We already know that loss of use coverage requires a covered loss in order for your additional living expenses to be covered. If the presence and weight of ice, snow, or sleet make it impossible for you to use your home, would there be coverage for you to stay in a hotel? There are two possible coverage scenarios on your New York Renters Insurance.
Frozen! The effects of heavy wind this week along Lake Ontario.
The picture above was taken in upstate New York just a few days ago. As you can see, the home is completely encased in ice. The retaining wall appears to have prevented a similar fate from happening to the neighbors. Considering the fact that the home appears to be completely inaccessible due to ice, would this be considered a covered loss?
Renters insurance in New York covers damage to personal property caused by the weight of ice, snow, or sleet. In this picture, we can’t see the inside of the home but it appears to be intact. In order to be a covered loss, the frozen material must come through the roof or wall and cause damage to personal property. Without a covered loss, there would be no coverage for additional living expenses (ie a hotel).
When dealing with renters insurance, it’s important to look at the entire situation. While we’ve eliminated one peril as the cause of a covered loss, there may be others. For example, gas heat would be unlikely to continue operating for very long without the ability to vent. The insured might have made a good faith effort to maintain heat in the dwelling by leaving their heat on. But through no fault of their own, the ice made continued heating of the dwelling impossible.
Personal Property Loss Is The Key To Obtaining Coverage
When heat is lost in these weather conditions, frozen pipes aren’t far behind. Frozen pipes can often lead to burst pipes, and in a home that can’t be accessed, this is likely to cause damage to personal property. Look at the window in the back, right corner of the picture. Perhaps a preliminary assessment of the damage from a burst pipe could be made by looking through that window. If pipes have burst, there may be something the water company could do from outside to shut off the water and mitigate the ongoing damage.
The damage to personal property from a burst pipe is likely to be considered a covered loss. This would give you replacement cost coverage and would also trigger loss of use coverage. As a result, the cost of a hotel and additional living expenses would be provided.
What If I Don’t Think Renters Insurance Will Cover A Claim?
As we’ve seen above, there is at least one alternative way that your policy could cover this pictured loss. When reading your policy, it’s important to look at the entire document. Your first instinct might be to stop reading when you think you’ve found a relevant peril, but insurance language can be complicated. If you don’t think your policy will cover a claim, ask your adjuster–they will review the entire policy document for you to let you know what kind of coverage you have.
You can also file a claim to determine if you have adequate coverage. If no payment is made, many insurance companies will not rate you negatively in the future, but this is up to the individual company. Claims – especially zero dollar claims – are only one of many risk rating factors. If you have any damage, you should make a claim so that you can be made whole again.
If you have questions about your renters insurance in New York or anywhere else, just call (800)892-4308 or click to get covered - whether you need New York renters insurance quotes online or coverage anywhere else!
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