As parts of the southern and central sections of our country got blanketed in a winter storm last night, Oklahoma Gov. Brad Henry declared Oklahoma a state of emergency.
According to national news stations, most schools and businesses in that state shut down to try and cope with the onslaught of freezing rain, sleet and snow that is forcasted to continue until midnight tonight.
As snow piles up, ice settles in and pipes freeze this winter, your home can suffer costly damage—and those lead to repairs that someone has to pay for.
So who will it be: you or your insurance company? Do you know?
The good news is, “standard homeowners policies provide coverage for a wide range of winter-related disasters, such as losses incurred due to burst pipes, wind damage and wind-driven rain, as well as well damage or power outages caused by downed trees, limbs or other falling objects,” according to the Insurance Journal.
So if the temperature drops below freezing, your pipes burst and your home ends up submerged in 6 inches of water, you’re likely covered for the repairs that will need to be made.
If the tree in your front yard gets weighed down with snow and subsequently falls on your home, you’re likely covered for both its removal and the repair for the damage it caused your home.
If the weight of ice and snow on your roof causes a portion of it to collapse, and water comes pouring in through your attic, your insurer is most likely responsible for fixing, replacing and repairing the damage that results from it, too.
But under what circumstances do you become responsible for the damage your home and property suffers due to winter weather conditions?
If you choose to purchase a very basic homeowners plan, often referred to as “fire only” coverage, the burden for this kind of damage will be solely yours.
If that tree loaded with snow falls in your yard and has to be cut up and carted away—but it doesn’t damage, break or hurt anything in the process—that responsibility is yours.
If you leave your home in Wisconsin vacant in the winter in favor of a warmer dwelling in Florida, you must pay for any weather-related damage that occurs in that vacant home while it’s left unattended.
For tips on minimizing the effect winter weather can have on your home and property, check out this press release from the III. Then get in touch with your home insurance agent and find out which damages are covered under your policy and which ones aren’t.
For more information:
How to Winterize Your Home
Old Man Winter Arrives Early This Year