If you have noticed water on the inside of your home when it should be on the out side, or if you notice water spots on your ceiling your home has most likely been a victim of the “Storm of the Century”  Makes you long for global warming dosen’t it?

Before we talk about what your Home owners Insurance may or may not cover lets think about some do’s and don’ts.

Let’s put things in perspective.  It is your home and most likely, your largest investment, but it is still just a thing.

If you hear any unusual creaking or cracking sounds from your ceilings or roof.  GET OUT of your house! Call the fire dept or police from outside of your home.

Unless your are a professional (and they are smart enough not to) DON’T go on your roof or hang out of a window to assess the damage.

The Insurance you are paying for will most likely help pay for damages but will not pay for a Broken Leg. Dont do it!  Anyway the damage you are looking for is under the snow and you can’t see that from your roof.

By the way if you are one of those people to whom the laws of gravity do not apply, be very careful if you use a ladder. It  is probably sitting on ice or snow, not solid ground.

What you can do, is to try to control the damage by putting down some buckets if you notice dripping. Try using a fan or a portable de-humidifier to keep carpets and rugs dry.  Check you closets to be sure your clothes are dry. If your carpets are damp try to keep the feet of your furniture off the floor.

If your basement is wet, please be careful around any appliances. If there is standing water in your basement, DON’T step in it until you have called a professional to turn off the electricity.

“What will my Homeowners Insurance pay for?”

I can only respond to this in general terms.  Home owners Insurance policies are different. If you can find it, check your policy or call your Insurance Agent.  In most cases a Home owners policy( be careful here, non Home owners and Business Insurance Policies have different coverages) will pay for the damage done by the water but may not pay for the roof.

This can be a bit confusing.  Let’s look at two situations.

Most likely your damage is caused by melting snow.  As the snow on your roof melts, water drips. As the temperature drops, it refreezes.  When water freezes it expands. When it expands, it creeps back up under your roof’s shingles.  When it melts again the water leaks from under the shingle and drips into your home.  Since your roof gutters are also blocked by  ice, the water has no other place to go. In this situation your roof may not have been damaged at all, but you will be re-imbursed for the damage caused by the leaking roof.

If your roof has actually been damaged by the weight of the snow or ice or your neighbors tree, then YOUR ( not your neighbor’s ) Insurance company will most probably pay for the damaged roof.  Unless roof damage is visible from your attic, it is going to be a bit tricky to see any damage from the exterior while it is still covered by snow. Another good reason ot to be up there!

“Do I turn in a claim to my Insurance Co?”  Seems like a simple question, doesn’t it?  But is it?

I would suggest that you check your policy’s Deductibles. If you have an Independent Insurance Agent give her or him a call and discuss the economics of the situation. ‘Economics?” Yes, it is a matter of economics.

If your damage is minor and a coat of paint will make it better, the cost to repair it may not equal or exceed your deductibles.  It may be difficult to determine this while your roof is still snow covered. As the rest of the snow and ice melts, the damage may intensify. If your damage is more severe: dry wall, wood window frames, furniture, carpeting etc. you will most likely be over your deductible.  In any case talk to your Agent. They will be happy to help you.  “Hey, that’s why we get the Big Bucks.”

Rebekah and I hope this information will help.

Just keep this thought in mind: It may be an inconvenience but as long as no one is hurt it is just that, an inconvenience.

’nuff said!