It's like a game of hot potato. No one wants it, so they quickly pass it along.
During last month's snowstorms, many area homeowners suffered costly damage to their property. Numerous news reports told the public to call a contractor and have repairs done immediately, noting that insurance would cover the costs. Contractors' phones were ringing off the hook.
Those who took swift action spared themselves more damage and contained repair costs, which insurance companies do require for coverage to be valid. They don't want to fix damage that could have been prevented. There's not much question about damage being covered that was caused by ice dams. Essentially, anything that leaks from the roof on down is covered, but leakage from the saturated, flooded ground is not, unless you have flood insurance. Ground seepage is considered by insurance companies as flood damage.
"The industry position has always been that your homeowners policy does not cover flood damage. A flood means a body of water that rises from the ground and floods your home," says Michael Erwin, spokesman for the Insurance Information Institute in Washington.
What's covered, he says, is water seeping into your home resulting from an ice dam in the eaves, which causes melting snow on the roof to drain into the attic, walls and ceiling. Mr. Erwin says water damage caused by ground …