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Does my homeowners insurance cover melting snow?

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 | February 8, 2018
Does my homeowners insurance cover melting snow?

A snowstorm can be tough on your home. After the storm has passed, you may think you’re in the clear from storm-related damage, but that isn't always the case. Though the risk of cold, wind, falling tree branch and ice dam damages can be acute in the throws of a storm, damage from melting snow comes after the storm has passed.

Melting snow can put your home at risk, even if it does feel like spring is on the way. Does your homeowners insurance cover damages from melting snow? Let’s take a look!

Homeowners Insurance and Melting Snow

The purpose of homeowners insurance is to provide valuable financial protection if your home were to face a huge loss. When it comes to losses resulting from flood damage, which can happens when the snow melts, your homeowners insurance does not apply and you’ll need to turn to your flood insurance.

Flooding from Melting Snow

Melting snow can cause flooding into your home and basement. For this type of damage, you would need flood insurance to cover the damage. Your homeowners is unlikely to cover flood damage, even if it is from melting snow.

When the ground becomes oversaturated with water from the snow melt and leaks into your home, this is considered flooding and is typically not covered under your homeowners insurance. Instead, flood insurance would likely cover the repairs to help you recover from water damage.

Learn more about flood insurance and melting snow in our article, Melting Snow Carries Risk of Flooded Basements. If you don’t already have flood insurance, request a quote from InsuraMatch:

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Leaking from Melting Snow

If you get a leak in your home where the water is coming from above, the resulting damage is often covered by your homeowners insurance. A simple rule of thumb from The Nest is that if the water never touches the ground, the water damage will likely be covered under your homeowners coverage (provided you’ve done a good job maintaining your home!).

Whether it’s from an ice dam or storm damage, it’s important to call your homeowners insurance agent right away to file a water damage claim. Your agent or carrier will be able to help you determine whether or not you should take care of temporary repairs before they can check out the damage.

Your homeowners insurance covers structural damage as well as damage to your personal belongings, both of which you could suffer if you get a melting snow leak from above. Before the snow banks recede, make sure your home inventory is up-to-date, should any of your belongings get damaged.

Ice Dams and Melting Snow

Ice dams are an unfortunate occurrence during winter weather, and they can cause expensive damage once they form. Ice dams prevent water from melting snow from running off your roof and draining away from your home and instead the water comes into your home. Water damage from ice dams can be covered under your homeowners insurance, unless the ice dam is a result of negligence or failure to maintain your home.

Preparing your home for winter weather and checking on and maintaining your roof will help you prevent ice dams. If you’re especially prone, these tips on recovering from ice dam damage have good tips for preventing and recovering from ice dams.

Bottom Line

After the snow storm, there is still a chance of damage to your home. Most important to recovering from melting snow issues is to ensure you have proper financial coverage for the risks you face. Call your insurance agent to make sure your homeowners policy is up-to-date, check on your inventory and consider flood insurance if you don’t already have coverage.

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