Natural Disasters Covered and Not Covered By Insurance

Most people have a homeowners and an auto policy, but most of us don’t know exactly what types of natural disasters are covered. So, what natural disasters DO these policies cover? In Massachusetts the most common types of storms we see are: snow and ice storms, thunder/lightening storms, hurricanes and hail storms. A homeowners policy covers most damage from these storms. The exceptions are flood damage and earthquake damage, these are not covered. If you want coverage for these disasters, you can buy a separate flood policy or if you want earthquake coverage you can add an endorsement to your homeowners policy for additional premium. Don’t try to add flood insurance right before a storm, as there is a 30 day waiting period before federal flood coverage is effective. A convenient chart was created by the Insurance Information Institute to quickly see the types of perils covered by a homeowners policy.


Under a homeowners policy if your house is struck by lightening and it catches fire, you will be covered up to the policy limits. What if heavy, wet snow causes structural damage to your roof? This is also covered under a homeowners policy, unless the damage was from lack of maintenance. For example, if you have an old deteriorating roof, that has missing and worn shingles and it is damaged from a storm, this might not be covered. As a homeowner, it is your duty to maintain your property to an adequate state. In 2009, 2013 and last August the area had hail storms that caused a lot of property damage to houses. These claims were covered. Watch the 2015 hail storm in Waltham, MA.

In regard to auto policies, if you have comprehensive coverage most of these physical damage claims will be covered. Check out this damage done by the hail last August to this man’s car: car hail damage. The car may be considered totaled after all the damage is assessed. All of this damage should be covered if he had comprehensive coverage on his Honda. If you have any questions about your homeowners or auto policy, please call us and we are happy to help!

Pool Safety

June is HOT, especially this week! One of the best ways to cool off is a dip in the pool. Unfortunately, in the news recently there have been incidents of people, mostly children, drowning. You can prevent most pool accidents with some basic pool safety guidelines:

swimming pool

  • Have proper pool safety equipment readily available. Have a 4 foot tall fence surrounding the entire pool area with a quick latching door that locks.
  • If your house is the 4th side of the fence then make sure you have alarms on the doors and windows facing the pool. This will alert you if a child is outside near the pool.
  • Make sure the pool cover fits securely around the pool itself. The best type of cover is a lockable pool cover.
  • Have a safety flotation device located right next to the pool.
  • Keep a first aid kit in the pool area.
  • Post CPR instructions on a fence or pool house. It is much more helpful if you are CPR certified.
  • Make sure you are a good swimmer, if not take lessons. Same is true for your children. Start swim lessons early.
  • Never leave children unsupervised in the pool area.
  • Always have one person in charge of directly watching children in the pool. Never assume someone else is watching the kids. Talk about who is in charge before the kids go in.
  • If a child is in the pool and not splashing around…check them! This can often be “silent drowning.”

Pools are a fantastic way to beat the heat. If safety comes first everyone will have a great time! Look at our Homeowners page to find out more information on what your policy covers: Call us with any questions!

How to Prevent Slip and Fall Homeowners Claims

We often think of slip and fall insurance claims coming from businesses, but many claims are through homeowners policies. There are people almost every day coming on to your property: friends, relatives, neighbors, FedEx employees, plumber, etc. It is important that you keep your house as safe as possible, for both your family and visitors (invited or not). railing

Here are a few simple steps to help prevent slip and fall accidents:

  • Install railings on you stairs (with most insurance companies this is a must or you will not be covered)
  • Properly shovel and use a non-slip ice melt after storms
  • Use non-slip pads under all of your area rugs
  • Clean up spills immediately…kids are pretty tricky with where they drop things, so be mindful of all the places they are
  • Keep cords close to the wall out of the way
  • Properly light outside walkways
  • Fix all broken steps: outside and inside (make sure stair rugs are properly secured)
  • Use doormats both inside and outside of your house
  • Use non-slip mats both inside and outside the bath/shower

It is always a good idea to have an umbrella policy also. Our motto: You don’t need to be a millionaire to be sued for a million dollars! A $1M umbrella policy is an inexpensive way to give you that extra protection in case you have a slip and fall accident on your property and are sued. Call us for details