2019 is a winter we won't soon forget and as we transition to spring, new concerns are emerging. Here are some Frequently Asked Questions and Answers that will help you navigate the way to spring.
If you have questions specific to your policy, please call our office at 507.473.4900 so that we can help.
Q: Is water and sewer backup included on my policy?
A: Water and sewer backup is an optional coverage that must be endorsed (added on to) your base homeowners or renter's policy.
Q: What does water and sewer backup cover?
A: Damage caused by water that enters the home through sewers, drains and sump systems.
Q: Is there coverage if my outbuildings (barns, machine shed, etc) collapse due to the weight of ice and snow?
A: Companies have different ratings for their outbuildings based on age, condition and structural integrity. Generally, there are three categories with 1 being the newest and highest quality with the best coverage and 3 being the oldest, lowest quality with the least amount of coverage available.
The engineering, building materials, type of construction and ability of a building built in 2018 to withstand various claims scenarios is vastly different than one built in 1940 - therefore the available coverage reflects that.
Outbuildings in categories 1 and 2 have coverage for collapse due to the weight of ice and snow. This coverage would allow the building to be rebuilt to previous specifications. Outbuildings in class 3 do not have coverage for collapse due to the weight of ice and snow.
Q: If my machine shed collapses, is my equipment covered?
A: Any property inside the building would need to be listed on a policy in order for coverage to apply.
Q: Can I get flood insurance?
A: Yes - but it's not available through our agency. You can contact the National Flood Insurance Program Help Line at 800.427.4661 to to get started. To find more information on what and what isn't covered by flood insurance, click here.
Q: What is a flood?
A: Under the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) a flood is defined as a general and temporary condition of partial or complete inundation of normally dry land by:
The overflow of inland or tidal waters.
The unusual and rapid accumulation or runoff of surface waters from any source.
Mudflows which are proximately caused by flooding, as defined above and are akin to a river of liquid and flowing mud on the surfaces of normally dry land areas, including your premises, as when earth is carried by a current of water and deposited along the path of the current.
The collapse or subsidence of land along the shore of a lake or other body of water as a result of erosion or undermining caused by waves or currents of water exceeding the cyclical levels which result in flood as defined above.
To qualify as a general and temporary condition, the flood must affect either two or more adjacent properties or two or more acres of land and have a distinct beginning point and ending point. Also, to qualify, the flood waters can only be surface water that covers land that is normally dry.
Q: What can we do to prevent further problems?
A: Although labor intensive and possibly requiring some heavy equipment help, moving the snow away from your foundation is very beneficial. Given the frozen conditions, water will try to get to the house - the only warm and accessible thing around!
Test your sump pump by putting water into the sump pit and make sure that the pump starts to discharge the water. Ideally the hose will carry the water several feet away from your house.
With the harsh conditions we have experienced this winter, it's important to check to ensure your gutters and spouts are working. It's important to get the ice removed and check for any other clogging or cracking issues. Make sure the water is moving several feet away from your home and consider adding plastic extensions to temporarily move the the water to a variety of places around the house.
“No winter lasts forever; no spring skips it’s turn.”
– Hal Borland