Home damaged during a winter storm? Here’s what you should do

Doing some things before the storm can help prevent damage during the storm, expert says

The blanket of snow and the icicles left by a winter storm may look pretty, but they can end up costing homeowners a lot of money.

Ken Gregg, CEO and founder of Orion 180, a homeowners insurance firm, said one of the biggest mistakes people make is thinking that winter storms cannot do a lot of damage.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, winter storms cause about $1.9 billion in damage on average each year. Last year, winter storms caused about $24 billion in damage. That was the highest amount on record, with 1993 coming in second with $10 billion in damage.

Gregg offers these winter weather insurance tips to homeowners.

Before the storm

Gregg said homeowners should review their insurance policy at least once a year to make sure they are covered in the event their property sustains damage during a winter storm.

Gregg said preventive maintenance, like removing dead tree limbs and removing debris from your property, can also help mitigate the damage that may happen to your property during a storm.


"A lot of the damage comes from the freezing rain, and branches breaking, going into the roof, going into a window and doing damage that way," Gregg said.

During the storm

Gregg said homeowners should try to keep their sidewalks safe during the storm.

"You don’t want a slip-and-fall," Gregg said.

After the storm

Homeowners should take an assessment of their property and immediately contact their insurance agent if there is any damage, Gregg said.

He said homeowners also need to look at ways to prevent the damage from getting worse while they wait to repair it.

"All insurance companies and all insurers have an obligation to minimize and not let the damage continue to grow by ignoring it," Gregg said.