Winter weather can do enormous damage to your home. This is something that many Texas homeowners are learning the hard way, as extreme snow, ice, and cold temperatures wreak havoc across the state.
Once the ice thaws and the power returns, many local homeowners will need to address (in some cases massive) property damage to their homes. At McLaurin Law, we foresee several particular types of homeowners insurance claims that are likely to arise, potentially in record-setting numbers.
COMMON INSURANCE CLAIMS FOLLOWING WINTER STORMS
Consider a few examples:
Burst pipes. In low temperatures, the water inside your pipes can freeze. This also causes the water to expand, which can rupture the pipes and possibly lead to significant water damage.
Roof failure. As snow and ice weigh down on your roof, it can ultimately cause that roof to buckle. Again, this is a very common type of homeowners insurance claim following any kind of inclement winter weather, and we know many Texans will have problems with collapsed roofs, loose gutters, missing shingles, and more.
Wind damage. Generally, wind damage claims are common following any kind of severe storm. That is especially true in winter, when wind tends to be more intensive. Following Texas’ storms, many homeowners will need to file claims related to downed trees, loose roofing elements, and beyond.
Other types of snow and ice damage. Even if snow does not cause your roof to collapse, it can still do plenty of damage. For example, snow and ice can form dams in your gutters, triggering water to back up and seep into your attic.
House fires. As Texans struggle to find a decent heat source, many may turn to old space heaters, kerosene heating units, or even fire pits. These heat sources can be most welcome, but they may also create fire damage. This is especially true if there are older appliances with faulty wiring involved.
Slip and falls. It is not just that ice and snow can cause property damage; they can also give rise to real liability issues, especially if someone slips and falls on your icy walkway or driveway. This is a concern for both homeowners and business owners to be aware of.
HANDLING HOMEOWNERS INSURANCE CLAIMS FOLLOWING WINTER STORMS
Given the extent of the damage here in Texas, policyholders should be prepared for some challenges getting their claims processed. There will be a big surge in claims, and even under normal circumstances, winter claims can be hard to process. For example, some of the most common sources of damage are actually excluded from many policies.
It never hurts to double-check the terms of your coverage before you file a claim. And, for help navigating the process, consider hiring an experienced insurance attorney. McLaurin Law has ample experience helping Houston homeowners file claims and receive the compensation they need to repair their homes and get on with their lives. We have seen first-hand how damaging these winter storms have been, and we’re here to talk with you whenever you need it.
Jason McLaurin is a founding member of McLaurin Law. He has over a decade of experience representing clients at trial, arbitration, and mediation in matters concerning insurance policyholder recovery disputes, complex commercial litigation, and catastrophic personal injury claims. He also represents businesses as outside general counsel for clients in a variety of industries including construction, oil and gas, maritime, technology, and professional services. He is licensed and handles matters in both Texas and Louisiana.