Blizzard Damage: Does Homeowners Insurance Cover It? | Gabi
It’s worth knowing if your home insurance policy gets you well-covered or excludes common types of winter-related hazards. Remember to make sure you’re insured against most common risks before the first snowflake appears so you don’t have to stress out during Christmas.
Does Your Policy Cover You Against Blizzard Damage?
If winds exceed 35 mph and visibility is very poor then we’re talking about severe conditions which may cause blizzard damages to your property. Does your policy cover you against them?
Yes and no. It all depends on the damage type. In general, homeowners insurance provides coverage against most common blizzard hazards. Let’s see which of them will be reimbursed by your home insurer:
1. Wind damage: Covered
If blizzard winds cause trees or tree branches to fall and damage your home, a standard home insurance policy will cover the cost of repair. If your windows or roof will suffer (e.g. missing shingles, collapsed roof, broken glass) you can count on your insurer’s support. However, if a tree blows over during a blizzard storm causing damage to your car, you would need to have comprehensive coverage added to your car insurance to receive the pay-out.
2. Collapsed roof: Covered
If your roof caves in from the weight of the blizzard snow, or is damaged by fallen trees, your homeowners insurance should pay-out.
3. Water damage: It depends
When it comes to your home insurance, water damage has its own set of rules. For example, flooding caused by a frozen pipe burst is covered, but flooding caused by ice melting outside is not. It’ll be considered as a natural disaster. So you’ll need to buy flood insurance or supplement your home policy with an appropriate add-on.
Another case where your home policy will reimburse possible damages is when melting ice freezes along the edge of your roof forming an ice dam. Water could then leak inside causing structural damage to your property which will be covered by your home insurance company. You will only have to handle the deductible amount stated in your policy before the insurance company covers the rest of the repairs. It may be $500 which is not too much, knowing that even petty repairs may cost a lot of money.
Also, always remember to take photos of any blizzard damage so that the insurance company can accurately assess your home damage. If you skip this step, it’s possible your insurance company will associate the damage with flooding, and may deny the coverage payout.
Blizzard: Emergency Plan and Evacuation
You need to be prepared in case of possible evacuation caused by severe blizzard conditions. It’s good to have an emergency kit and plan ready in advance. You may get stuck at your home or be cut off water and electricity, so make sure you have necessary supplies, including:
- Food and water supplies which will last your family and pets for a couple of days
- Flashlights and batteries
- Candles and matches
- Warm clothes
- Wet tissues and cosmetics for personal hygiene
- First-aid kit
- Necessary medication
If a blizzard causes too many damages to your property, you may have to get evacuated. In such cases, you will also need:
- Waterproof and warm clothes
- Personalized stuff for each family member needs (such as eyeglasses, medications).
- Emergency contacts
Having doubts if your home insurance provides coverage in case of blizzard-related hazards? Sign up here and contact your licensed Gabi advisor at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more – we’ll shop around for the most affordable option and you’ll get answers to all of your questions for free!