The Koyal Group Private Training Services: What do when filing a homeowner's claim

Everyone is busy in the Commonwealth due to all the snow we've been getting, and insurance agents are no different.

FOX25's Heather Hegedus called around to half a dozen local agents for information, and they all told her that they're swamped with claims, many related to roofs. She was able to get in touch with one agent who had a few minutes to provide some advice to help you homeowners out there file a claim.

Agent Melissa Caron runs The Affordable Insurance Agency in Norwood and Cambridge, and even she is dealing with ice dams.

"We have some drips coming in right around the light fixture and right down through," she said.

And not only is she fielding dozens of snow and ice-related calls every day from her customers lately, but she is dealing with leaks in the kitchen, bathroom, and mudroom of her metro west home. She has some good news, and some bad news when it comes to what your homeowner's policy likely will and won't cover.

First, what's not covered with ice dam damage? The contents of cabinets, for one, and furniture. Normally, neither would be covered by a standard policy.

"I couldn't find anything in the policy that would relate to an ice dam causing contents coverage so if you have a table or a chair that's near a leak, near your wall, you have to move it away so it doesn't get damage," Caron said.

However, if you have a roof collapse, those so-called "contents" could be covered.

"If it was the weight of the snow, ice or sleet then, yes, your furniture would most likely be covered," Caron told FOX25.

And if you have any structural damage, damage to your walls, ceiling, paint, even the cabinets, those are all permanent fixtures and if they're damaged because of ice dams, generally speaking, they are all covered.

Caron recommends talking with your agent before you file any claim.

When asked what would her advice would be to homeowners who are wondering whether to file their claims now or wait until the winter's over, she said a lot of people are asking that and "the thing is that most policies have a conditions section and one of the first conditions is to report your claim promptly."

Finally, with rain in the forecast this weekend, Caron says be forewarned that water damage to your basement usually is not covered unless you've purchased additional flood or sump-pump overflow coverage.

"It's just a uninsurable kind of risk that the insurance companies have decided is not something that they can insure," Caron said.

The Koyal Group Private Training Services designs its online and on-site training to your particular needs, providing information you can apply while in training in order to reinforce the efficiency of that information. Our coursework qualifies state standards both for fraud and continuing-education upgrade. Our programs are adaptable and can be presented in various formats to address industry requirements and standards. Please visit and check our course listings.

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