Insurance companies offer advice for ice dam-affected homes

It’s been a busy time battling ice dams this winter and it’s been similarly busy for insurance companies collecting claims.

One insurance agent from State Farm that has been in the business for more than three decades described this an immensely busy winter.

“Once you see any sort of water or any sort of moisture intrusion, you should contact your insurance immediately,” said Dan Anderson from Western National Homeowners Insurance.

His advice is similar to what other local agents are saying.

If ice dams are at your home and the water that comes with them has started to creep inside, you may have to weigh the option of making a claim or not.

Policies from different companies vary from 1 or 2 percent of the value of your home down to much lower.

“At Western National, it’s a $1,000 deductible,” said Anderson. “Others, it might be a dollar figure or a percentage deductible.”

Regardless, homeowners still must decide if filing a claim is worth it.

State insurance regulations don’t allow a surcharge for weather-related claims.

However, if you then shop to another company, the claim is still on your record and may prevent you from getting other discounts for some time.

Homeowners can make changes to policies at any time, but it doesn’t cover any loss that has already occurred. It’s another reason that prevention pays off.

“My experience is with a lot of ice dam claims, they are smaller if your deductible is a certain amount,” Anderson said. “It would be easier to prevent that claim than allow it to build up. So, you can prevent the claim by safely removing the snow from the roof.”

Several agents that spoke to FOX 9 pointed out that, with more snow on the way, they expect it to be busy for some time.