roof covered in icicles

Staggering Ice Dam Insurance Claims

roof covered in iciclesThe statistics on this year’s winter storms and ice dam insurance claims is staggering according to the Insurance Journal article, Insurers Brace for Claims as More Snow Expected to Hit Storm-Weary Boston.

  • Boston has removed over 10,000 truckloads of snow six feet (72 inches) of snowfall in 30 days, breaking 1978’s record of 58.5 inches.
  • Boston has moved 10,000 truckloads of snow, and they’ve had to melt 60 percent of this snow to create space for new snow being cleared.
  • Municipalities like Boston have exceed their snow removal budgets by more than 50 percent … and that doesn’t include the economic losses due to the storms which are estimated at $500 million.

Note: We recognize that the storms which have been battering Boston, have blanketed the northeast coast from Connecticut to Massachusetts and further north.

Step #1 – Get the Snow & Water Off Your Roof

Ice dams by themselves might damage your roof when the water freezes and expands. But the real ice dam problem is the water that collects behind the ice dams on your roof that follow gravity and find their way into your house, causing all sorts of damage. To avoid ice dams and the resulting damage to your home, you need to get all melting water off your roof.

  • Use a snow rake to get at least two to three feet of snow off the edge of your roof. If you have to use a ladder, make sure it’s secure or have someone hold it for you. You really don’t want to get on the roof because you’re likely to damage the roof because the shingles are brittle from the cold.
  • If you already have ice dams, you need to create channels every few feet to give the water behind the ice dams a way to get off the roof. One old fashion way to do this is fill pantyhose with calcium chloride, and place these where you want the channels.
  • Assess how much weight is on your roof due to snow (existing and new snow expected) and if your roof will support this weight. In some situations, you will need to get all the snow off your roof to avoid a collapse.

Step #2 – Find All the Damage Caused by Ice Dams on Your Roof

You might be tempted to submit your ice dam insurance claim quickly, to pay for repairs. But remember the insurance company wants to pay out as little money as possible, so do your homework first.

Get multiple estimates (3 recommended) from reputable contractors, and follow them and ask questions as they assess the scope of damage. You’ll learn a lot that will be helpful when you talk to your insurance company, and you’ll get a good idea about which contractor you want to hire based on their attention to detail, and willingness to answer your questions.

Step #3 – File Your Ice Dam Insurance Claim

We get lots of questions about what’s covered by insurance. The truth is only your insurance company knows so you’ve got to call your agent. If you want to learn more, we found a good article, Ice Dam Coverage Issues, on the MinnesotaInsuranceDisputes.com website.

Even if you decide not to file a claim, a phone to learn about your coverage will help you prepare for the future. According to the Insurance Journal, winter storms cost the industry an estimated $2.3 billion in 2014, up from $1.9 billion in 2013. These property claims are increasing dramatically so it’s likely they’ll be getting stricter on when ice dam insurance claims will pay, and when they won’t.

Be patient as ice dam insurance claims can represent 40 to 50 percent of new claims during winter storms with heavy snowfall. The insurance companies bring in claims adjusters from other parts of the country to help, and it’s better to be understanding so you get the best service possible.

Step #4 – Find a Permanent Solution to Prevent Future Ice Dams

Once you’ve submitted your insurance claim, it’s time to find a solution that will prevent a reoccurance of this stressful scenario. It’s never fun worrying about the snow, or climbing a ladder to rake the snow off your roof. And what happens if the storm arrives while you’re traveling?

That’s where our ice dam solution saves the day. Congratulations on finding our website. We invite you to read up on our ice dam technology, which prevents ice dams in a cost effective manner. We serve homeowners and businesses throughout New England, and have been fielding many calls from Connecticut, Massachusetts and more.

We look forward to working with you to design the right solution for your home.