Fall is Here — Are you ready for Winter?

Winter storms rank third in terms of the dollar value of damaage they cause, second only to hurricanes and tornadoes.  A January 2011 analysis by Minich Re, a leading reinsurer found that winter storms caused about $25 billion per year.  However, the winter of 2010 brought more winter storms to more populous areas of the Northeast and Midwest, causing about $2.6 billion in insured losses, the highest figure since 2003. 

Organizations operating in areas that have freezing temperatures have specific insurance needs – this includes southwest Missouri.  The basic “named perils” property policy covers your building and contents from damage or loss caused by specific perils, or causes of loss, named in the policy.  These include fire, lightning, explosion, windstorm or hail, smoke, and more.  However, these policies do not include coverage for falling objects: weight of snow, ice or sleet; water damage or collapse. 

The most common types of property damage that severe winter weather causes are roof damage or collapse due to snow, ice or sleet, and water damage from burst pipes or “ice dams.”  Ice dams occur when water fails to flow properly through gutters, allowing it to seep into a building, damaging ceilings and walls.  The resulting water damage would not be covered by a basic “named perils” policy, nor would any of these other types of damage. 

To find out more about winter storm coverage – see our BPJ newletter under Resources.