If your roof is suffering from a leaking skylight, you may be wondering whether or not your home insurance policy covers the damages. Roof leaks and leaking skylights can cause significant damage to your property, leaving your home vulnerable to mould, structural damage, and moisture infiltration.
Considering skylights disrupt the surface of a roof, a leaking skylight is a relatively common occurrence as skylights create a spot for roofing materials to be vulnerable to water infiltration. Once your skylight becomes susceptible to leaks, the problem will not go away without professional roofing repair and the leak may cause significant damage to the contents of your home. Whether or not a leaking skylight is covered by insurance really depends on the circumstances of the leak and the chosen insurance policy.
Is a Leaking Skylight Covered by Insurance?
A skylight is a great architectural feature that allows natural light to enter into a room or area. While skylights create clever designs and come with a myriad of benefits, the downfall of a skylight is that they can suffer from leaks. If your skylight begins to leak, it will require immediate repair to avoid the property from suffering from significant water damage.
If your property has suffered from a leaking skylight, the damages can be significant. While home insurance policies are taken out specifically to cover home and contents damage, whether or not your leaking skylight is covered by insurance will really come down to the circumstances of the leak and the home insurance company.
Causes of A Leaking Skylight
• Improper Installation
• Storm Damage
• Lack of Maintenance
• Natural Disaster
The most common cause of a leaking skylight is lack of maintenance. Basic roof maintenance is crucial to maintaining the integrity of your property – roof maintenance is inclusive of taking care of your skylight.
When a skylight is installed in a roof, it disrupts the roofing materials and creates an area prone to debris and water build-up. Skylights installed into tiled roofs are particularly susceptible to debris catching underneath the tiles. The leaves sit on top of the flashing, causing rainwater to divert around the debris and over the flashing. Enough rainwater will penetrate the vulnerable roof flashing and enter the roof cavity, where a leak will present.
A build-up of debris can prevent the flashing surrounding a skylight to carry out its necessary job. Regular roof maintenance will include clearing out this debris, preventing this issue from occurring. Failure to care for your skylight will only result in putting your roof at risk of water infiltration and leaks.
Leaking Skylight Insurance Cover
Whether or not a leaking skylight will be covered by insurance will vary between different insurance providers. For the most accurate answer to the question “Is a leaking skylight covered by insurance?”, you will need to check out your individual policy or get in contact with your insurance provider.
A standard homeowner or building insurance policy covers the most common risks and dangers to your property. On your insurance policy, the situations covered may be listed as perils. Your policy will also disclose the named exclusions (the instances in which your claim will not be covered). It’s important to take note of these perils and exclusions as they will determine how helpful your homeowner’s insurance policy will be in the case of a roofing emergency.
Home insurance typically covers unavoidable roof leaks. These common policy perils for roof leaks usually include:
• Falling trees or branches
• Other falling objects
• Windstorms, hail, extreme weather conditions
• Weight of ice or snow
Generally speaking, homeowner’s insurance will not cover roof leaks if the cause is negligence or lack of maintenance. Neglecting the roof, including the accessories installed and connected to the roof such as skylights, is a common mistake that many homeowners make.
Lack of maintenance can quickly result in considerable roofing and skylight damage, which will lead to water penetration and leaks. When a skylight leak is caused by damage from lack of maintenance, insurance providers will often decline the submitted claims as the leak was preventable.
The most common policy exclusions for roof leak damages include:
• Lack of maintenance
• Skylight and roof neglect
• Mould, algae, or wood rotting
• Roof deterioration
• Material settling, shrinking, bulging or expanding
• Birds, rodents or insects
Signs You Should Repair Your Skylight
There are actually a few warning signs that indicate it may be time to repair or replace your skylight. Looking out for these signs may be the difference between catching a leaking skylight early or your property suffering from significant water damage. These signs include:
• Discolouration of the skylight window
• Water stains on the ceiling around skylight
• Drywall damage
• Mould growth inside and outside skylight
• Condensation not evaporating
• Drops of water from the skylight
Professional Leaking Skylight Repair
A leaking skylight can cause major damage to the structural integrity and contents of a home. While some homeowners may be tempted to attempt to fix the leaks themselves with caulk or some other sealant in the cracks, this will only work as a band-aid, and it will only be a matter of time before the skylight will begin to leak again.
If your skylight is leaking, it will need to be repaired by a roofing professional. If you leave the leak for too long, the water can continue to infiltrate the roof cavity and cause significant damage to the property and the contents of the house. Professional skylight repair means relying on an experienced roofing expert who will be able to identify the cause of the leak, to ensure it does not occur again.
I have a Leaking Skylight – Should I Call My Insurance Company?
Yes. However, we advise you to call a professional roofing company first. Before engaging with your insurance company, it may be best to talk to your local roofing contractor who specialises in skylight repair for inspection. Roofing companies regularly work with insurance providers and have an in-depth knowledge of the process for estimates, claims, and policy perils.
A qualified roofing team like Vertec Roofing can assess the leaking skylight, inspect the damage, find the source, and advise you on the best route for your insurance claim before making the necessary repairs. Filing a comprehensive claim with an insurance company can be tedious and time-consuming. A roofing expert will be able to find the best possible route for your leaking skylight claim depending on what they find during the inspection. If you do decide to make a claim, having an experienced roofer on your side can go a long way.
Vertec Roofing has been fixing, maintaining, and repairing Sydney roofs for over 15 years. Their qualified and experienced knowledge of the industry makes them the leading experts of skylight repair, installation, and maintenance.