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The roof over your head is your property’s first line of defense against damage to the rest of your home from wind, hail, rain and snow. And if you’ve ever had to pay for its repair, you know it can be costly!

When insuring your association against roof damage, it’s imperative that you know and understand your policy and the coverage it will provide.

Understanding Endorsements

The prospect of a lower premium often is incentive enough for consumers to approve the addition of endorsements to their roof coverage policy, and often without the knowledge of the potential future costs of doing so. Here are a few examples of such endorsements to be aware of when selecting the best roof coverage policy for your home or association.

Cosmetic Damage Endorsement

Although some insurers will try to convince you that adding this endorsement to your policy is nothing to be concerned about and will save you money by lowering your premium, it may cost you more in the long run. In a nutshell, a cosmetic damage endorsement allows insurance companies to exclude coverage to what they deem to be merely “cosmetic” damage to the roof from natural elements such as rain, wind and hail. Even if this damage may cause future problems with the roof or within the home, if there is no evident structural damage at the time of the claim, it may not be covered. Predictably, this exclusion has stirred up significant controversy amongst policyholders and insurers, where what the consumer views as damage that compromises the structural integrity of the roof is determined cosmetic and excluded from coverage by the insurance agency.

Material Endorsements

In some states, in an attempt to limit liability for all types of roof claims, insurers are adding endorsements that allow for coverage only in the amount of what the roof is worth at the time rather than the cost of replacement. For example, a wooden shake endorsement limits coverage to the cash value of the wooden shakes, rather than providing the homeowner with funds to replace the roof with new materials.

Applying endorsements such as the ones mentioned above may be worth the risk in order to save money on your premium, but both agents and consumers need to be aware of the limitations to coverage before including them in their policy.

Related: Double Checking Your HOA Insurance