Is gutter damage covered by insurance, or are you stuck with the bill? That depends. Your policy will determine whether gutter damage is covered by insurance. Check your policy and look for exclusions.
We’ll go over the fine print in this article, including some common exclusions to coverage and how to get the most of your insurance policy.
Whether gutter damage is covered is an important question because depending upon the extent of the damage, repairs or replacement can cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars.
- What Gutter Damage Is Covered by Insurance?
- Types of Homeowners Insurance Policies
- Risks of Not Repairing Damaged Gutters
- Common Exclusions to Coverage
- What Are Deductibles and How Do They Work?
- How to Get the Most Out of Your Insurance Policy
- FAQ About Gutter Insurance Coverage
- DIY or Hire a Pro for Gutter Repairs
For gutter repairs, we’ve got you covered.
What Gutter Damage Is Covered by Insurance?
Homeowners’ policies usually cover “sudden and accidental” loss or damage caused by a covered peril. So what counts as a sudden and accidental gutter issue, you might ask? Well, if it’s unexpected and happens suddenly as a result of wind damage, hail storms, or fallen trees, your gutter coverage should kick in.
For example, if a large branch smashes your gutters, the repair work is likely to be covered. Even if it isn’t your tree, your insurance company may go after your neighbor’s homeowner’s policy for reimbursement.
The same goes for hailstones and windstorms. If your gutters are battered by large chunks of hail or torn loose by high winds, insurance should cover the costs of repair or replacement. The amount of coverage varies per policy, so make sure to check the policy limits before filing a claim.
Types of Homeowners Insurance Policies
What policy you have will greatly affect whether your gutter damage is covered by insurance. Here are the primary types of policies to look out for:
• Named-Peril Policy – Just like the name suggests, this policy covers losses caused by perils that are specified in the policy. The most common perils are fire, vandalism, hailstones, or lightning strikes. If the gutter damage is not a specifically listed peril, it’s not covered.
• Open-Peril Policy – This is an “all-risk” type of policy. Rather than listing specific perils to be included in coverage, it has a list of exclusions that cannot be changed. Damage from gutter issues is usually not excluded in open-peril policies, though it is wise to check with your provider.
Risks of Not Repairing Damaged Gutters
You might be mulling whether to even get your damaged gutters fixed. Maybe the cost is prohibitive. Maybe you just don’t have the time to bother with it. A gutter system that is mostly intact and somewhat functioning is better than nothing, right?
Don’t bet on it.
Ignoring your damaged gutters can invite problems down the road, like:
• Foundation Damage – Pooling water around your foundation can seep into tiny cracks, creating larger cracks and moisture problems.
• Flooded Basements – Clogged or overflowing gutters can lead to water entering your basement due to the migration of water along the foundation wall
• Roof Damage – During cold weather, water may refreeze in your gutters and roofs, causing further damage
• Mold and Pollen – Dampness in the gutter provides a perfect environment for mold and pollen to grow, causing bad allergies or breathing problems.
• Insect Infestation – Untreated gutters can also cause a home to become an insect playground as neighboring critters look for comfortable homes
Remember, insurance companies generally do not cover losses like those listed above if a home is poorly maintained. Insurance is for unforeseen problems, not deterioration caused by neglect.
Time to get your gutters cleaned out?
Common Exclusions to Coverage
When considering your insurance coverage, it’s important to understand the common exclusions and how they could affect you should something go wrong.
• Disaster Coverage – Flooding, earthquakes, and acts of war are not typically covered by homeowners’ insurance policies. If you live in an area prone to such disasters, consider purchasing a separate policy for increased coverage.
• Wear and Tear – Damage from wear and tear, such as corrosion of gutter frames and general aging over time, is usually not covered by your insurance. This goes double if you don’t have the installation date of your gutters on hand.
• Negligence – Be aware that any types of damage caused by negligence, such as not cleaning or maintaining their gutters, will not be covered.
What Are Deductibles and How Do They Work?
Most insurance policies come with deductibles – an amount of money that you are responsible for paying toward any loss before insurance kicks in. So if you must file a claim, you’ll need to know how your deductibles work.
• Standard Homeowner’s Policies usually come with a deductible that falls between 1-5 of the loss%.
• Disaster Deductibles – Hurricanes, windstorms, or hail can all have special deductibles, depending on the state you live in and your insurance provider. Some policies have a deductible of up to 10%.
• Flood and Earthquake Deductibles – Homeowners insurance often doesn’t cover natural disasters, but the company may offer separate policies for floods and earthquakes. It might be worth looking into if you live in an area where those events are possible or probable.
How to Get the Most Out of Your Insurance Policy
Gutter insurance coverage can be a tricky subject. Before you file a claim, be sure to read your policy and talk to your provider. Knowing the limits of your coverage will save you a lot of stress in the long run. To file a successful claim on damaged gutters, make sure to take the following steps:
- Contact your insurance provider as soon as possible after damage occurs.
- Take photos of any damage before repairs are made.
- Get estimates from contractors and negotiate with insurance adjusters.
- Follow the payment structure of most insurance companies, which usually requires half up front and the remaining half when the repairs are completed.
- Don’t forget to pay your deductible. If you don’t, the claim may be denied.
FAQ About Gutter Insurance Coverage
No, having gutters won’t affect your insurance premium, although they certainly are a valuable investment for the protection of your home. They can save you money in the long run through the prevention of erosion, water damage to the foundation, siding and trim.
Water damage from floods is not typically covered under a homeowners insurance policy unless you have added an additional flood insurance policy to your existing coverage.
It depends. Policies may cover mold caused by water damage from burst pipes or plumbing leaks, but may not cover mold caused by floodwaters or lack of maintenance.
Policies may not cover water damage from hurricanes unless you have additional coverage, such as a separate hurricane insurance policy.
Yes, clogged gutters can cause basement flooding and other forms of water damage. Water overflows when gutter systems don’t have enough space in them.
As a general rule, it’s ok to make temporary repairs after a gutter issue. But before you start, take pictures of the damage and wait for approval from your insurance company.
You’ve got gutter questions. We’ve got answers.
DIY or Hire a Pro for Gutter Repairs
Home insurance claims, as well as repairs and replacements, can be a headache. Why not save yourself from trouble and expense? Taking care of your gutters is an essential way to protect not only the structure of your home but also your and your family’s health!
Taking proper precautions, like regular inspections, repairs, and maintenance, can help you stay ahead of disaster and keep your home safe for years to come.
Don’t want to deal with this yourself? We can help you connect with a gutter repair pro in your area who can easily take care of your gutter needs. Just sit back, relax, and let them do all the work. Now that’s a win-win all around!