Take a look at the video below. You will see something you’ve probably never seen before, a wall of ice quickly moving off a lake to destroy all the homes in its path. The official term is an ice shove, but that doesn’t sound nearly as interesting as ice tsunami! I had no idea that this type of phenomenon even existed; it’s totally insane. And how creepy is the sound of the ice cracking, crunching, and roaring as it moves?!
What’s shocking to know is that most insurance companies will not pay for any damages caused by these “ice tsunamis” because there are no clauses for ice shove coverage in the policies. In other words, insurance companies win again. Can you imagine if this happened to your home and there was nothing your insurance company would do to help?! It sounds too horrible to be true, but it is. Insurance companies don’t always have your best interests in mind. You can read more about how home insurance companies and appraisers screw their customers.
I don’t know about you but if I was paying monthly premiums for home insurance, especially natural disaster insurance, I’d be irate if my insurance company didn’t help pay for any rebuilding costs. The good news is that ice shove damage as severe as in the video is a rare occurrence.
That doesn’t make those lakeside homeowners feel any better, but at least most of us don’t have to worry about this type of damage ever happening to our homes. I certainly don’t have plans to buy lakeside property in a frigid area, especially after seeing that video! It really makes me wonder though why those guys haven’t packed up and gotten the heck out of there. Well, maybe now they’ve had to since they’ve learned the hard way they don’t have any ice shove coverage.
Buildings Versus Land
Another thing to keep in mind is the difference between building coverage and land coverage when it comes to home insurance. Rebuilding a damaged home is expensive because the structure and everything in it can literally crumble to the ground. Land damage is quite different.
Most of the effects natural disasters have on land are just temporary. For example, water from flooding will seep back into the ground over time, fallen branches can be picked up and removed, and ice will eventually evaporate once the temperature rises. Insurance companies are always trying to cut costs, and they don’t want to have to pay you for things that mother nature will resolve on her own.
So when you’re trying to determine the ideal amount of home insurance to get for your own property, you need to think about the ratio of building vs land that you have. If the worst happened, what parts of your property would you need repaired and roughly how much would it cost?
Freak Accidents And Weird Phenomenons – Are You Covered?
There are so many crazy things that can happen to property, people, and cars that you start to wonder yikes, would my insurance pay for that? The only way to know for sure is to read your policy closely and ask your provider directly. Here are some freakish scenarios to consider and inquire about with your insurance carrier.
- An ice shove comes out of nowhere and plows through the front half of your house
- Wet, heavy snow causes a large branch to fall on your roof
- A frozen pipe thaws and then bursts in your house causing severe water damage
- An oversized delivery truck backs into your front yard fence and crushes it to bits
- A tree in your yard falls on your neighbor’s house and causes damage to their property
- A thief breaks into your home and destroys everything in his path searching for valuables
- Your water heater leaks and destroys all the carpeting and furniture in your basement
- A faulty power strip catches fire and destroys 2 rooms in your house
- As you open your car door, a cyclist smashes into it, flips over and breaks his neck
- Your foot slips on the gas pedal and you crash into your closed garage door
These types of accidents and freaks of nature are a good reminder for everybody to:
1) Get the appropriate amount of home insurance if you have not updated your policy in a while.
2) Call your home insurance company and ask them to tell you exactly what they cover.
3) Shop around for home insurance online if you are not satisfied with what you’ve got.
Looking for affordable term life insurance? Check out PolicyGenius, an independent insurance broker that is revolutionizing the way we shop for life insurance – for free! You need life insurance if you have dependents or debt. Chances are high that if you currently do have life insurance, it’s not the best policy for you. PolicyGenius provides unbiased advice on more than 25 A-rated top life insurance companies they have thoroughly researched and vetted. Because life insurance prices are regulated, you don’t have to worry about not getting the best deals. PolicyGenius helps you compare the best quotes all in one place. I’ve met the CEO, Francois de Lame in person in NYC and strongly believe in his business
Need affordable health insurance fast? Take a look at the plans offered on Agile Health Insurance. They offer term coverage for as little as $1.50/day with premiums up to 50% less than Obamacare (ACA) plans. There are no lock-out periods so you can enroll any time of year, get immediate approval and get coverage in as little as 24 hours. Agile Health Insurance also offers broader doctor networks than most Obamacare plans and has customizable options for dental and discounts on prescriptions. Find a plan that works for you today.
Updated for 2017 and beyond.
Kate Baxter says
FYI. If you open your car door and the cyclists hits it you are generally considered at fault for failing to check for traffic. It is covered by your auto insurance as it is within ‘the use and operation of the vehicle.’ As for foot slipping and hitting the garage door. That is covered under auto as well as a collision claim.
Pura Vida Nick says
I’m glad I found this post because I was already planning on calling my home insuraunce company tomorrow. They are upping our rates after only signing up with them less than a year ago. I did my research beforehand, and heard that USAA and Amica got the best customer satisfaction. Correct me if I’m wrong, but if I’m not military and have no family with USAA, I can’t sign up with them, correct?
Wow that is fast for raising rates already. USAA has great customer satisfaction, I agree. Yes, there are certain product offerings that they only give to military and their families. They’ve got the details on their website.
Aqiyl Aniys says
Whoa! How close were the houses to the lake for that much ice to cover the houses?
I am so frustrated with the insurance companies, but I do understand why they aren’t willing to pay.
First of all, damages are expensive. I feel BAD!
But, insurance companies don’t deal with these kinds of issues every day and so they are not willing to change their policies for uncommon natural disasters.
It sure would be interesting to see the cost of all the claims that insurance companies get every year!
Daisy @ Prairie Eco Thrifter says
That is terrifying! I can’t even imagine being those home owners and finding out that my home wasn’t insured after ice almost bulldozes it. There must be something that an ice shove would be covered under. It’s definitely an “act of God”.
I know, it’s super freeeky this kind of stuff can happen in real life.
I do think its important to carry enough insurance, especially insurance tailored to specific risks in the area you live. This winter, we’ve had a ton of snow in the Midwest and I’ve been shoveling off my roof as a precaution (which is not fun in 0 degree weather!) Crazy story about the ice tsunami!
Oh man, shoveling snow off the roof, eeeks! Be careful! That doesn’t sound fun at all.
Poor Student says
I’ve never heard about ice tsunamis before… I hate that insurance companies can get around with it because there are no clauses about it… I mean, that’s why insure our property, so if unexpected things happen they can pay for them! Thanks for the tips!
It is super sneaky how insurance companies advertise about protection from the unexpected, but there are a lot of unexpected things that they won’t actually cover.
101 Centavos says
Crazy stuff, but perhaps not so unexpected Minnesota lake in the wintertime. I remember reading about the lateral crushing pressures on Ernest Shackleford’s ship Endurance was caused by wind pressure on pushed-up portions of the ice pack.
It’s insane how strong Mother Nature is! How scary it must have been to be on a ship and get crushed like that. Yikes!
Mr. Utopia says
Mother Nature wins every time! It is a shame that insurance companies are screwing these guys over. I’m not an expert on the home insurance industry, but I think insurance companies should be on the hook for something like this unless the policy specifically excluded damage from an ice shove. Meaning, unless the policy explicitly states it’s not covered – then it is! I wonder if there is any legal recourse for these homeowners?
I agree! Unfortunately I doubt the homeowners will have much luck in court.