Weather Damage and Your Home Insurance Policy

Depending on the terms of your home insurance policy, some weather-related damages may not be covered. To ensure you have sufficient coverage, you must first understand what weather claims are typically covered under a standard home insurance policy.

Perils typically covered under your insurance policy include:

  • Lightning strikes — Lightning may result in severe smoke or fire damage, or cause power surges that can damage appliances or electronics in your home.
  • Hail, wind and fallen trees — All three can lead to a variety of damages to your home that are typically covered under a homeowners policy.
  • Frozen pipes — Frozen pipes and a small variety of other water-related damages may be covered under your insurance policy. The source of the water can determine your insurance coverage.

Perils often excluded from your insurance policy include:

  • Sewer backups and flooding — Certain water damage that may be due to negligence will typically not be covered under your policy.
  • Hurricanes, floods and earthquakes — Most natural disasters are not covered under a standard home insurance policy. However, you may be able to purchase separate policies if certain disasters are common in your area.

Winterize Your Home

The winter weather can be harsh on your home. Freezing temperatures, harsh winds, snow and ice can all lead to excessive wear and tear on your property. Fortunately, there are several tips you can follow to better prepare your home for the season.

  • Inspect and test all heat sources to ensure they are in good working condition.
  • Test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
  • When leaving for vacation, keep your home heated and have someone check on your house while you’re away.
  • Regularly run water through all plumbing fixtures.
  • Clear your sidewalk, stairs and any other walkways of snow and ice.
  • Remove accumulating snow from gas meters, vents and basement windows.
  • Trim any branches that are close to your house or electrical wires.
  • Insulate exposed pipes with sleeves or wrapping.