digging out from blizzard damageWe were walloped overnight with 12 to 18 inches locally and up to 24 inches in the Berkshires. Hopefully, you and your home rode out the storm safely and comfortably, but we all know that’s not always the case. If your home suffered blizzard damage, do you know what is covered under your homeowners insurance?

Burst Pipes in Home

In general, your homeowners policy should cover damage resulting from a burst pipe within your home. However, if the pipe burst due to your negligence, such as leaving your home unheated during freezing temperatures, your claim may be denied. Damage from burst pipes that occurred due to a loss of power, and thus heat, will be covered.

Water Damage from Outside

If a pipe bursts outside your home and floods the interior, it may be covered if you can prove the water came from a broken pipe and not just groundwater. Water that seeps into your basement or ground floor from melting snow is considered flooding, which is not covered by homeowners insurance—it requires separate flood insurance. However, water damage to ceilings caused by ice dams on your roof or gutter will be covered.

Roof Collapse

Homeowners insurance will cover a roof collapse caused by snow or ice, as well as damage if a tree falls on your home during a storm. Typically, the resulting damage to items inside your home that are included in your homeowners policy is covered as well. Certain luxury or high-priced assets, such as fine art, may require additional coverage.

Wind Damage

If the wind pulls shutters from your home or shingles from your roof, this damage is covered under your homeowners policy. The same is true for damage caused by airborne items that strike your home’s exterior and windows.

File Blizzard Damage Claims Quickly

If you experienced damage to your home due to winter weather, take photos of the damage and file your claim as quickly as possible. You may also need to demonstrate that you took steps to mitigate the damage—for example, by boarding up a window broken to protect items inside your home.

If you are a renter with renters insurance, your policy should cover damage to your personal property within your rental unit that occurred due to storm damage.

In the case of extensive damage, and depending on your coverage, your policy may also cover the cost of a hotel stay, if that’s necessary, while repairs are made to your home.

One big benefit of working with a local insurance provider is the personalized service we provide. As fellow New-Englanders, we are all too familiar with the types of damage winter storms can cause. If you need to file a claim, count on us to walk you through the process and make it as easy as possible for you to get what you’re entitled to. You can file claims 24/7 online, and contact us directly if you need help or have questions.