Is Snow Damage Covered by Insurance?

When snow weighs down your roof, it can cause damage to the structure, collapse the roof, or create dangerous ice dams. Here is what you need to know about snow damage coverage.

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Is Snow Damage Covered by Insurance?

If snow builds up on your roof over the winter, it can cause damage to the structure of the home and, in some cases, cause the roof to collapse. If it melts and freezes quickly, it can cause an ice dam, which can also cause roof leaks to occur. In these situations, home insurance for snow and ice roof collapsing can be vitally important to restore your home’s integrity, but there are a few things to keep in mind about this type of coverage.

Snow and Ice Insurance for Homeowners

Homeowners insurance may help you in several situations when snow and ice cause damage to your home. In nearly all situations, home insurance companies require property owners to take reasonable measures to prevent snow buildup as well as ice formation in their roofing. However, it is not often safe for you to climb into your roof in the winter months and, therefore you shouldn’t try to remove snow.


If your home suffers damage as the result of the snow building up too high and becoming too heavy, your home insurance policy may offer coverage for the damage to the home and any of your belongings within the home. This would apply in situations where the roof collapses and snow damage causes property damage. In many situations, this is due to the weight of the snow, but there are also other situations that can cause roof damage due to a winter storm.


For example, an ice dam can form, creating gaps in your roof’s shingles. In some situations, this is unable to be prevented. If so, your home insurance may cover the damage as a result of the storm. Again, you must do what is possible to minimize this risk, such as keeping your roof in good condition. Your policy will not cover damage resulting from poor maintenance and upkeep, though.


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Understanding Ice Dam Prevention and Solutions

Ice dams occur when there is rapid freezing and thawing of water during the winter. The snow can melt, for example, but the moisture gets trapped in or under the shingles. As a result of this moisture and cold air, it causes ice to form. As that occurs, the ice expands, creating damage to the roofing. This leads to roof leaks which are damaging to the structure.


Ice dam prevention is possible today. Work with your roofer to spot areas of concern so they can be repaired instead. Ice dam solutions may include heating systems that help to encourage the drying out of these surfaces. Sometimes it is just about ensuring there is protection to the roofing in place.

Ice Dam Removal – Will Home Insurance Help?

Ice dam removal is a worrisome task because it requires someone to access key roof areas that are very dangerous. It is never wise for a homeowner to do this on their own. It is best to contact a licensed roofer to handle the damage repairs for you instead. Unfortunately, home insurance does not cover ice dam removal. This is seen as a type of required maintenance that the homeowner will be responsible for completing. In most situations, the home insurance policy will cover the damage the ice dam creates to the roofing structure, though.

Will Home Insurance Cover Roof Snow Removal?

Roof snow removal is an important step in protecting your home. Yet, it is also a very dangerous step. Snow damage to your home can be significant, but it is the responsibility of the property owner to make sure that the snow is removed. This is considered a normal part of maintenance and upkeep to the home. Home insurance policies do not typically cover prevention of damage like this. Rather, they are there to help you to recover if there is damage to your property due to the heavy weight of the snow.

Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Water Damage from Melting Snow?

What if the snow melts quickly and causes damage in your home? This is considered the same as a traditional flood. It is due to a natural event and it is not likely covered on most home insurance policies. Most home insurance policies today do not provide for flood coverage. If your policy does allow you to file a claim for storm-related flooding, it may apply here as well. However, if your homeowners insurance does not cover water damage like this, and you have a flood insurance policy, that may offer some protections for you.


When a winter storm comes through, be sure you have proper home insurance in place to help minimize some of these risks. You cannot control how much snow builds on your roof or the development of ice dams in most cases. Yet, your home insurance may cover these risks.


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