Winter storms with heavy snowfall and ice accumulation can cause significant damage to a home, including newer constructions. It’s important for homeowners to evaluate the protections offered by their current policies and consider possible exceptions.
Snow damage coverages typically include damage to a roof from heavy snowfall, damage to a home’s exterior caused by heavy winds, flooding from frozen or burst pipes, and torn gutters and siding caused by ice dams. These coverages may be excluded if they are attributable to a lack of maintenance.
Typically, a policy will exclude damages that could have been prevented with proper maintenance. In the case of ice dams, for example, dams caused by a failure to clean or care for gutters may be excluded. Likewise, damage caused by rotting trees that weren’t trimmed or removed could be excluded.
When the snow melts and floods a home, it’s generally not included within the scope of a homeowner’s policy. A homeowner would need a separate policy specifically covering flood damage.
Homeowners need to be conscientious about what their insurance coverage includes. Moreover, they need to take active steps to maintain their home and surrounding landscaping in order to ensure that they do not experience any type of preventable damage that may be excluded from a policy.