Snowstorm-Caused Damage Covered Under Auto and Home Policies


For immediate release
New York Press Office: Michael Barry, 917-923-8245,

NEW YORK, Feb. 1, 2021—This week’s intense winds and blizzard conditions pose threats to autos and homes yet the Insurance Information Institute (Triple-I) notes standard auto and homeowner’s insurance policies cover most instances of snowstorm-caused property damage.

Auto insurance policies cover:

  • Damage from vehicle crashes involving two or more drivers which was caused by either snowy or slippery roads; these crashes are generally covered under the liability portion of the negligent driver’s auto insurance policy or the collision coverage portion of your auto insurance policy
  • Damage from a vehicle’s crash into an object (e.g., tree, guard rail); these crashes are covered under the optional collision portion of an auto insurance policy  
  • Damage to a vehicle caused by heavy wind, flooding, fallen ice or fallen tree limbs; these events are covered under the optional comprehensive portion of an auto insurance policy

Seventy-four (74) percent of U.S. vehicle owners opted to buy collision coverage when purchasing auto insurance in 2017, a National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) survey determined. Seventy-eight (78) percent of U.S. vehicle owners have comprehensive coverage as part of their auto insurance policy, the same NAIC survey also found.

Homeowners insurance policies cover:

  • Damage to a house, its roof, its contents, and other insured structures (e.g., garage, shed) on the property caused by wind 
  • Damage from tree limbs that fall onto either a house or the property’s other insured structures
  • Damage from ice and other objects that fall onto a house
  • Damage to the house and its contents caused by either weight of snow or ice
  • Damage caused by 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.
  • Damage caused by either wind-driven snow or freezing rain if either the snow or the rain got into the house because the house was damaged by wind
  • Additional living expenses (ALE), if the house is made uninhabitable by an insured disaster

Damage caused by flooding is not covered by either a standard homeowners or renters insurance policy. Melting snow that seeps into a house from the ground up would be covered by flood insurance, which is provided by FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program, and a few private insurers. Flood insurance is available to both homeowners and renters. 


Facts and StatisticsWinter Storms
ArticlesThe Homeowner’s Severe Cold Weather Survival GuideHow to File an Auto ClaimHow to File A Homeowner’s Claim
VideoMinimizing Winter Weather Risks

The Triple-I has a full library of educational videos on its YouTube Channel. Information about Triple-I mobile apps can be found here.

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