Bracing for Winter Storm Nemo: Home and Auto Insurance Tips to Keep in Mind

winter storm nemoNew England states are bracing for Winter Storm Nemo, which is set to reach the area by late morning after shifting from the Great Lakes. The storm is expected to drop over two feet of snow in some areas, which could create a lot of problems for both home and vehicle owners.

It’s for this reason that the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.) has provided some home and auto insurance tips to keep in mind as the blizzard approaches.

Winter Storm Nemo to Hit New England States

Not even six months after Hurricane Sandy wreaked havoc on the East Coast, another massive storm is headed for the area. Winter Storm Nemo, which is expected to quickly develop into a blizzard, is bringing with it the threat of two or more feet of snow, damaging winds and coastal flooding.

The snow will begin to fall on Friday morning in southern New England then push into New York state, Pennsylvania and New Jersey through the day, falling at a rate of 2″-3″ per hour in some areas. On Saturday, the snow will continue throughout the day, tapering off for most areas by Saturday evening.

While the snow fall will be heavy in affected areas, the wind drifts will be staggering. According to Weather.com, high winds could create snow drifts as high as four to five feet.

The cities expected to be hardest hit by Nemo are Hartford, Providence, Long Island, New York City, Portland, Maine and Concord, N.H. In Boston, where the storm will have tremendous impact, it has the potential to be a top 10 snowstorm of all-time.

Home and Auto Insurance Tips for Blizzard Victims

If the storm is approaching your area, the threat of damage to homes and vehicles grows. The Insurance Information Institute has offered some tips via its website to help potential victims prepare for the worst by knowing more about their auto and home insurance policies:

Auto Insurance Policies

  • What’s covered: If you have collision and comprehensive insurance, a car crash between you and another driver, a crash between you and an object, or an object falling on your vehicle are all covered. Be prepared to pay your deductible before filing a claim, though. If you have liability insurance, your insurance policy will pay for damage to another vehicle (or bodily injuries to passengers) if you are at-fault in the accident.
  • Preparing to file a claim: Before the Winter Storm Nemo arrives, it’s good to take photos of your vehicle inside and out. Video footage also works well (be sure to time-stamp everything). This way, if something does occur, you have before and after pictures to share with your auto insurance company.

Home Insurance Policies

  • What’s covered: The standard home insurance policy covers wind-related damage to a house, its roof, its contents and other insured structures on the property. Tree limbs falling on the home are usually covered, as well as wind-driven snow or freezing rain that gets into the home. Damage caused by the weight of snow and freezing conditions that burst pipes are also covered as long as the home is well maintained. Melting snow that seeps into the home is covered by a flood insurance policy, which is provided through the National Flood Insurance Program.
  • Preparing to file a claim: As with your vehicles, you will want to take pictures and/or video footage of your home. Take home inventory of your valuable possessions (make a list) and locate receipts for original costs.

If you find there was damage to your vehicle or home after the storm subsides, it’s important to file an insurance claim by contacting your insurance professional as soon as possible. The sooner you take this step, the faster the company can get the claims process started.

(Image: Al Camardella Jr.)