties cover roofs, the answer is not always. Home warranties are for damage to home systems and offer help in covering repair costs. Roofs are sometimes covered as a structural repair.

But that doesn’t mean your home warranty can’t cover your roof. Many home warranty companies now include an option to add roof coverage to your warranty plan.

The kind of roofing coverage offered by home warranty plans varies from policy to policy. There are other warranties and insurance policies out there designed to help absorb some of the expenses that come with repairing your roof.

At Primal Roofing, we aim to clarify the confusion that can arise from assessing your home warranty coverage. We’ll look at what a home warranty covers, whether roofing leaks fall under that coverage, and other warranty options out there that might help when repairing your roof.

What is a Home Warranty?

A home warranty is a service contract designed to protect your home from damage. It often functions in partnership with other service providers such as electricians and plumbers.

The warranty provider will hire a contractor to repair your roof damage or leak if the service contractor’s report establishes that the damage to your home and appliances resulted from a scenario outlined in the warranty.

Typically, home warranties cover damage to or caused by major home appliances. A few covered items are:

  • Water heaters
  • Cooktops
  • Refrigerators
  • Garage door openers

Some home warranties will also cover damage from or to:

  • HVAC
  • Air conditioning units (including the ductwork)
  • Heating systems
  • Plumbing systems (including the well pump)
  • Electrical systems
  • Ceiling fans

Since different home warranties vary in coverage, it’s important to read through the fine print before agreeing to the terms your home warranty outlines.

You also need to understand that a home warranty is different from home insurance. Whereas a home warranty covers you for damage caused to household systems, a home insurance policy protects you against damage to the home itself.

Is Your Roof Covered by Your Home Warranty?

Since not all home warranties cover roofs, the best way to determine if your roof is covered by a home warranty is to read the fine print. Even if your home warranty does cover roofs, the coverage frequently comes with restrictions and stipulations.

These affect your roof’s applicability for coverage by your home warranty. For instance, even companies that offer coverage for roofs don’t always cover everything on the roof. That means they’re exempt from covering problems with:

  • Vents
  • Drains
  • Chimneys or chimney pots
  • Skylights
  • Water damage

It’s also common for roof coverage in a home warranty to exclude:

  • Balcony roofs
  • Decks
  • Patio rooms
  • Townhouse roofs

Home Warranties and Roof Coverage

Because home warranties emphasize damage to home systems, policies don’t always include roof coverage. This is because many home warranty policies view roofs as a structural part of the house. Yet, home warranty policies are increasingly expanding. Besides home systems, they also cover:

  • Swimming pools
  • Spas
  • Roofs

Typically, these are extra optional coverage features that you must have added to your home warranty policy. As long as you are still within the period covered by your home warranty, you can add roof coverage to your warranty when occasion necessitates it.

There’s still value in acquiring a home warranty since having working home systems is integral to comfortable living. What’s more, paying for the entire cost of damages and home repairs can be expensive and add to the stress caused by problems like roof leaks. It costs an average of $890 just to repair your roof. If you need a new roof, estimates range anywhere from $5,000 to $10,000!

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What is Homeowners Insurance?

Homeowners insurance is a version of property insurance that protects you against damage to your house or its furnishings.

A home insurance policy typically covers:

  • Exterior property damage
  • Interior property damage
  • Damage to assets/possessions
  • An injury that develops or is caused while on the property

Home insurance also features a liability limit. The liability limit affects the extent of your home insurance coverage when you report damages to your home, assets, or yourself.

When reporting damage for coverage by home insurance, you will have to pay a deductible. This covers the insurer’s expenses and can later be subtracted from your gross income when filing taxes.

Provided the damage to your roof happens because of an accident or nature, your home insurance will almost certainly cover shingle and roof repair. That means any structural or other damage incurred because of roof leaks should be taken care of by your insurance after you pay the deductible.

Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Roof Leaks or Roofs?

As a rule, an all-perils homeowners insurance policy covers roof damage and the expenses attendant to replacing it. It’s dependent on how the damage was incurred.

Homeowner Insurance covers roof replacements in the event of:

  • Accident
  • Natural disasters

That means that while damage resulting from storms or the elements is covered, a roof that needs replacing due to normal wear or pre-existing conditions won’t be.

The other codicil to home insurance roof coverage is that once your roof exceeds 20 years old, it won’t be eligible for further coverage. After 20 years, you can recoup the cash value of your roof in insurance, but not the cost of replacing or re-shingling completely.

Roof Leak Coverage

As with roof damage, the rule about home insurance covering roof leak repairs is that they must be from an accident or an act of nature.

It also makes a distinction between the impact of a tree falling on your roof and the long-term effects of snow or rain. While the latter is unlikely to be covered, especially if they can prove that you had inadequately maintained the roof, the former almost certainly will be.

That means it’s vital that you stay on top of roof maintenance, any emerging leaks, water or moisture build-up, and their causes.

Other Types of Warranties That May be Helpful

Although a home warranty may not cover your roof or the damage caused by roof leaks, other warranties could mitigate the expense of roof repairs and the damage roof leaks cause. These include:

  • Workmanship Warranty
  • Builder Warranty
  • Roofing Warranty

Workmanship Warranty

Re-roofing your home can be expensive. And if your home warranty or insurance won’t cover the process, you risk being out of pocket. A workmanship warranty protects you from workmanship and installation problems. It usually lasts up to a year after your new roof’s installation.

What that means is that if you suffer roof leaks as a result of improper installation, you’re saved the extra cost of further workmanship expenses. It’s incumbent on the contractors who issued the warranty to make the reparations for you.

When you consider signing a workmanship warranty, remember that the crucial consideration isn’t the warranty’s longevity. Instead, you want a warranty that is flexible enough to accommodate various potential problems and circumstances. Different workmanship warranties accommodate different issues, so read the fine print carefully.

Builder Warranty

The vital difference between a home warranty and a builder warranty is that while a home warranty covers pre-existing properties and appliances, a builder’s warranty is attached to new homes and remodeled properties.

A builder’s warranty has a different remit to a home warranty. Instead of covering appliances and systems, the builder’s warranty covers:

  • Foundations and floors
  • Basement
  • Clapboard, shingles, and sidings
  • Landscaping
  • Carpentry
  • Thermal and moisture cover
  • Waterproofing
  • Doors and windows
  • Glass
  • Roofing and siding
  • Plumbing and septic system
  • Electrics
  • Insulation

It also covers various cosmetic things like paint. You’ll notice that whereas roof coverage is an optional add-on with most home warranties, it’s inbuilt into a builder’s warranty.

The average builder’s warranty lasts between six months and two years, though it may last longer depending on the problems it’s preventing against.

A builder’s warranty isn’t a catch-all for your roof leaks and other problems. The builder’s warranty is designed specifically to cover problems that result from the building or remodeling of the home you’ve purchased.

So, if the roof leak you’re experiencing is because of shoddy building work, you’re covered, but if it’s damage from a falling tree, you may not be.

Roofing Warranty

There are three main types of roofing warranties, and one of these is the workmanship warranty. The other two include:

  • Manufacturer’s warranty
  • Extended manufacturer’s warranty

Both of these warranties are designed to cover the cost of materials should your new roof needs repairs. Generally speaking, the manufacturer’s warranty covers only the replacement materials, leaving you to cover the labor costs.

An extended manufacturer’s warranty gives more expansive roof coverage, including:

  • Ongoing coverage of faulty materials
  • Workmanship

Warranties vary and while some may continuously bear the brunt of the cost of repairs and reinstallation, others may redistribute the cost such that some of the expense falls to you after a predetermined interval.

Maintaining Your Roof to Minimize Damages

Roof leaks and the damage they cause are stressful without the problem of trying to parse your home warranty.

Since many home warranties and insurance policies exclude damage incurred by an aging or under-maintained roof, you must keep on top of roof maintenance. Not only does it help prevent roof leaks, but it can save you unnecessary future expenses.

Primal Roofing can help you get your roof repaired quickly and safely, ensuring that when you encounter roof leaks or damage, it’s entirely because of the weather. That means you get peace of mind knowing your home warranty or insurance covers it.

Three generations on, Primal Roofing offers years of roofing experience to their customers. Knowledgeable and adept at their work, Primal Roofing offers a result you won’t need to protect through workmanship or manufacture warranty, though you always can.

If your roof needs repairs or you’re experiencing roof leaks, get in touch. We’re happy to help.