Northwest Indiana welcomed the new year with an ice storm that resulted in power outages across the region and damage to many homes. As we assisted clients with filing their claims, we were reminded of the importance of planning ahead and obtaining coverage for winter weather risks to the home.

Living in Northwest Indiana, we are well aware that weather-related risks affect our homes unexpectedly. Unpredictable weather events often come as a surprise and, during the winter months especially, can lead to major property damage. This results in costly repairs and potential liabilities.

Indiana isn’t unique in its extreme weather conditions. In fact, the United States experiences some of the most severe winter weather in the world. Cold temperatures, heavy snowfall, ice buildups, frozen pipes, water leaks, and roof damage are all common themes when clients report damage to their homes during winter months.

To protect your home against winter weather risks, you should have both a maintenance plan and an adequate insurance policy in place. A quality home insurance policy safeguards your home against incidents such as roof collapse, ice dams, and frozen pipes.

3 Common Winter Weather Risks to Your Home

  1. Roof Collapse
    • Roof collapses occur most frequently during the winter season when a roof is unable to withstand the heavy snowfall brought on by extreme weather. Water damage can also occur as the snow and ice melt if your roof is not structurally sound. Keep an eye out for problem indicators such as new water leaks that appear to be coming from the roof or attic region, exterior doors becoming difficult to open and close, new cracks in the drywall and plaster, and a sagging roof. Catching these signs early can help prevent further damage to your home.
  1. Ice Dams
    • Ice dams develop often during the cold winter months. These potential dangers are indicated by rows of icicles appearing along the eaves of your home. Thick rows of icicles are a sign that a ridge, or ice dam, is forming along the edge of the roof. Often ice dams are the result of uneven heat loss from your home. When an ice dam grows large enough, it can cause water to back up behind it and seep beneath the shingles. Eventually, this will drip into the insulation, ceilings, and exterior walls, potentially resulting in extensive damage.
  1. Frozen Pipes
    • Frozen pipes can lead to burst pipes, one of the messiest and most costly home repairs. As water expands, it puts significant pressure on pipes that, without proper precautions, can cause them to fail. Not surprisingly, pipes that run along the exterior walls of your home, particularly those that are not well-insulated, run a greater risk of freezing and bursting. Hose bibs, swimming pool lines, water sprinkler lines, and other outdoor pipes exposed to extreme winter temperatures also freeze more readily. Damages from burst pipes often include ruined carpets and furniture and shorted-out electrical appliances. Not sure how to keep your pipes from freezing? Use this checklist.

Not all home policies will cover winter weather risks to the home so be sure to consult with your insurance provider as soon as possible to determine what you are covered for and whether your current coverage is adequate for your situation.

If you refer to our Home Protection Guide for snow and ice storms, you’ll find a detailed list of recommendations for effectively protecting your home against the elements during those harsh and cold months of the year. Adhering to this guide will help to minimize your risk of experiencing a winter weather-related incident. You’ll also find an assessment checklist in the guide that can be used when inspecting your home for potential risks.

Click Here to Download Our Home Protection Guide

Your home inspection should be done before renewing your policy each year. Reducing your risk of being impacted by severe winter weather works to reduce your annual home insurance premiums, putting money back in your pocket. You should also take this as an opportunity to mitigate any potential liability concerns.

As you inspect your home for key items such as proper insulation and clean drainage systems, pay attention to possible liability risks such as overhanging branches and slippery driveways and stairs. If you fail to take the appropriate precautions, you could be held liable for the medical costs of anyone who injures themself on your property or who experiences damage as a result of undermaintained vegetation growing in your yard.

Talk to your advisor to ensure that your policy addresses all of the winter weather risks and familiarize yourself with liability concerns that may not be covered under your current policy. Should you need to update your coverage, we are always eager to work with you to design an insurance package that is right for you.

Get in touch with us today to learn more about how you can guard yourself and your home against the elements this winter.

Personal Insurance




Insuring for Winter Weather Risks to Your Home

Insuring for Winter Weather Risks to Your Home