The Department of Insurance and Financial Services provided tips for Michiganders to review their insurance documents and consider possible winter-related damages. Understanding your insurance coverage can help ensure you are financially protected for damage caused to your home and automobile if severe winter weather hits.
Tips for Homeowners:
Homeowners insurance policies usually cover damages resulting from burst pipes, ice dams, wind, or a building collapse caused by the weight of ice or snow. Policies often exclude coverage for damages resulting from power outages unless the outage was caused by a covered weather-related instance, such as wind, ice or snow.
Home owners should review their insurance policy and take the following steps to help prevent winter damage:
- Keep homes heated to at least 65 degrees to prevent frozen pipes. If you are away from your home for an extended period of time, have someone check the home to catch any burst pipes.
- Keep gutters clean to prevent ice damming, which occurs when melting ice backs up under roof shingles before freezing again.
- Remove trees that have died or are rotting to prevent branches from falling under the weight of snow or ice.
Tips for Automobile Owners:
Driving in winter weather can be dangerous, even when driving carefully. Coverages you may consider purchasing, or confirming are in your plan, include:
- Collision Coverage — This type covers damages to your vehicle while driving, should your vehicle collide with another vehicle or hit a tree or utility pole from loss of traction due to ice and snow.
- Comprehensive Coverage — This insurance covers damage to an automobile that did not result from a collision.
- Property Protection — This coverage covers damages unintentionally caused to another person’s property.