Snow, Ice and Freeze Damage – Am I Covered?
The winter may have seemed relatively mild so far, but February and March can be tough in the Mid-Atlantic region. Downed tree limbs, power outages, roof collapses and frozen pipes are just some of the many perils caused by winter weather.
Whether or not your insurance covers the winter storm damage depends on the type of policy you have and the type of damage and what caused it.
Most standard homeowners insurance policies and commercial property insurance policies provide coverage for winter storm damage from ice, heavy snow, freezing rain or wind. You may want to review your policy to make sure you have appropriate coverage.
It’s important to note that standard homeowners insurance and commercial property insurance policies do not cover flood damage. So if you have flooding due to a heavy snow melt, damages will not be covered unless you have a separate flood insurance policy.
Also, if your home or business suffers winter storm damage while the building is unoccupied or vacant, you will have some additional issues to deal with. Some insurance policies have exclusions for property damage that result from a home or building not being properly winterized (not turning off the water and draining the pipes) or other exclusions.
Your best bet is to check your coverage, add to it if needed, and take several steps to protect your property to avoid damage from winter storms.
- Clean your gutters and downspouts so that melting snow can flow freely away from your home. This includes clearing around the downspouts after a heavy snow.
- Inspect and repair roof shingles and flashing to prevent water damage.
- Trim tree branches on your property – especially branches close to the home or building.
- Apply weather stripping and caulking around doors and windows and inspect storm doors and windows for broken glass.
- Drain water from pipes leading to exterior faucets and remove garden hoses.
- Insulate pipes that are susceptible to freezing such as in crawl spaces or on an exterior wall.
- Have your heating system cleaned and inspected.
- Turn off the water and drain the pipes if the building or home will be vacant, or keep the heat on to at least 55 degrees.
Call Dean Insurance Agency today at 410-838-3700 for a free quote and consultation on homeowners insurance, auto insurance, commercial insurance and all of your insurance needs.