Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Roof Leaks?

Quick Answer

Homeowners insurance policies cover sudden, accidental roof leaks. You’ll typically get reimbursed for the costs of roof repairs, destroyed personal items and living expenses when temporarily relocating. But insurance won’t cover normal wear and tear.

Young upset woman collecting water leaking and dripping from the ceiling as she talks on the phone.

If a covered peril damages your roof, homeowners insurance typically covers the roof along with any associated damage. The coverage is meant to reimburse you after a leak destroys your roof, walls and belongings and causes mold.

But these policies generally won't cover leaks (and damage that stems from them) if they're a result of age or wear and tear.

Here's what to know.

Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Water Damage From Roof Leaks?

Homeowners insurance typically covers roof leaks and any resulting water damage if a sudden, accidental event causes it. For instance, your policy should cover damage resulting from a snowstorm that knocks a tree onto your home and punctures your roof.

Most standard homeowners insurance policies include four basic types of coverage. Here's how each might come into play after a covered peril causes a leaky roof:

  • Dwelling coverage protects your home's physical structure. This part of your policy would cover the roof repairs or replacement costs caused by the leak.
  • Personal property coverage pays for any personal items that are damaged. So if the roof leak damages your furniture, for example, the personal property coverage would pay to repair or replace your destroyed items.
  • Alternative living expenses coverage reimburses you for expenses such as hotel stays and food when you need to live elsewhere while your home is repaired.
  • Liability coverage may not factor into a roof leak claim. This portion of your homeowners insurance policy pays for medical expenses if a visitor to your home is injured.

Learn More >> What Is Not Covered By Homeowners Insurance?

How Much Damage Is Covered?

You should be covered up to your policy's limits, which is the maximum amount the insurance company will pay toward a covered loss. When paying out the claim, your insurance provider subtracts the deductible, which is the out-of-pocket cost you're responsible for paying.

The amount you receive also depends on whether your policy includes actual cash value or replacement cost value coverage.

  • Replacement cost value, also called RCV, reimburses you for repairing or replacing your home or possessions without taking depreciation into account. This usually results in a larger payout.
  • Actual cash value, also called ACV, pays the depreciated value of your property and belongings rather than the current cost to replace them.

When to File a Claim for Roof Leaks

Filing a homeowners insurance claim for a roof leak comes with both pros and cons. If your insurer approves your claim and sends you a payout, it can make you financially whole again. But on the other hand, filing multiple claims within a few years could cause your premiums to increase. It may also be difficult to get coverage later on. Consider these points before moving forward.


  • Reimburses you for some or all roof repairs
  • Pays to repair or replace your personal items
  • Provides cash for additional living expenses if needed
  • Helps with medical and legal costs if applicable


  • Your insurance premium may increase
  • May pose problems for future coverage
  • Subtracts a deductible from your payout
  • Could be a time-consuming process

Because of the possible ramifications, consider filing a homeowners insurance claim only when you have a major loss and the repairs will cost significantly more than your deductible.

Learn More >> When Should You File a Home Insurance Claim?

The Bottom Line

If a covered peril destroys your roof and with it belongings in your home, then your homeowners insurance can financially protect you. Generally, the roof damage must come from a sudden, accidental event. The amount you receive depends on your coverage limits, deductible and whether your policy covers the actual cash value or replacement cost of your damaged property.

In the event your insurer raises your rates, ask about ways to save, such as bundling home and auto insurance or raising your deductible. If you're still not satisfied, shop around for lower rates.