The cold temperatures accompanying the winter months can lead to several types of damages to your home. While you may be able to prevent some of it, most occurrences will likely be out of your control. Your homeowners’ policy will cover most types of ice-related damage. However, you never know when a cold streak is going to impact your home. It’s important to understand what your policy states about ice-related damage and when you should file a claim.
Hail can cause significant damage to your roof, siding, and windows. Most homeowners insurance policies will cover the cost of repairing hail damage up to the specific limits of your policy. It will also cover hail damage to your other buildings as well, if you have coverage for your other structures. Hail damage may be overlooked at times. This is why it is a good idea to have your roof inspected at least once a year to ensure that your roof and siding are in good condition.
During the winter months, a buildup of ice and snow can put a lot of extra weight on your roof. If the roof has a very shallow slope, the weight may become too heavy to bear, causing all or part of your roof to cave in. This may require extensive repairs and may force you to find alternative living arrangements until the roof is fixed. If you want your homeowners’ insurance to cover your collapsed roof, you will have to get it inspected every year so that it remains in good condition at all times.
An ice dam can cause an excessive amount of damage, especially if it puts weight on your gutters. An ice dam is the result of the on-again-off-again melting of snow. As the snow melts, it gradually slides down the grade of the roof. When it freezes, it can result in an ice dam being formed along the edge of the roof. As this process keeps happening, water may be forced between the shingles of your roof and into your home, causing extensive water damage.
Frozen pipes can pose a unique situation. In most cases, a frozen or burst pipe will be covered by your homeowners’ insurance. There is an exception, however. If you fail to maintain a liveable temperature inside your home, a burst pipe may not be covered. There might be an exemption if your power was out due to a winter storm or other natural disasters. Depending on the amount of policies written when it comes to coverage for burst pipes, you should go over your policy with an agent to ensure that you do have coverage for the same.
Injuries on the Ice
Most homeowners insurance policies will cover injuries that occur on the ice under the liability portion of the coverage. If it is determined that you are responsible for the medical expenses of someone who fell on the ice at your property, the liability portion of your homeowners’ coverage will take over and cover those costs. If a lawsuit was filed, your insurance might also cover a portion of your legal fees.
Don’t get caught on thin ice this winter! Make sure you understand what perils are listed in your homeowners’ insurance coverage and what your coverage limits are. If you have questions, talk to the reputable agents at Reardon Agency. We can help you navigate the claims process and determine how much coverage you may need if you choose to adjust your policy.
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