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Your home insurance policy protects your home from various calamities that may occur, but winter months bring plenty of severe weather that could damage your home in ways you haven’t considered.
Snow and ice damages more than your roof
During winter months, it feels like the snow never ends; add shoveling snow off your roof to your to-do list. The accumulation of snow can cause extra weight that your roof is not equipped to handle.
If it accumulates over two feet, consider hiring a professional to safely clear it. Your roofing material has the potential to not be covered by insurance, and if damaged, it can lead to water seepage and structural damage.
Water seepage signs include blistering and water stains or drops on your top floor ceiling. Cracks in interior walls or warped ceilings could indicate structural damage to your home.
Not all water damage is equal
Most home insurance policies cover water or flood damage, but it doesn’t mean your policy includes all causes of water damage. According to the Insurance Bureau of Canada, most home insurance policies include burst pipes coverage, however, water damage in the basement due to sewer backup may not be included unless it is specified in your policy.
You may have coverage for severe storm damage, but it is not mandatory coverage, nor is sewer backup or overland flooding. You may want to upgrade your policy to ensure your home is adequately protected against different types of water damage.
The dangers of ice dams
Ice dams are another winter hazard that could cause water seepage and damage to your home. Ice dams are the build-up of ice on the bottom of sloped roofs caused by melting snow that accumulates and freezes at the edge of your roof. If not removed, the ice dam prevents melting snow from falling off your roof. With nowhere to go, water can seem into your ceiling and walls, causing extensive interior damage.
It’s a good idea to check your policy to ensure that you have ice dam damage coverage, as it is not automatically included in all home insurance policies.
Do your part by winterizing your home
While having the right insurance coverage is essential, keep in mind, you must maintain your home and property to avoid certain caveats in your policy that would nullify your coverage. The Insurance Bureau of Canada offers several tips on how to winterize your home to help prevent winter weather damage from occurring.
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