What is Covered by Your Homeowners Insurance?
Do you live in the Northeast and wonder about winter damage that occured to your home? The Insurance Information Institute website is a great resource for homeowners wondering what is covered by their standard homeowners insurance policy.
Standard homeowners insurance covers:
- Wind-related damage to a house, its roof, its contents and other insured structures on the property. Also, wind-driven snow or freezing rain that gets into the home because the home was damaged by wind.
- Tree limbs that fall on a house or other insured structure on the property—this includes both the damage the tree inflicts on the house and the cost of removing the tree, generally up to about $500.
- 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.
- Damage caused by flooding is not covered by standard homeowners or renters insurance policies. Melting snow that seeps into a home 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.
Learn how you can avoid ice dams and other winter damage to your home by using the resources below from the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS).
As always, contact your insurance agent to verify what is covered by your insurance and steps you need to take to start the claim process.