Does your policy cover the loss?
It all depends on the type of loss incurred. Some incidents are automatically covered in most policies, while others are only covered if you’ve added coverage to your policy.
Your home insurance policy includes coverage for water damage caused by:
- A plumbing fixture such as a bathtub, washer or water heater
- A broken water main
For the following incidents, you’ll be protected if you’ve included additional coverage in your policy:
- Water infiltration through the roof, foundation, doors or windows
- Sewer back-up
- Damage caused by overflow from a waterway
You can also consult our article entitled 9 questions about flood insurance.
Note: This coverage includes a coverage amount separate from your policy amount. That means it’s important to assess the value of belongings that could be damaged, especially those located in the basement of your home.
Your home insurance protects you for damage and loss caused by theft and vandalism.
Your home insurance protects you for damage caused by a fire.
Strong winds, tornadoes and hail
Damage caused by strong winds, tornadoes or hail is generally covered.
- Damage to a roof caused by strong winds: covered under most policies
- Damage to the siding of the house or garage caused by hail: covered under most policies
- Damage caused by a tornado uprooting a tree: not covered
Snow, cold weather and freezing rain
The types of damage caused by snow, cold weather and freezing rain vary greatly. Coverage depends on the nature of the damage and the type of policy taken out. It’s best to call your insurer to find out what you’re covered for.
- The roof or shed collapses under the weight of the snow or ice: usually covered in an All Perils insurance contract
- A tree weighed down by freezing rain damages your house: covered under most contracts
- The food in your freezer goes bad after a power outage: covered
- The snow and ice accumulated on your roof starts to melt and the water seeps into the house: covered if you have above-ground water damage coverage (add-on)
- Your cedar hedge collapses under the weight of the snow: not covered.
Damage caused by an earthquake is covered if you have added the protection to your contract.
What is the amount of the loss and how much is covered by my insurance?
It’s important to know the amount of coverage included in your insurance policy.
Other than the amounts granted for your home or belongings, it’s good to know whether damaged or stolen property is subject to a reimbursement limit.
If you’ve added a water or earthquake damage endorsement to your policy, you’ll want to check your coverage, since endorsements come with specific coverage amounts.
Lastly, it’s important to note that the deductible applied in any claim you make is the one indicated in your policy.
All of this information will give you an idea of how much you can expect to be compensated and whether or not you should make a claim for a minor loss.
This information is also useful in deciding how the available insurance amount will be used in the case of a major loss for which the insurance amount is not enough to cover everything.