As a nor’easter is expected to dump more than a foot of snow in most of Connecticut, the state Insurance Department is reminding residents to review their homeowners coverage.

“Having the right protection in place before catastrophe strikes is essential and provides peace of mind during what can be a very stressful time,” Insurance Commissioner Andrew N. Mais said in a statement. “Policyholders should discuss with an agent or insurance company if their current coverage is appropriate and adequate.”

A severe winter in Connecticut brings a variety of risks — roof collapses, ice dams and auto accidents.

“Preparing for the worst of winter and knowing what your policies cover before you make a claim will help you recover faster from a disaster,” Mais said.

What do policies generally cover?

These are general guidelines and policies can differ.

To be certain what is covered, the insurance department recommends that property owners discuss their policies with their carriers or agents or contact the CID by using the agency’s online question/complaint system or call 800-203-3447 or 860-297-3900.

Roof Collapses: Homeowner policies will normally cover sudden and accidental roof collapses. However, damage caused by age or preexisting damage could be denied.

Snow removal: Homeowners insurance does not cover injuries to the homeowner during snow removal. However, snow removal professionals should be covered under their own insurance policies.

Ice dam: Interior or exterior damage caused by an ice dam on a roof is generally covered, however, many policies do not pay for ice dam removal.

Frozen pipes: Most policies cover pipe replacement and water damage. However, coverage may not apply if you turned off the furnace for the winter without winterizing the home.

Storm power outages: An all-risk policy generally pays for damage caused by loss of power and appliances damaged by the outage. Check your policy to see if it covers spoiled food. Most policies will not pay for shelter when you lose power for extended periods of time unless there is damage to the home that causes it to be uninhabitable.

Renters: Landlord’s insurance will pay for winter damage to a building. It will not pay for damage to personal contents, which must be covered by the renter’s own insurance.

“Your insurer can only cover what it knows you lost, which is why it is important to keep accurate records for filing claims in the future,” Mais said.

“Expensive items such as art, collectibles, or jewelry require additional coverage and must be appraised before getting a separate policy. You also should store your inventory record and insurer’s contact information somewhere besides your house, or digitally where you can retrieve it at any time. There is also a smart phone home inventory APP to help with that.”

The insurance department’s “Be Prepared” page offers consumers numerous resources that address the risks of the season. You can also download the CTPrepares Mobile App to receive real-time emergency notifications and public safety messages.

Preparation to safeguard property includes:

Make an inventory of belongings

Keep your policy and insurance contact information in a safe place

Review your policy with your agent or company to determine what is covered – Coverage FAQs

Understand the claims process – Tips for Making a Storm Claim

Determine whether you are at risk for floods and would need special flood insurance — most homeowners policies do not cover flooding

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