With Winter just around the corner everyone should start reviewing their insurance policies and needs so that you and your family are protected to the best of your abilities if you suffer a loss or damages from a Winter related event.
Keep in mind that insurance is always complicated and policies always have exclusions, but with a little preparation and thinking ahead the chances of being “left out in the cold” if you have a loss during the Winter can be minimized. With this in mind, here are a few areas of suggestion in order to help you prepare:
Standard auto insurance policies do not include coverage for snowmobiles. These are generally covered under a different type of policy. If you are planning to purchase a snowmobile, consult with your insurer about your coverage needs. Be aware that if you plan to take a snowmobile off your private property, you should probably maintain a separate snowmobile policy and carry proof of insurance. If you are traveling and plan to rent a snowmobile, you may want to consider rental insurance.
Using a plow to help friends is usually allowable and covered under your personal policy for any liability or property damage you might cause. However, if you use the plow as a business, you should contact your auto insurance company to determine if a commercial auto policy is required because their are exclusions in most personal policies for using a plow commerically..
Property owners need to understand the types of winter related damages covered by their homeowners policy. Standard homeowners policies typically cover damage caused by falling trees and limbs, collapses caused by the weight of ice and snow or ice dam leakage. Homeowners policies also generally include liability coverage for accidents such as slip and falls on snow or ice as well as medical payments for others, up to certain limits, regardless of liability. Although medical bills payments are not always mandatory coverage.
Good news for anyone who skis. Before you go to a ski lodge or resort, check your homeowners or renters policy. Your ski or snowboarding equipment will generally be covered by your homeowners or renters policy up to a certain limit. Check the limit in your policy and decide if that will be enough to replace the gear if it is damaged or stolen. When checking, remember to factor in your deductible.
Over the past few Winters travel in the United States has been especially hectic and unpredictable with storms and blizzards leading to many cancellations. Travel sites, travel agents and airlines offer travel insurance for people worried about not getting to their destination or getting stuck far away from home. Travel insurance can cover lost luggage, and expenses caused by delays and cancellations.
If you plan to travel and will be away without access to your family physician or local hospital, make sure to review your health insurance policy’s emergency medical treatment requirements. Make sure you are aware of any requirements or limitations for using out of network providers or facilities. Also, check any co-pays.
Lets us know if you have other Winter insurance tips!
Scott B. Cooper
Schmidt Kramer PC
209 State Street
Harrisburg, PA 17101
(717) 232-6300 – Telephone
(717) 232-6467 – Facsimile