Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Roof Leaks From Ice Dams?

Many homeowners are asking this question lately: does homeowners insurance cover roof leaks from ice dams? The answer, unfortunately, is not a simple yes or no. It depends on your specific policy and the circumstances surrounding the damage. 

In this article, we will explore when homeowners insurance does and does not cover roof leaks from ice dams. We will also provide some bonus information on this topic.

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When Roof Leaks from Ice Dams Are Covered

So, when does homeowners insurance cover roof leaks from ice dams?

Sudden And Accidental Water Damage

If your policy includes coverage for “sudden and accidental” water damage, then you may be covered. This type of damage is typically caused by a burst pipe or other unforeseen event.

Third-Party Negligence

If the ice dam is the result of negligence on the part of your neighbor (e.g., they failed to remove snow from their roof), then you may be able to file a claim against their homeowners insurance policy.

If Your Roof Falls Through

Another instance when you would be covered is if your roof actually collapsed due to the ice dam. This is considered “structural damage” and is typically covered by homeowners insurance policies.

When They Are Not Covered

There are also some circumstances when homeowners insurance will not cover roof leaks from ice dams.

Personal Negligence

However, if the damage is due to negligence on your part (such as failing to properly maintain your gutters), then it is unlikely that your insurance will cover the repairs.

Damage That Occurs Over Time

Homeowners insurance typically does not cover damage that occurs over time, such as gradual leaks. This is because it is considered to be a maintenance issue that should have been addressed before it resulted in significant damage.

Pre-Existing Conditions

If the ice dam is the result of a pre-existing condition (such as a poor roof design), then your insurance is unlikely to cover the repairs.

Bonus Information

Here are some additional things to keep in mind when it comes to roof leaks and ice dams:

Prevention is Key

The best way to deal with ice dams is to prevent them from forming in the first place. This can be done by ensuring that your roof is well-insulated and properly ventilated. You should also clear away any snow or ice as soon as possible.

Act Quickly

If you do find yourself with a roof leak, it is important to act quickly. The longer you wait, the more damage will be done. If possible, try to catch the leak in a bucket or other container. This will help to prevent further damage to your ceiling and walls.

Contact Your Insurance Company

If you’re not sure whether or not your policy covers roof leaks from ice dams, the best thing to do is contact your insurance company. They will be able to give you specific information about your coverage.

What If It’s Not Covered?

When homeowners insurance does not cover roof leaks from ice dams, you may still be able to file a claim with your homeowner’s association or with your municipality. In some cases, they may be responsible for maintaining the common areas of your property and could be held liable for any damages that occur. Alternatively, you may be able to sue the contractor who installed your roof if they did not properly seal it or take other necessary precautions.


We hope this article has helped you understand a little bit more about whether or not homeowners insurance covers roof leaks from ice dams. While the answer is not always clear-cut, knowing what coverage you have and what your options are can help you make the best decision for your situation. It may not be worth it if the damage to your property is less than your deductible. Thanks for reading.

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