Will Home Insurance Cover Post-Snow Damage?

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  • The heavy snows in New England and the Tri-State area that has battered homes for months now aren’t likely to stick around much longer. With spring approaching and warmer weather poised to start melting the snowbanks that have lingered as unwelcome guests in many cities, there’s a real concern among many in the insurance industry about just how much flooding damage consumers are likely to suffer. Insurance agents might therefore want to consider the ways in which they can start educating people on how they can prepare for the inevitable thaw.

    When all the snow melts, it turns into water, and given the volume of snow that hit the Northeast this year – especially in places like Eastern Massachusetts, where records are being broken for snowfall in most cities – that could cause major concerns for flooding. This is true not only for municipalities, but homeowners as well, according to a report from CBS 6 in Albany, New York. The problem for many owners is that in a lot of cases, the damage from that flooding won’t be covered under their standard home insurance policies, and they may therefore have to do a little more to make sure their homes are protected.

    “It’s going to melt and when it melts all that water has got to go somewhere and for a lot of people it’s going to go into their basement, it’s going to come down from their roof and come inside of their walls,” Charles Shank, president of Shank and Falvey Insurance, told the station. “[The best thing to do is get] rid of it now, do some preventive stuff. Be proactive and you’ll be way better off in the long run.”

    Getting involved early
    The problem for many homeowners at this point is that they might not even be able to add flooding coverage to their current policies, because it usually takes a month or so to go into effect, the report said. Therefore, the time to start finding ways to keep a home from being flooded – from either above or below – is now.

    For these reasons, the necessity of agents having regular communications with their clients about risks they might face a few months down the line, and what is and isn’t covered by their current plans, can go a long way. Having greater certainty of protection could lead to increased customer satisfaction and retention rates, even if owners end up paying a little more for coverage.