Does a home warranty cover a roof?

Make sure your home warranty is leakproof

Author pictureAuthor picture
Author picture
Written by
Author picture
Edited by
a typical home

The average roof replacement costs around $9,000. While your home’s insurance policy probably covers damage from storms or fire, it most likely doesn’t cover damage from everyday wear and tear. When a leak happens, you’re likely left with a surprise repair bill that can put a strain on your finances.

A home warranty could be the solution — this type of coverage can give your roof (and your finances) extra protection. There are some limitations, though, which we’ve outlined below.


Key insights

  • Most home warranties offer coverage for roofs.
  • Home warranties don’t cover damage that’s typically covered by your homeowners insurance.
  • Basic warranty plans often don’t cover roofs, so you might have to upgrade to a more expensive plan.
  • Proper maintenance is required to keep roof coverage active.

What does a home warranty typically cover?

It’s typical for new homeowners to get a home warranty because it can help sort through some of the early problems that come with buying a home.

“When you move into a new place, there’s always bound to be some problems that come up,” explained Tom Nolan, founder of home improvement company All Star Home in Raleigh, North Carolina. “An appliance can go bad, or you might find that there’s a leak in your roof. Many of these basic problems are covered under a home warranty, though it’s important to check with your company first to make sure.”

A home warranty can also make sense for those who’ve had their home for a while, since it prevents the need to scramble to cover the cost of a repair.

When you move into a new place, there’s always bound to be some problems that come up. … Many of these basic problems are covered under a home warranty. ”
— Tom Nolan, founder of All Star Home

Home warranties typically cover:

  • Air conditioners
  • Furnaces
  • Plumbing
  • Electrical systems
  • Water heater
  • Ductwork
  • Washers
  • Dryers
  • Garbage disposals
  • Refrigerators
  • Stove or ovens
  • Built-in microwaves

» LEARN: What does a home warranty cover?

Home warranty roof coverage

Home warranty companies often offer coverage for roof repair and leaks due to wear and tear, but you’ll probably need to upgrade from a basic plan or add separate roof coverage to get this protection.

Having home warranty roof coverage can protect you financially, but it can also simplify the process of finding a trusty roofer in the event something does go wrong, as it did for Robert in South Carolina: “For the cost of the service call … it alleviated my having to go find a roofer and hope that the guy knew what he was doing.”

The extent of roof coverage varies between providers and plans, but the following problems are typically covered:

  • Damaged shingles
  • Flashing or patch issues
  • Small punctures
  • Popped-up nails
  • Shingles or shakes replacement
  • Tile repair or replacement
  • Seam repairs on a flat or rolled roof
  • Underlayment repair
  • Vinyl membrane repair

Roof-related systems like gutters and drainage, roof vents and exhaust fans may also be covered under some home warranty plans — these are important in maintaining the roof's integrity.

It’s important to remember that a home warranty isn’t a substitute for homeowners insurance or vice versa. Homeowners insurance covers the damage caused by sudden and accidental events, such as storms, fires or vandalism; a home warranty covers wear and tear.

It can be a good idea to get a home warranty and a comprehensive homeowners insurance policy to ensure your roof is covered in case of a wide range of scenarios that may lead to repairs or replacement.

» COMPARE: Home warranty vs. home insurance

What’s excluded from home warranty roof coverage?

To claim roof leak repairs, you’ll have to meet certain conditions, like timely reporting and adherence to warranty terms. While home warranties can cover a range of issues, the following are generally excluded from roof coverage:

  • Any preexisting roof damage or leaks
  • Roofs beyond a certain age
  • Defective shingles
  • Lack of regular maintenance
  • Porches, sheds or decks
  • Solar panels or chimneys
  • Certain types of houses, like condos and townhouses, or metal or green roofs
  • Extreme weather events or “acts of God”
  • Full roof replacement

» CALCULATE: Cost to replace a roof

Finding the right home warranty for roof coverage

To find the right roof coverage, start by researching reputable home warranty companies. Look for providers with a good track record, positive customer reviews and transparent terms and conditions. Websites, customer testimonials and online reviews can be valuable resources for gathering information about a company’s reliability and reputation.

Once you have a list of potential home warranty companies, compare their roof coverage plans — but don’t forget to look beyond just roof coverage. Try to get as many items covered as possible at the best cost.

“When shopping for home warranties, look for a company that has a low monthly contract fee and low trade service fee that covers as many systems and appliances as possible, including plumbing, electrical and HVAC systems,” advised Angel Conlin, chief insurance officer at Kin Insurance.

Before finalizing your decision, carefully read the fine print of the home warranty contract. Pay close attention to the definitions of "roof," what types of roofs are covered and the specific components under warranty. Look for any clauses that might limit coverage or exclude certain types of damage.

Look for a company that has a low monthly contract fee and low trade service fee that covers as many systems and appliances as possible, including plumbing, electrical and HVAC systems. ”
— Angel Conlin, chief insurance officer at Kin Insurance

Also, check for conditions that need to be met to make a claim for roof repairs, such as reporting deadlines and maintenance requirements. Be aware of any waiting periods before the coverage becomes effective.

Quick and easy. Find a home warranty partner now.

    Tips for maintaining your roof

    Since poor maintenance can void your home warranty coverage, here are a few tips for keeping your roof maintained:

    • Get regular roof inspections. These not only let you know when something needs to be repaired but can also serve as proof that you maintain your roof.
    • Fix roof problems right away. Letting a problem linger can cause more damage and may void your home warranty.
    • Avoid do-it-yourself roof repairs. Nonprofessional repairs may void your home warranty or may make the problem worse.
    • Trim any trees that overhang your roof. This keeps them from damaging your shingles.
    • Keep your gutters and downspouts cleaned out. Cleaning gutters can prevent water damage to your roof.
    • Make sure your roof is clear. Clear off any snow or ice buildup during the winter, leaves in the fall and moss in the spring and summer.
    • Prevent leaks. Caulk around screw holes, chimneys and vents in your roof to prevent water from seeping down into your roof.

    » STEP BY STEP: Annual home maintenance checklist

    FAQ

    Are roof warranties worth it?

    Home warranties are good for those who don’t have the savings to cover roof repair. If you can afford the monthly fee and the service fee, then coverage can be well worth it.

    How long do roofs usually last?

    How long a roof lasts depends on the type. Shingle roofs can last 15 to 25 years, while metal roofs last much longer, from 40 to 70 years.

    Could walking on a roof void a roof warranty?

    Yes, technically, walking on a roof can void your coverage — you could damage the shingles or other areas of the roof this way. The exception is when a professional is repairing or inspecting your roof.

    How long do roofs stay under warranty?

    Manufacturer’s warranties for roofs usually last 25 to 30 years. With home warranties, you’re usually covered as long as you have a policy, though there are some limitations.


    Article sources
    ConsumerAffairs writers primarily rely on government data, industry experts and original research from other reputable publications to inform their work. Specific sources for this article include:
    1. American Society of Home Inspectors, “How Much Does Roof Replacement Cost?” Accessed Aug. 3, 2023.
    Did you find this article helpful? |
    Share this article