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Winter weather can bring cold temperatures, snow and ice storms and sometimes blizzard like conditions that can damage property. When winter weather events occur the following winter-weather emergency tips are provided:
What to Do if Your Home is Damaged?:
1. Call your insurance company or agent with your policy number and all relevant information as soon as possible. Cooperate fully with your company or agent, asking what forms, documents and data you will need to provide in order to process your claim.
2. Take photos or video of the damage.
3. Make the necessary repairs to prevent further damage to the property (for instance, covering broken windows, leaking roofs and damaged walls), but do not have permanent repairs made until your insurance company has inspected the property and you have reached an agreement with them on the cost of appropriate repairs.
4. Save all receipts, including those from the temporary repairs that might be covered by your insurance policy.
5. If your home is damaged to the extent that it is unlivable, ask your insurance provider if you have coverage for living expenses incurred while repairs are being made. Save all receipts to document these costs.
What Damage to Your Home is Covered?:
Damages caused by wind, wind-driven rain, trees or other falling objects, and the collapse of a structure due to weight of ice or snow, are covered under most standard homeowners policies. However, you should review your individual insurance contract to determine specific coverage and exclusions. Frozen pipes might not be covered if the damage is due to the homeowner’s negligence, such as failing to maintain adequate temperature in the home when you had the ability to do so. Check your policy and call your insurance agent or company for clarification with specific questions.
What Damage to Your Home is Not Covered? :
The following weather-related events are usually not covered by standard homeowners insurance policies:
Some insurers offer endorsements (i.e., additional protection that may be purchased at added cost) for certain contingencies not covered under your standard homeowner policy. Check with your agent or insurance company to determine your needs, and what additional coverage might be available.
Stay Safe and Protect Your Investment:
To protect both your family and your home, the OID and the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offer these tips for avoiding typical and dangerous cold-weather-related household incidents.