home insurance

Winter Weather: Why It’s So Important to Have Homeowner’s Insurance

Winter is such a great time of year. It can be picturesque when fresh snow has fallen. There are a lot of fun things to do like skiing, sledding, and ice skating. Another aspect people like is that you can splurge a bit during the holidays because winter fashion tends to be a bit bulky and can easily cover a few extra pounds.

But apart from all these, winter weather can easily be destructive and dangerous. According to statistics, around $1.2 billion worth of property damage was due to winter weather in 2017, which is significantly bigger that flooding and flash floods that accumulated property damage worth USD $100 million in the same year.

The amount of property damage caused by winter weather highlights the need for home insurance for the season. About one in 15 insured homes file a claim every winter. Here are a few reasons why it’s important to have not only have homeowner’s insurance but the right amount of coverage.

Frozen Pipes

Plumbing problems can quickly pile up and it can be expensive. It may sound and look like an easy fix, but in actuality, it can be a much bigger job. The damage that you have may require expertise and even special equipment. All of those things add up.

When the temperature drops below freezing temperatures, there is a potential for your pipes to burst due to freezing water. The repair amount can cost between $900 and up to $4,000 depending on the severity of your plumbing problem.

Imagine you are on vacation when a cold front moves in and freezes the pipes. A few days later, while you’re still gone, the temp rises and the pipes thaw. Now you have a bigger problem because the water is flowing. You can end up with thousands of dollars in damage. Insurance may be your only form of protection.

If this happens, coverage is key. Most policies will cover this type of damage. Be sure to talk to your agent before this happens.

Roof and Gutter Damage From Ice

Winter storms or even cold snaps can cause ice dams on your roof and gutters, hence, they are capable of causing damage once they reached substantial weight. It can take less weight than you think. Those beautiful, delicate icicles hanging on your roof and gutter can cause damage.

As snow and ice melts, it can cause water to leak through your roof and ruin your drywall and even your furniture.  Imagine a damaged roof, with water leaking from your ceiling and pouring down your furnishing. It can be devastating. It can leave you in financial ruins if you aren’t insured. A homeowner’s insurance policy, even the standard one, can cover the necessary repair expenses for these types of property damage. You will need to work with your agent to make sure you are covered.

Roof Collapse From Ice and Snow

All the ice, snow and sleet on top of your roof can be quite heavy. There are different types of snow. One type is the lightweight snow that doesn’t pack. That is the kind of snow that doesn’t really make a snowball. The other type of snow, the kind that makes great snowballs, is the type that can cause damage. It is much heavier.

A roof in good condition can safely support a few feet of snow or about 20 pounds. Anything more than that can potentially cause the structure to fall apart and cave-in. A roof collapse is probably the most expensive damage because the cost to build a new roof is very expensive but you also will have to repair everything in the house that the roof landed on. Not to mention the water damage that can happen.

Apart from the accumulation of snow, fallen trees can easily damage your roof and other attached structures. The snow that has collected on tree branches near your house can snap and fall on your home. It can damage your deck, break your window or worst collapse your roof.

There are a few preventative measures you can take, like trimming your trees, but you can’t change the amount of snow that falls. Insurance is the best thing you can have. Insurance can cover damages, loss, repair, or replacement. It all depends on the coverage of your policy.

Personal Injury From Slips on Ice

In the winter season, not only is the air cold but the ground becomes slippery and it can be dangerous. One wrong step can lead you to the emergency room for a head injury or broken bones. And we all know that a visit to the hospital means money.

Also, don’t forget the danger brought by the icicles hanging on your gutter. Any form of vibration can easily make them fall and unfortunately hurt someone. Having homeowner’s insurance can mitigate these kind of expenses from people visiting your home. They usually fall in the liability coverage of your policy.

A standard homeowner’s policy, once you are proven legally responsible for someone’s injury that happened in your property, can help cover medical bills, lost wages or even legal fees. If a lawsuit is filed the attorney fees alone can be in the thousands.

Sometimes in the winter damage can occur that isn’t preventable. You’re best bet is to have an adequate policy that fits your needs. You should talk to your agent to discuss your needs and options.