The most important — and often toughest — part of an adjuster’s job is determining coverage. Each month, Claims publishes a coverage question asked by an insurance professional, along with an answer provided by the dedicated editorial staff of FC&S Online (which, like Claims, is a division of the National Underwriter Company). With winter upon us, let’s take a look at coverage question concerning snow buildup.

QUESTION: We have a policyholder with water damage under a Form 3. Considerable snow built up on his roof and he pulled it down with a rake and it piled up against his wall. Water melted from the snow pile and came in through his siding, damaging a side wall and the floor sheathing. The company raises questions of the water possibly being surface water and there is more than one incident of melting, with each day having a thawing and freezing cycle. It is thought that possibly snow that came off the roof would add to the stack, leaving the possibility of several occurrences. They also raised the possibility of lack of coverage by neglect in not removing the snow against the house, realizing that damage might occur. What are your thoughts?

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