What kind of snow damage does insurance cover?

Mar 21, 2023, 10:15 AM | Updated: Mar 28, 2023, 5:17 pm

snow is pictured on a home, more stormy utah weather on the way...

Photo of snow in Park City. (Benjamin McGonnell, KSL NewsRadio)

(Benjamin McGonnell, KSL NewsRadio)

PARK CITY, Utah — A home in Park City is one of the many Utah homes left damaged by this long winter. An ice dam pushed water up under the shingles and caused part of the ceiling to come crashing down. The good news for the homeowner who sent KSL these pics is it will probably be covered by insurance.

“Typically, broadly speaking, ice dams are covered when you have interior water damage,” Bekka Carlson, an insurance agent with State Farm said.

Also typically covered, damage caused by the weight of the snow.

“If you have a buildup of ice and snow on the roof and it collapses, usually some coverage in that,” she said. “You want to be careful if it’s ancillary items, fences pools, stuff like that, there could be some limitations.”

Snow on branches can also lead to fallen trees and damage, and that is also covered by most standard homeowners’ policies.

But if you were to hire someone to remove snow in hopes of avoiding damage, that is usually something you will have to pay yourself. Don’t expect your homeowner’s insurance to cover those costs, which can range from several hundred dollars to thousands, depending on the job. Having someone climb up on your roof with a shovel means hazard pay.

And when clearing snow, be mindful of where you put it.

“People don’t think of this, keep it away from your house,” Carlson warned. “Typically seeping, leaking, entering of foundations of snow when the ground is wet and saturated, it’s going to cause you problems.”

Problems for which you are likely not covered.

One of the big concerns with snow is flooding. When flood warnings pop up in forecasts, it is already too late to get flood insurance. In most cases, for it to pay, you must have had a policy in place 30 days prior to the flood.

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What kind of snow damage does insurance cover?