Roofing inspectors surveying a roof for commercial roof insurance.

Most commercial property owners and even homeowners tend to make decisions and never revisit them. Reviewing your business insurance policy with your insurance company is as many other decisions business owners make on a daily basis. You need to check your commercial property’s policies periodically so that you are fully protected. Your property’s commercial roofing protects your business; it needs protection, too. 

Roofing Insurance Important Questions

Does your commercial building’s insurance provide for the replacement cost of your commercial roofing, or just repair? Does your insurance protect against storm damage, such as wind shear that tears away shingles or  single-ply commercial roofing material? If you do not know what’s on your commercial roof, or what your insurance policy covers, then the roof that protects your building may have no protection. Not to mention that the insurance coverage that protects you from the liability of injuries that may be incurred by contractors or roofers working up there. Knowing what your insurance covers and the exclusions in the claims process are important questions to know while assessing your property damage.

What Is Commercial Insurance?

Commercial property insurance is considered one of the fundamental types of insurance that a business owner needs: general liability insurance. This type of insurance coverage protects a business during a number of unforeseen events: The property may be damaged, made unusable, or become inaccessible due to covered natural disasters/weather anomalies or acts of vandalism. The property could be subjected to theft. Perhaps the contents of the property (documents, equipment, personal belongings) are lost or damaged due to any of the aforementioned causes. Or, the business undergoes an interruption and loses income. 

The right commercial property insurance has a broad coverage that many business owners and property owners benefit from. However, if you are a policyholder, it is important to understand your coverage thoroughly so that you are not blindsided by insurance policy exclusions involving the property’s roof.  

Commercial Roofing Insurance Claims and Exclusions

Not all commercial property insurance plans are the same. Some have more policy exclusions than others. One of the most common exclusions to watch out for is roof exclusions or roofing insurance exclusions. Essentially, when talking about roofing insurance exclusions, it could mean any of the three: The roof, by its nature and according to the pertinent insurance policy, is not insurable and is excluded from the commercial property insurance plan; the roof is covered in the insurance plan but the cause of damage is not covered; or the roof exclusion is a voluntary endorsement in your insurance policy. Commercial liability insurance is needed in the event an accident occurs on the building owner’s property, or if there is an occurrence that causes damage or loss to the building owner’s property or products needing additional insurance

An accident could be as simple as the roofing contractor’s pickup truck backing into an employee’s car, or as serious as a crane tipping over onto the owner’s building. An occurrence that causes damage or loss could be a leak that damages ceiling tiles and carpet, or a fire that results in smoke and water damage that costs high deductibles, tens of thousands of dollars in repairs and lost production time.

Common Exclusions In Commercial Insurance

1. The Roof Is Not Insurable Due To Its Age

If the roof of your commercial building, hotel, apartment complex, and other types of structure is 20 years old or older at the time of the writing of the policy, it may not be covered in some commercial property insurance plans. Twenty years is the usual cut-off age for insurable roofs because this is the average lifespan of most shingle roofs and flat roofs. 

2. The Roof Is Not Insurable Due To Materials

When it comes to commercial roofing, some materials are just too risky to insure for some insurance companies. This could be because the material is easily damaged or expensive to replace such as: wood, slate or expensive metals like copper.

3. The Roof Is Not Insurable Because It’s a Flat Roof

Though a large number of commercial properties have a flat roof, the unfortunate truth is that flat roofs are commonly excluded from commercial property insurance plans. This, of course, still depends on the insurer. 

4. The Cause Of Roof Damage Is Not A Covered Peril

There are a number of perils that can be excluded from commercial property insurance plans. The most common excluded perils are: earthquakes, sinkholes, landslides, government action or war, flooding or hailstorm.

5. Roof Damage Was Caused By The Property Owner

If the damage to the roof is caused by the property owner’s negligence, it may not be covered in some commercial property insurance plans. A few examples include: DIY repairs that lead to further damage or not doing due maintenance to the roof to the point of advanced wear and tear or damage.

6. Secondary Damages Due To Uncovered Perils Or An Uninsurable Roof

Secondary damage caused by a damaged uninsured roof or by an uncovered peril will also not be covered. Using the previous example, if hail damages your roof enough and a leak from the roof causes interior water damage, this will likely not be covered in your commercial property insurance plan – provided that it has this exclusion. The same applies if the roof is deemed uninsurable and roof damage leads to interior water damage.  

7. The Damages Involve Undeclared Recent Additions To The Roof

If you have recently added fixtures to your commercial roof, it would be best to declare these immediately to your insurer. Otherwise, damage relating to undeclared fixtures may not be covered while uncovered by the insurance adjuster.

8. The Roof Exclusions Is A Voluntary Endorsement In Your Plan

Sometimes, roofing insurance agents‘ exclusions are offered to property owners as an endorsement that could lead to “discounts” in their premium. It is important to consider this carefully. Though a new roof exclusion will likely lower your premium, it would also mean that this part of your commercial property is open to a number of risks of roof repair.  

Consult The Team At TEMA Roofing

Your local roofing experts at TEMA Roofing will discuss with you all of the appropriate levels of commercial roofing insurance, before you get your insurance quote. This knowledge can arm you better when meeting with your insurance provider. The combined 112 years of experience in the commercial roofing business at TEMA Roofing Services can ensure these standards are met and exceeded for all clients of our Roof Asset Management (RAM). The client portal will be updated with current conditions, data and photos of all work performed on your property. You can trust the three generations of experience and care of a family owned and operated local commercial roofing contractor to keep up with the preventative maintenance of your facility’s roof. Contact us today to see what TEMA Roofing Services can do for you!