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During a typical winter, storms can cause damage totaling $1 billion or more, according to the Insurance Information Institute. It can be a lot worse in a winter where storms are more frequent than average. Home insurance covers much of the damage, even from severe winter storms.

The winter of 2022-2023 saw record snowfall in many places and multiple intense winter storms across the nation, continuing even into the spring months. In November of 2022, Buffalo, New York, saw snowfall topping six feet in some areas, and leaving collapsed roofs and other damage in its wake. 

And winter storms can strike even in states not known for cold winters. In February and March of 2023, parts of California were bombarded by heavy snow, trapping residents.

A February winter cold snap in 2021 struck Texas resulting in damages that ranked among the 10 costliest natural disasters in U.S. history. Texas homeowners filed around 425,000 insurance claims related to the storm as of June 18, 2021, according to the Texas Department of Insurance. At that time, insurers paid out $4 billion for about 253,000 claims.

Recovering from a severe winter weather event can be especially painful for those lacking adequate homeowners insurance to reimburse their losses.

Homeowners insurance covers winter storm damage, including a roof that is damaged or collapses under the weight of snow, water that leaks through a roof damaged by a winter storm, and damage from pipes that burst due to a sudden freeze.

The infographic below shows what homeowners insurance typically covers when winter storms strike.

Role home insurance plays in covering winter storm damage.

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