Typically, homeowners insurance policies include protection against ice-related damage, but there are a few important things to keep in mind.
In many parts of the country, winter is accompanied by snow and ice. And ice can cause a lot of headaches for homeowners. According to the Insurance Information Institute*, (III), one in 50 insured households has a claim related to water or freeze damage each year.
Find below some examples of how home insurance can help if ice causes damage to your home.
DOES HOME INSURANCE COVER HAIL DAMAGE?
Hail can seriously damage the roof and windows of your property. Most home insurance policies include homeowners coverage that can help protect your home against specific perils, including hail and other ice-related losses. Help repair covered damage up to the limits of your policy.
If hail damages a building on your property that is not your home, such as a shelter or detached garage, you may be protected by other coverages*, which are components of some homeowners insurance policies.
It is important to bear in mind that your insurance offers protection, respecting the limits indicated in the policy and to which restrictions or limitations may apply. Your insurance agent can provide you with information to help you choose the protection that suits your needs.
DOES HOME INSURANCE COVER ME IF THE ROOF COLLAPSES?
During the coldest months of the year, ice that forms on the roof of your house can cause serious problems. The roof can collapse when it does not support the weight of ice and snow.
Your insurance may help cover the cost of replacing or repairing a collapsed roof. If your home becomes uninhabitable after the roof collapses, your homeowners insurance can also help cover the costs of living elsewhere while your home is being repaired, including hotel bills. Coverage limits and terms will apply, so be sure to check your policy to find out what is covered.
Of course, no one wants to deal with a roof collapse on their home. A situation like this can be prevented by taking preventative measures, such as clearing gutters or roof of ice and snow, as needed. If you are worried about your safety or causing damage to the roof, consider hiring a professional.
DOES HOME INSURANCE COVER ICE ACCUMULATIONS ON THE ROOF?
Ice locks can form when ice builds up on the edge of the roof and prevents water from melting. This amount of accumulated water can seep through the roof and cause damage to your home.
Homeowners insurance can help protect your home if an ice plug causes a loss. However, personal property coverage generally does not provide protection for damage to your property caused by ice dams.
While homeowners coverage can help cover water damage from ice dams, your policy probably won’t pay for ice dam removal services. Even if the loss is covered, the terms and limits of the policy will apply. Check your policy to learn what kind of protection you have and talk to your insurance agent to help you determine if you can benefit from additional coverage.
Keep in mind that routine maintenance can help you avoid this type of damage. The III* advises to check the roof gutters of your house, avoiding ice plugs by keeping them clean so that the water can flow freely.
DOES HOME INSURANCE COVER FROZEN PIPES?
Homeowners insurance can help you cover the costs of damage to your home caused by leaking, frozen, or burst pipes. However, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners* (NAIC) warns that frozen pipes may not be covered if they are not kept at the proper temperature inside the home. Check your policy limits and terms to see how much coverage you have for burst pipes.
DOES HOME INSURANCE COVER INJURIES CAUSED BY ICE?
Ice on the ground can be a hazard that is sometimes hard to see. What happens if one of your visitors falls on the ice on your property, suffers an injury and sues you?
Liability coverage is usually built into homeowners insurance. This type of coverage can help protect you if you are found to be legally responsible for injuries sustained by a visitor on your property. For example, liability coverage can help cover an injured person’s medical bills or lost wages. It can also help cover legal costs.
Like other types of coverage, liability coverage has limits and conditions, and legal claims can be very expensive. If you’re concerned that you don’t have enough liability coverage, talk to your insurance agent about a comprehensive personal policy, which may offer additional protection.
Get ready for another cold winter. Talk to your insurance agent, who can help you understand the details of your policy and provide you with information to make the necessary changes. You may not be able to escape the cold, but you can spend these months in peace knowing that you and your home are protected, just in case.