Winter weather damage: What will insurance cover?

Grand Rapids

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The winter weather has led to power surges, frozen pipes and downed tree damage, leaving many homeowners with plenty of bills.

And all of those costs are not necessarily covered by insurance.

Derek Boer of Boer Insurance Group tells 24 Hour News 8 damage from a pipe break caused by weather is covered by homeowner’s insurance. That includes damage to floors, walls, carpeting and furniture.

However, it isn’t as cut and dry when it comes to downed trees. In most cases, homeowner’s insurance will cover the damage to your house or garage, like damaged shingles or gutters.

It should also pay for crews to remove the tree off your house and put it on the ground, but from there, insurance coverage gets tricky. 

“Once it’s on the ground, it’s anybody’s guess as to how it’s going to get off of your property.  Some policies will help cover that, others say it’s the homeowner’s responsibility,” explained Boer. “It all depends on the company. But yeah, in certain instances that’s going to fall on the homeowner,” said Boer.

If you’re dealing with damage, Boer suggests to take plenty of pictures. 

He says you should call your insurance company first and then call a tree service, where you will most likely have to get in line.

“Try to extend a little bit more of the patience that you’re running thin on. The restoration companies, the power companies are all working around the clock and the insurance companies are doing that too,” said Boer.

Boers says insurance adjusters have flown in from across the country to move the process along.

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