Does Home Insurance Cover Severe Weather Damage?

February 25, 2022

If you have found yourself typing this question into Google, you are not alone. However, the information you find may be unclear or not applicable to you. If you are looking for reliable answers to the question, “Does home insurance cover severe weather damage?” then read on for some insight.

Am I Covered If A Tree Falls Onto My Home?

The short answer to this question is, yes. Your home insurance will cover you if:

  1. Your tree falls onto your home.
  2. Your neighbour’s tree falls on your home.
  3. You have any subsequent water damage or a hole in your roof as a result.
  4. A tree falls onto your fence. The fence will be covered, and the tree will be removed.
  5. However, it should be mentioned that if a tree falls and there is no damage to your home or fence, there is no coverage for the tree or removal of the tree.

Am I Covered If My Neighbour’s Property is Damaged?

If your tree damages your neighbour’s property, your neighbour will have to go through their insurance first. Also, the only time you could be held responsible for your neighbour’s damage is if it was very obvious the tree should have been taken down and you failed to do so. A healthy tree taken down by a strong wind does not make you responsible for your neighbour’s damage.

Am I Covered If Heavy Rain, or Snow Damages My Home?

snow has damaged a home and a garage

Most comprehensive home insurance policies cover snow load and water damage caused by an ice dam on your roof. Some homes or seasonal properties may not qualify for a comprehensive home or seasonal policy. These are not automatic coverages on all policies so a discussion is needed with your broker.

The roof of a home is built to withstand a lot of weight so snow load claims usually happen with carports or backyard sheds. More common is water damage from an ice dam which is caused by a lack of proper insulation or air circulation in your attic. A telltale sign of an ice dam is the buildup of large icicles on the eaves of your home.

Heavy rain can result in flooding which is now referred to as overland water. Heavy rain can also result in groundwater entering your home through basement walls or floors. Overland water, groundwater, and sewer backup damage is only covered if it is specifically added to your policy. Although 95% of homes qualify for this coverage, if a home is located on a flood plain or is in close proximity to a body of water, insurance companies will not offer coverage.

What Effect Does Climate Change Have On Insurance Premiums?

A sign reads: fire risk! Stanley park is closed

To meet the need for broader coverage, the insurance industry has introduced overland water and groundwater coverage in the last few years. This is a result of increased claim costs due to flooding and sewer backup that is directly related to climate change. A higher frequency of water damage claims due to more intense storms is also a factor. The good news is that many municipalities are now taking action to reduce water damage to homes. Coastal areas will continue to see major flooding due to increased storm activity which will become very challenging for homeowners in the future.

In British Columbia, where wildfires are becoming more common, insurance premiums are increasing and coverage may be harder to get in certain areas.

Overall, home insurance costs are increasing in Canada as more natural disasters occur and increase in intensity.

If you are concerned about the cost or coverage of your home insurance, the brokers at Dawson & Keenan Insurance are here to help you. Feel free to contact us here and a member of our team will assist you.

One thought on “Does Home Insurance Cover Severe Weather Damage?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Refer A Friend icon

Refer a Friend & Get a $20 Gas Card

At Dawson & Keenan, we appreciate referrals. To show our thanks, we’ve created a special referral program for our existing clients. If you refer a friend or relative, and they ask us for a quote, we’ll treat you to a $20 gas card.

Call Now
Email Us