2023 Roof Insurance – How To Negotiate Roof Replacement With Insurance

Typical Price Range To Install a new Roof
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Having roofing insurance pay for roof replacement can be vital in allowing you to fund some necessary repairs after certain accidents or natural disasters.

Without a functioning roof, a home provides no safety or comfort for any of the residents. So, if anything happens to this critical structure, you’ll want to replace it as quickly as possible.

If the roof damage meets all the requirements for an insurance claim, and you know how to file it correctly, your insurance company will pay for your roof replacement. 

Average Roof Replacement Cost

As with installing a new roof, replacing a damaged or old one comes with quite a broad range of costs.

Primarily, this has to do with a wide variety of materials you can choose as your roof covering, with an additional cost for labor.

Go for something affordable and widely used, such as asphalt shingles, and you can pay as low as $4 per square foot for roof replacement.

Install a premium material like copper, and it can cost you 10 times more, or $40 per square foot.

Let’s say that you have an average 2,000-square-foot roof. This means that replacing your old roof can cost between $8,000 and $80,000 in total, depending on the roof’s material.

Roof Replacement Cost per Square Foot Cost per 2,000-Square-Foot Roof
Asphalt Shingles $4  $8,000 
Copper $40  $80,000 

While the cost of materials and labor are the main considerations, a few other factors can drive up the total cost of your project.


If your flashing, vents, or roof ridges are also damaged, you’ll have to account for new ones in your total project estimate.

Removal of the old roof

Replacing a roof differs from installing a new one in that you must remove the current structure first.

A roof removal can cost up to $5 per square foot, depending on the complexity of the project. 

Required repairs

Once the old roof cover is gone, you have an excellent chance to determine the condition of this structure.

Any necessary repairs can increase your total project cost significantly.

Something as simple as vent repair shouldn’t add more than $200 to your bill, however, a major project like replacing the roof trusses could cost you up to $5,000.

Cleanup costs

You can always handle the cleanup yourself.

However, if you lack experience with heavy materials, your safest bet is to leave it to the professionals.

They can charge you up to $500 for hauling and disposal.

Average Roof Costs For:
Most Homeowners Spent Between: Most People Spent: $4,190 - $5,740 (For a 1600 sq. ft. Roof)
Low End
High End

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How To Get Insurance To Pay For Roof Replacement

All the figures associated with a roof replacement can cause a headache for any homeowner.

The good news is that homeowners insurance can take care of most of these costs, providing the damage your roof has experienced is covered by your policy.

The bad news? The damage in question typically refers only to the destruction caused by a sudden accident or an act of nature (extreme weather conditions like straight-line winds, tornados, hail storms, and snowstorms).

Most insurance companies will walk you through the claims process once you contact them.

But if you want to know what to expect beforehand, research a typical process of getting your roof replaced through homeowners insurance.

Please also note that while you’ll probably want your roof replaced immediately, this process can take up to several months, so arm yourself with patience before embarking on this process, of which an overview can be found below:

Step 1: Calling the Insurance Company

If a devastating storm hits your area and damages your roof, the first thing you should do (after ensuring everyone’s safe) is call your homeowners’ insurance company.

They may be inundated with calls from your area, so be patient.

Once you reach them, explain what happened and give them any relevant information.

Afterwards, the company will send an insurance adjuster to your property.

Step 2: Dispatching an Insurance Adjuster 

A home insurance adjuster is responsible for investigating your insurance claim.

While you’re not required to be home when the adjuster arrives, it will be helpful if you are. This way, you can ask them questions about their findings and get informed about the ins and outs of the claims process with your specific insurance company.

Whether your insurance company will fully fund your roof replacement depends on what the adjuster finds during their inspection.

Again, patience is key here as the inspection can last for several hours.

During the inspection, the adjuster may also ask to look inside your home.

Once they’re finished, they’ll write an evaluation.

Did you know? If you aren’t satisfied with the adjuster’s evaluation, you can request another inspection in most states. The second inspection will be even more extensive and usually requires you to have a roofing contractor present.

Typical Price Range To Install A New Roof Average: $4,190 - $6,740
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Step 3: Writing Up A Roof Insurance Claim

If your claim is approved based on the adjuster’s evaluation, the insurance company will offer you an estimate check.

The amount depends on your exact policy, but generally falls under these two categories:

Actual Cash Value (ACV)

ACV is equal to your replacement cost minus the depreciation of your roof.

In other words, your insurance company will only pay for how much your roof is worth today, as opposed to when it was first installed. 

Roof Replacement Cost Value (RCV)

RCV is equal to the total amount of money you need to replace your roof (without deducting depreciation).

Most insurance companies will first send you a check for the ACV.

Once you go through the roof replacement and show proof, you’ll also receive a check for the recoverable depreciation (your company’s estimate of how much the roof has depreciated during its lifetime).

Note that insurance companies usually use a software program called Xactimate to determine the numbers for your estimate. This program is up to date with the average material prices in your specific area.

Step 4: Finding a Reliable Roof Contractor

With your initial check from homeowners insurance in hand, you can start the replacement process.

The most critical part is finding a reliable contractor for the job.

Since an insurance claim differs from standard roof repairs and replacements, there are several requirements the contractor should meet before you decide to hire them:

Experienced with insurance claims

Hiring a contractor who has already dealt with insurance claims has numerous advantages.

These professionals will know how the process works, helping you avoid costly mistakes or inadvertently committing insurance fraud.

Plus, they’ll ensure every line on your claim is correct and know to supplement it if necessary.

Local to the area

When looking for a reliable roof contractor, you should pick someone local.

Ideally, they’ll have a physical office in your area and a phone number with the local area code. 

Local contractors have a verifiable reputation, minimizing the risk of dealing with out-of-state, disreputable tradesmen known for doing sloppy work and vanishing.

Licensed, bonded, insured

Due to the specificity of the situation, you should only work with a contractor that ticks all these boxes.

Additionally, don’t just believe what you read on their website or what they tell you; look for the appropriate paperwork as proof.

Average Roof Costs For:
Most Homeowners Spent Between: Most People Spent: $4,190 - $5,740 (For a 1600 sq. ft. Roof)
Low End
High End

See costs in your area Start Here - Enter Your Zip Code

Step 5: Sharing Roofing Insurance Paperwork With the Contractor

You might be wary of sharing your insurance paperwork with anyone, but your roof contractor should be an exception.

After all, how can you expect them to do their job correctly without seeing this paperwork?

Your insurance claim will have all the necessary information regarding your roof replacement, from an ACV or RCV estimate to an itemized list of the adjuster’s findings.

One look at this claim and your contractor will understand the scope of the work.

Otherwise, the contractor’s quote for the roof replacement may considerably surpass the insurance company’s estimate.

Step 6: Supplementing the Claim

Adjusters often leave many items (including those required by local codes) off your original insurance claim. In other words, they aren’t giving you enough money to cover all the necessary expenses associated with your roof replacement.

So, chances are that your insurance claim will have to be supplemented.

An experienced contractor will help you with this task, adding the missing items that should’ve been there from the beginning.

This is the only way to ensure your entire roof replacement will be covered by homeowners insurance. 

Once done, send the supplemental claim back to your insurance company for approval.

Pro Tip: Avoid starting any work on the roof before the supplemental claim is approved. Otherwise, the claim can be denied solely on this basis.

Step 7: Replacing the Roof

If the insurance company approves your supplemental claim, there’s nothing left to do but get down to work.

After the roof has been replaced, send the proof of completion to your insurance company to receive a check for the recoverable depreciation (provided you have an RCV policy).

If your supplemental claim has been denied, your next steps depend on your insurance policy.

In some cases, you can appeal the decision. In others, you’ll have to settle for the original insurance estimate, covering a portion of the costs yourself.

Typical Price Range To Install A New Roof Average: $4,190 - $6,740
See costs in your area

Will Insurance Replace An Old Roof?

The answer to this question depends on the reason for the roof replacement.

If you want to replace your roof solely because it’s old, the answer is no; your insurance company won’t replace an old roof.

Most, if not all, homeowners insurance policies won’t cover a necessary roof replacement due to the roof’s natural, gradual deterioration of old age.

But if you have an older roof that has been struck by a natural disaster, you may still be able to get it replaced by your insurance company. 

Will Insurance Cover a 15-Year-Old Roof?

Yes, insurance will cover a 15-year-old roof in many cases.

They will also cover the cost of replacing such a roof.

For this to happen, the damage to your roof mustn’t be caused by age, regular wear and tear, neglect, or similar occurrences that are a part of your responsibility as the homeowner.

Instead, the damage must be caused by an accident out of your control, an act of nature, or something other than age.

Your history with insurance claims can also influence the outcome of your current case.

Many insurance companies see raising a claim with minimal damage to your property as a waste and expect you to pay for the repair out of pocket.

Similarly, filing more than two claims in a relatively short period (five years) can inflate your premium costs.

Will Insurance Cover a 20-Year-Old Roof?

With most insurance companies, 20 years is the cutoff roof age for an insurance claim.

This means that your insurance won’t cover a 20-year-old roof.

Insurance companies typically see roofs that are more than 20 years old as a liability.

They’re more likely to be damaged during a storm and require costly repairs and replacement.

In this case, you have two options: you can either replace your old roof before insuring it, or, you can look for an insurance company that offers high-risk policies.

However, remember that the second option entails a high premium and a low potential payout value, making it suitable only as a short-term solution.

Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Shingles Blown Off The Roof?

Yes, homeowners insurance covers shingles blown off the roof, provided the damage isn’t due to improper installation.

In other words, you have a claim if you experience wind damage by extreme weather conditions like hail and tornados. 

Due to the nature of this damage, the insurance company might offer to only pay for a partial replacement.

However, if you live in a matching state – any state where matching laws are applicable – you can get the insurance company to pay for the whole thing.

These matching laws state that the replacement items must match the original items in quality, color, and size.

So, if your exact shingles are no longer available for any reason (discontinued, out of stock, out of production, etc.), you can ask for a total roof replacement. Otherwise, your new shingles won’t match the rest of your roof.

Average Roof Costs For:
Most Homeowners Spent Between: Most People Spent: $4,190 - $5,740 (For a 1600 sq. ft. Roof)
Low End
High End

See costs in your area Start Here - Enter Your Zip Code

Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Roof Leaks?

The answer to this question depends on the cause of the roof leak.

If the leak is caused by a peril covered in your insurance policy (usually a sudden and accidental event like a fallen tree), then yes, homeowners insurance will cover the roof leak.

However, if the leak occurs for another reason, such as normal wear and tear, floods, infestation, and intentional neglect, your homeowners’ insurance won’t cover the ensuing leak.

Did you know? If your home’s interior gets damaged by the leak, your homeowners’ insurance will typically cover the cost of water damage to the home’s structure (the dwelling coverage) and your belongings (personal property coverage).

What Do Insurance Adjusters Look For On Roofs?

The insurance adjusters are the only ones who can approve roof damage insurance claims.

As such, their findings are crucial in the roof replacement process.

During the inspection, their role is to determine if there’s damage covered by your policy and the extent of that damage.

They usually look for:

Damaged or Missing Shingles

Most insurance policies require shingles to either fall off entirely or be damaged to the point of functionality loss.

Naturally, missing shingles are easy to spot, but the same can’t always be said for their damaged counterparts.

Sometimes, the adjusters must physically inspect the shingles to locate dents. 

Excessive Granule Loss

If you have an asphalt shingle roof covering, some granule loss is to be expected.

However, an excessive amount can indicate that your roof’s functionality has been compromised.


Leaks are arguably the most dangerous hazard caused by a damaged roof, especially for your home’s interior.

The adjusters will look for signs of these hazardous occurrences, such as shingle curling, peeling under roof eaves, rot, and damaged flashing.

Pro Tip: If you had to neutralize a leak to avoid further damage before the adjuster’s arrival, make sure to document it extensively with photos as proof. Then, share these photos with the adjuster. 

Typical Price Range To Install A New Roof Average: $4,190 - $6,740
See costs in your area

Damaged Gutters

The extent of damage in the gutters can indicate the hail’s direction, size, and frequency.

As such, gutters are a crucial part of the adjuster’s inspection.

Other Damage

The adjusters will do a thorough inspection to establish and document credible signs of the nature and the extent of damage to your property. The inspection will also cover the following:

  • Dented venting
  • Chimney cracks
  • Missing screws on skylights
  • Paint and trim
  • Windows and screens
  • HVAC units
  • Fences
  • Personal property

What To Watch Out For When Repairing Or Replacing Your Roof Through Insurance

When a structure as crucial as the roof gets damaged, it’s perfectly understandable to feel anxious and uncertain about what to do next.

However, remaining as calm and composed as possible is imperative to avoiding mistakes that can cost you greatly in the long run.

Here are some things to watch out for after a storm damages your roof:

Storm Chasers

The so-called storm chasers are out-of-state roofing companies that send their contractors to storm-hit areas.

They will offer highly affordable prices to replace your roof.

No matter how convincing they sound, refrain from doing business with these companies; they usually do a poor installation job ignoring all the local codes, which will cost you in the long run.

Hiring a Contractor Before an Inspection

Not all roofing companies have the greatest reputation and for a good reason.

Regardless of what you are told, only sign documentation after an adjuster inspects your roof and approves your claim.

This way, you’ll avoid paying unnecessary costs.

Inexperienced Contractors

Hiring inexperienced contractors will make this entire process even more challenging.

In the worst-case scenario, you can be accused of insurance fraud.

Working with contractors with a proven track record with insurance claims guarantees peace of mind that your case is handled correctly.

Roof Replacement Done Right

Getting your homeowners insurance to cover the entire cost of your roof replacement isn’t the most effortless undertaking.

However, as long as you know your rights and understand the helpful tips and tricks to successfully navigate this lengthy process, you should be able to complete this project relatively stress-free.

Average Roof Costs For:
Most Homeowners Spent Between: Most People Spent: $4,190 - $5,740 (For a 1600 sq. ft. Roof)
Low End
High End

See costs in your area Start Here - Enter Your Zip Code

Author: Leo B
For over 20 years Leo has run a successful roofing business in New England, specializing in metal roofing, as well as cool flat roofing technologies. Having replaced and installed hundreds of roofs in New England, Leo has first hand experience with pretty much every residential roofing material and roofing manufacturer available in the US.
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