Winter Weather Coverage Quiz
According to the Insurance Information Institute, winter storms are the third largest cause of insurance claims. When the weather forecast is calling for menacing winter storms, knowing what precautions to take could mean avoiding damage. Check out the scenarios below to see if you think these situations are covered.*
1. Each winter, you close up your northern home and head to your winter home in a warmer climate. While you're basking in the sun, happy that you missed the big blizzard that just hit your summer home, a pipe in that home bursts. Are you covered?
If you took the appropriate precautions before you headed south, it shouldn't be an issue. If you didn't, you may not have coverage. If you're a snowbird, your best bet is to have someone you trust stop in and check your house periodically while you are away for the winter. Remember—the longer the damage is done before you do anything about it, the worse it tends to get. In addition, check with your agent before you leave to make sure your home is properly insured.
2. You slid through an icy intersection, which caused an accident. Are you covered for damage?
If you are at fault, you will be covered under your liability policy for damages you cause others. But whether you're at fault will depend on the accident details. Your vehicle's damages should be covered under your collision coverage.
3. After a snow storm, your roof caved in due to the weight of the snow. Are you covered?
Unless the collapse is caused by your roof being installed incorrectly or being worn, you're likely covered, but only for the portion of the roof that collapsed. If your home's contents are damaged, those may also be covered. Of course, you will be responsible for your deductible. The good news is this rarely happens.
4. Your car slid off to the side of the road. It took out a neighbor's mailbox and damaged your wheel well. Are you covered?
If you are at fault for sliding, your liability policy will cover damage to your neighbor's mailbox, and your collision coverage would pay to fix your car. If you don't have collision coverage, you will not be covered for your car's damage.
5. The weight of ice on a tree branch causes it to break off and hit your house. Are you covered?
You are most likely covered for damage to your house and to remove the tree. You may also be covered for any personal property damaged from the tree hitting the house.
How did you do? If you were surprised by anything, call your Shelter agent. They're always happy to help clarify your coverages. In most situations, prevention is key, but make sure you read your policies so you know what's covered and what's not.*These situations are generalized to illustrate common winter issues. Actual coverage for any situation can only be determined by its particular facts.