Big winter storms, like the one that just swept the East Coast, can wreck havoc on our pocketbooks. The average water damage and freezing claim was $5,531 in 2007, the most recent year that has full statistics, says ISOâ€™s Property Claim Services.
Usually, your standard homeowners and business insurance policies cover a lot of problems caused by storms, including:
- losses from burst pipes
- ice dams (when water canâ€™t drain properly and seeps into your house)
- wind damage
- a building that collapsed because of the weight of ice/snow
- damage from a tree crashing into your home
Even your car is covered for auto accidents caused by slippery weather under most standard auto policies. If a tree or branch or other falling debris smashes into your car, you’re usually reimbursed if you opted for comprehensive coverage.
What’s typically not covered: long-standing problems that aren’t promptly spotted and fixed. Most insurers, for example, won’t pay for rot or other damage caused by a slow leak.
So make a complete tour of your house after every storm to identify problems and get them fixed promptly.
If you have no clue what your policy covers, find out. You never know when Mother Nature will throw another weather curve ball at us.
Here are some of my columns related to insurance issues: