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Should I file a Claim if I think I might have snow damage?

A homeowner’s policy typically will cover burst pipes, a tree falling on a house, removal of fallen trees, wind and sleet damage to the roof, melting snow dripping through the shingles and water wreckage caused by “ice dams” that block gutters, insurance experts say. Flooding caused by melting snow is usually covered under a separate flood policy that you must purchase through a federal insurance program.

Your own policy, though, might have limitations. Consumers sometimes opt out of certain coverage to keep premiums down and later discover they are unprotected.

So what if your house has already sustained damage? Your first decision will be whether to file a claim, even if you’re fully covered by insurance. Make a claim if the damage is extensive. If it’s minor – a couple hundred dollars worth -you’re better off paying for the repairs yourself.

That’s because when it comes time to renew your policy, the insurer will look at the number of claims you filed in the past 24 to 36 months. If you made three claims in that period, you’ll appear too risky to the insurer and might not be renewed.

If you decide to file a claim, call your agent or insurer as soon as possible to get the claim process started.Also, call us once you have your appointment date so that we can meet your adjuster at your home and walk your roof with them.

If your house hasn’t been damaged, you can take measures to protect it.

Use a roof rake to remove snow from your roof top.

Remove as much snow from gutters as possible

Place tarpes over areas that might possibly leak on the roof

Warning:

  • Removing ice and snow from your roof can be dangerous. Never walk on your roof when it has ice and snow on it. Make sure that the ladder you use is properly secure on the ground with no wobble or chance of collapsing under you. It might be best to hire professionals to remove the ice and snow if you are hesitant about it.
  • Never remove gutters to prevent ice buildup. This can cause major damage to your roof and your gutters and also allow the snow melt to drip down to your home’s foundation and into your basement, causing even more damage.
  • Always wear protective clothing when working in cold weather or with insulating materials. Protect your exposed skin with warm winter clothing and gloves when working outside and use the appropriate coverings such as face masks and gloves when working with insulation.