The most frequent winter problems for homeowners are frozen pipes, power outages, and damage caused by falling trees. However, in an extremely heavy ice or snowstorm, it is possible for the weight of ice, snow, or sleet to cause the collapse of a roof. Below are some ways to prevent and prepare for such emergencies:
- Homeowners are encouraged to create a home inventory with photographs and detailed descriptions in advance of winter.
- Standard homeowners policies provide coverage for damage caused by wind, snow, severe cold and freezing rain.
- Tree limbs that fall on a house or other insured structure on the property would be covered for both the damage inflicted and the cost of removing the tree, generally up to about $500. Damage from the weight of ice and snow that fall on the home are also covered.
- Freezing conditions such as burst pipes or ice dams, a condition where water is unable to drain properly through the gutters and seeps into a house causing damage to ceilings and walls, is covered (while the actual pipe itself is generally not covered). However, there is generally a requirement that the homeowner has taken reasonable steps to prevent these losses by keeping the house warm and properly maintaining the pipes and drains.
Advice for preventing frozen pipes:
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