In addition to the health and safety dangers of sub-zero temperatures, blinding snowstorms and inconspicuous ice sheets, winter weather can also be incredibly dangerous to your home. Homeowners must consider a number of winter weather issues, including legal liabilities to watch out for and knowing whether your homeowners insurance policy has you covered.
Winter damage culprits
The two main causes of wintertime home damage are snow and ice. The weight of snow can collapse a roof or damage an automobile. And when snow inevitably melts, it can cause major flooding and problems with home septic systems.
The major problems with ice, from a homeowner’s legal perspective, include slip-and-falls Opens a New Window. and frozen pipelines. Ice accumulating on trees can also cause damage if a tree branch falls Opens a New Window. on your home — or even worse, your neighbor’s home.
What is generally covered
A homeowners insurance policy typically covers damage that results directly from winter weather events. Direct damage includes trees falling on homes Opens a New Window. , roof collapse due to snow accumulation, wind damage during a blizzard, displacement due to a major power outage, and frozen or burst pipes (subject to exception).
What is probably not covered: negligence
A curveball factor can affect the damage your insurance policy covers: homeowner negligence, which means neglecting the standard care that allows your home to withstand normal winter weather. This may include factors such as:
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