The Most Common Winter Insurance Claims
The most common insurance claims during winter include frozen or burst pipes, foundation damage, flooding, roof damage, water damage caused by ice dams, and slip-and-falls.
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Frozen or burst pipes
Frozen or burst pipes are one of the most common insurance claims during winter. When water freezes in the pipes and then expands, causing them to burst, extensive water damage can result. If it is not repaired quickly, mould will start to grow, causing even more damage.
Fortunately, home insurance covers damage caused by your pipes freezing. But you must take steps to prevent frozen pipes, like making sure the heat is on, pipes are properly insulated, and that someone checks on your house regularly when you are away, or your claim will be denied.
If a blizzard causes branches, trees, debris, or falling ice to damage your home or other property, your home insurance policy will cover it.
Excessive snow buildup can cause roofs to collapse, especially flat roofs. Roofs can generally support 20-40 lbs of snow per square foot. Old, packed snow and ice are heavier than fresh snow and a buildup could overload your roof. Make sure your roof is well maintained because if it isn't, damage from snow or ice will not be covered.
Water damage due to ice damming
Ice damming happens when ice builds up at the edge of the roof and traps water as it melts. The water leaks through the shingles and causes damage to the ceiling, insulation, and walls of the house. This can result in even more damage from mildew or mould. Ice dams can also cause structural damage to the roof by causing it to decay. When as little as 1 inch of snow melts and freezes at the edge of a roof, an ice dam can form. Ice dams are covered by standard home insurance policies.
Winter slip-and-falls are one of the most common winter insurance claims. You should always make sure your walkways are cleared, but accidents still happen. If you forget to shovel the snow or someone falls anyway, their injuries will be covered by the liability coverage on your home insurance.
Your Western home insurance expert will answer any questions you may have about home insurance to make sure you’re covered for winter damage.
What types of winter damage are not covered by home insurance?
Many types of winter damage are covered by your home insurance, but some may not be. Check with your Western insurance expert. Damage due to negligence or lack of maintenance is not covered by home insurance.
Foundation damage and flooding
Snow buildup can damage a home’s foundation. Because concrete is porous, snow can melt and seep into the foundation, where it may freeze and create cracks as it expands. When a buildup of snow melts and leaks through cracks in the foundation it can cause flooding in the basement. Damage to your foundation and flooding caused by it is not covered by standard home insurance policies.
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