Survived First Blizard of 2015
The winter storm that just struck the northeast is another reminder that disasters happen. Some locations like New York City did not fare too badly but other areas such as the east end of Long Island and New England will be digging out for days to come.
From an insurance perspective, there is good news about winter-related damage. Quite simply, it is covered. Nearly every type of damage that you can think of (or at least that I can think of) is covered by standard home insurance policies. If high, blustery winds damage your house or the roof, it is covered. Wind-driven snow or freezing rain that gets into the home because the home was damaged by wind, not a problem from an insurance perspective. It is covered! And, if ice or wind causes a tree or tree limb to fall on a house. Once again… covered. This includes both the damage the tree inflicts on the house and the cost of removing the tree, generally up to about $500. So, that is the good news. And, other types of damage that are covered include:
- Damage from ice and other objects that fall on the home.
- Damage to the house and its contents caused by weight of snow or ice that creates a collapse is covered.
- Freezing conditions such as burst pipes or ice dams, a condition where water is unable to drain properly through the gutters and seeps into a house causing damage to ceilings and walls. However, there is generally a requirement that the homeowner has taken reasonable steps to prevent these losses by keeping the house warm and properly maintaining the pipes and drains.
- Additional living expenses (ALE)—in the event that a home is severely damaged by an insured disaster. This would pay for reasonable expenses incurred by living elsewhere while the home is being fixed.
So what do you have to concern yourself about winter-related damage? Well, you need to make sure that you have enough insurance to rebuild your home and replace your belongings, as well as taking steps to prevent your home from damage. And, of course, the ice and snow will eventually melt so you should consider getting flood insurance, as flooding is NOT covered by standard home or renters insurance policies. More information on flood insurance can be found at floodsmart.gov.
Lastly, you need to have a disaster plan for you, your family and your pets. Because just because you survived this blizzard does not mean that there won’t be another one or something else. After all, disasters happen.