Homeowners, who live where snow is common, need to take steps to protect their homes from potential damage. Ice isn't the only thing that can damage your roof and siding. Snow can be a hazard as well, especially if you aren't properly prepared for it. Cleaning out your gutters and clearing away dead tree limbs are just the beginning of what you can do to protect your home and property. It's also a good idea to have the name and phone number of a good snow removal company on hand, so you're ready when the first major snowfall hits.
Your homeowners insurance will cover several types of snow damage, including ice dams and broken tree branches. Ice dams build up along the edges of your roof if your gutters are plugged in. As the ridge of ice continues to grow, it can force water underneath the shingles of your roof. Dead tree branches that fall onto your roof can also damage your shingles. Both of these will result in water damage to the interior of your home. If snow is allowed to accumulate on your roof, if the weight becomes too great, it can cause your roof to collapse.
Snow damage that can be prevented will not be covered by your homeowners insurance. If you allow snow to build up around the foundation of your home and a large pool of standing water forms as it melts, any resulting damage will not be covered. Instead, it would be considered flood damage. While there are companies that include flood damage as part of a standard policy, most do not. Instead, they require you purchase an additional endorsement. If snow blows into your home through a crack in a door or window and melts on your floor, the resulting damage won't be covered because it is considered to be preventable.
Snow removal is a form of maintenance that is normally not covered under a typical homeowners policy. While a standard policy may cover the injuries associated with a slip and fall on the ice or snow, it won't cover snow removal. It is a homeowners responsibility to ensure that snow and ice are removed from areas where people walk or drive.
There are limitations to what homeowners insurance will cover when it comes to snow and ice damage. Wear and tear that occurs in areas where snow is allowed to accumulate will not be covered by your homeowners policy. Rotting boards and weakened supports should be repaired as soon as they are noticed and not be allowed to get worse over time.
When you are dealing with an excessive amount of snow, it's important to know as much as you can about your homeowners insurance policy. If you want to know what is and isn't covered by your homeowners policy, contact the agents at Spotlight Insurance Agency. We have answers to all of your questions and can help you determine what steps you can take to protect your home from snow damage.