Is Ice Dam Damage Covered By Homeowners Insurance

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By Leah Waldron

According to the website Insure.com, a standard HO-2 homeowner's insurance policy will cover any damage from accumulating ice or snow on your roof, but does not cover ice dams. To protect your home against ice damming, you will need an open-peril HO-3 Special Form or HO-5 Extended Form.

Cost

Mute the speaker Listen to this using a male or female voice M/F According to the website House Logic, freezing and water damage were the second-highest claims in the homeowner's insurance industry from 2002 through 2007, with the average claim coming in at $5,531 per incident. Types of ice dam claims included rain gutter damage, which ran $100 to $300 per side, and less-noticeable problems, such as wet insulation, cracked ceiling and wall plaster, mold and joist damage.

HO-3 and HO-5 Policies

Mute the speaker Listen to this using a male or female voice M/F Both HO-3 and HO-5 homeowner's insurance policies, which cover a mixture of perils not usually represented on a standard HO-2, will cover ice dam damage. However, before filing an ice dam claim, you should check your policy to make sure ice dam is not excluded as a named peril. The major difference between an HO-3 and HO-5 policy is that with a HO-3, only the dwelling is covered, while an HO-5 protects the contents and possessions in your home and hence brings a higher premium.

Ice Dam Claims

Mute the speaker Listen to this using a male or female voice M/F If you have an HO-3 or HO-5 homeowner's insurance policy and have ice dam-related damage, the website Insure.com recommends contacting your insurance agent immediately. If the damage is extensive, you can temporarily repair the problem to your best ability, which will be reimbursed if your claim is approved. You should also keep receipts of all repair work and provide the insurance claim adjuster with any documentation of the lost property's value. This can help you get the most out of your claim check.

Prevention

Mute the speaker Listen to this using a male or female voice M/F To prevent an ice dam claim, which can raise your future homeowner's insurance premiums, the website House Logic recommends installing electric deicing cables, hiring a roofing company to steam out the ice buildup, removing any snow or ice with a roof rake if the gutter is accessible or insulating your attic to help prevent heat loss. Attic insulation can be pricey, but the U.S. Department of Energy estimates that the investment can save you 10 to 50 percent on our home heating and cooling bills.

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