After The Texas Freeze, You May Have Insurance Coverage Questions
February 21, 2021
As we begin to thaw, you may notice damage to your home, property, or business. It’s no surprise that you will have questions about what your insurance policy will cover. Here are answers to common questions about policies and filing claims after a disaster. For information about your specific coverage, call us. We’re here to help answer questions about your coverage and help you with the claims process.
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Can I make repairs to my property immediately?
It’s generally OK to make temporary repairs. You should turn off your water and cover holes in your roof to protect your house from more damage. Don’t make permanent repairs until you’ve talked to your insurance company.
Your policy should pay for the materials and labor you used to make repairs. But take pictures of the damage before doing any work.
My pipe burst due to freezing. Will my insurance pay for the damage?
Many policies will pay for damage to your house caused by a frozen pipe that burst, but there may be some limitations. Call your agent or company to ask if your policy will pay.
Staying at a hotel
We have no power in our house. Will my policy pay for a hotel until power is restored?
Probably not. Policies usually only pay for hotels if your house was damaged by an event your policy covers. That probably wouldn’t include a power outage. Call your agent if you’re staying in a hotel because you can’t stay home.
My home was damaged during the storm. Will my policy pay for a hotel until repairs are complete?
If you can’t stay in your home because of damage covered by your policy, your homeowners or renters policy may pay for a hotel or other type of shelter. Check your policy for limits on the coverage. Call your agent or company if you’re staying in a hotel because you can’t stay home.
The food in my refrigerator spoiled when the power was out. Will my policy pay for the food?
Most homeowners policies will pay up to $500 or more for spoiled food if the power fails under certain circumstances. Take pictures or keep a list of the food that spoiled.
Damage from ice and snow
The weight of the ice and snow caused damage to my home. Do I have coverage?
Many homeowners policies will pay if your house was damaged by the weight of sleet, snow, or ice. Call your agent or company to ask if your policy will pay.
The weight of the ice and snow damaged my fence and patio. Will my policy pay for the damage?
It depends on your policy. Many policies only pay for damages to your house. They might pay for your fence or patio if your house collapses onto them from the weight of ice or snow. Call your agent or company to ask if your policy will pay.
Ice caused a tree to fall on my house, which damaged my roof. Will my homeowners policy pay for the damage?
It depends on your policy. Many policies pay for damages caused by a lot of events, including falling objects. Other policies limit what they pay for. Call your agent or company to ask if your policy will pay.
A tree fell in my yard. Will my homeowners policy pay for tree removal?
Many policies provide some coverage to remove trees or limbs that fell due to storm damage and damage your house or block your driveway. Trees and limbs falling in your yard usually aren’t covered. Call your agent or company to ask if your policy will pay.
My neighbor’s tree fell on my house. Will my neighbor´s homeowners policy pay for the damage and tree removal?
Probably not, unless your neighbor was at fault. Your neighbor isn’t responsible for acts of nature. If your neighbor’s policy doesn’t pay, you can file a claim under your own policy.
A tree fell on my car. Will my auto insurance pay for the damage to my car?
Your auto policy will pay for damages if you have comprehensive coverage.
If the tree was your neighbor’s, their homeowners insurance might pay if your neighbor is somehow at fault. If not, their policy likely won’t pay because your neighbor isn’t responsible for an act of nature.
Courtesy of Texas Department of Insurance