Snow and cold: the most important insurances

Freezing cold, snow and icy conditions: Homeowners should have the right insurance policies in place for such weather conditions – and can also prevent damage themselves.

1. Protection against burst pipes and frozen pipes

"Damage caused by a burst pipe to objects permanently attached to the building is covered by the homeowners insurance policy", Says Bianca Boss, spokeswoman for the Federation of Insured Persons. This includes the pipes, the masonry, but also firmly stuck carpets or tiles that are damaged. Homeowner's insurance provides compensation for household effects.

If residents did not exercise sufficient due diligence, insurers may find them partly to blame for the burst pipe and cut benefits. This can be the case, for example, if you do not heat enough or do not properly turn off an outdoor water tap. For a surcharge, it can be agreed that the insurance company waives the objection of gross negligence in the event of a claim.

2. Protection against snow pressure on the roof

Snow can be heavy. A 10 centimeter thick layer of snow can weigh more than 100 kilos per square meter, according to GDV data. To prevent damage, owners should regularly take a look at the roof. Large amounts of snow should be cleared. Important to note: Elementary insurance is required for damage caused by snow pressure. Homeowners insurance without this additional coverage does not apply.

A snow-covered roof also carries the risk of a roof avalanche. If one damages the building, a natural hazard insurance will step in. If passers-by are injured or cars damaged, the homeowner is liable if he or she has not fulfilled his or her obligation to ensure traffic safety. Private liability insurance offers protection here. However, this does not cover fines for negligent physical injury.

3. Protect against accidents on your own sidewalk

Owners are obliged to clear the sidewalks on their property from snow and ice. You can also transfer this duty to the tenant. If a pedestrian is injured because the sidewalk was not cleared or gritted, the owner or tenant is usually liable. Here, too, liability insurance protects against the financial consequences.

4. Preventing moisture damage

Remove snow from exterior wall of home

If the snow thaws, water can not only enter the house through doors, but also damage the masonry, explains the Association of Private Builders (VPB). There is a threat of moisture damage.

Run heaters in all rooms

Frozen water pipes can burst. Therefore, it is important that the rooms always have a certain basic heat – even if they are rarely used (such as guest rooms, storage rooms, the guest toilet, basement and attic). The VPB advises an average of 17 degrees. Even at night and during longer absences, the heating should at least run at a low level.

Setting to the symbol snowflake on the valve, the so-called frost guard, is not always enough on cold days. the radiator is only protected against frost, distant pipes are not sufficiently protected.

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