In the wake of the season’s biggest storm so far, the Pennsylvania Department of Insurance shared tips with residents and business owners who are digging out of the snowdrifts and discovering property damage. What winter storm damage is covered by your homeowners’ insurance policy and which aren’t? While all policies are different, many share the same general coverage:
- If your home is damaged by the weight of snow or ice on your home, the repairs are usually covered by general homeowners’ policies. For example, if heavy snow causes your roof to collapse, your insurance company should cover costs.
- If your home is damaged by a falling tree during a snow storm or ice storm, the repairs are usually covered by general homeowners’ policies. Make sure to take pictures of the damage and act quickly!
- Damage from frozen pipes and frozen gutters are also usually covered in general insurance plans. Be sure to stop leaking water as quickly as possible, and understand that any damage caused by your failure to maintain your home may not be covered by insurance. For example, if your gutters freeze because you did not clean them in the fall, your claim may be denied.
- If your home or property is damaged due to loss of power (for example, all of your food spoils), you may wish to file an insurance claim. However, you should weigh the benefits of filing a claim with the knowledge that your premium may go up.
In addition to these tips, the Pennsylvania Department of Insurance added that homeowners shouldn’t throw away damaged property or make repairs before the adjuster arrives – only make changes that prevent further damage.
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