Snowstorm-Caused Damage Covered Under Auto and Home Policies

For immediate release
New York Press Office: Michael Barry, 917-923-8245, michaelb@iii.org

 
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. 


RELATED LINKS

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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