Read the fine print on your weather damage insurance

Posted at 9:28 AM, Feb 03, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-03 10:31:08-05

WACO, Texas — A hard freeze can cause big trouble for the pipes in your house.

And for some folks, it brings back some really bad memories.

From water coming out of the ceiling, to scooping up snow and melt it on the stove, just to flush the toilet, February of 2021 was a nightmare.

Many Central Texans dealt with a long-term mess, like when the pipes burst in the attic of a Waco apartment complex, causing serious damage for renters.

Aingelle Cook's ceiling came crashing down.

"I was panicking. I was pulling the animals into my kitchen and just it crashed down on my couch. There was insulation everywhere," Cook recalled, a year later. "If I didn't hear it, I was sitting right there. So, it could have hit us."

It took two weeks to get the pipes fixed, the water flowing again, and to make repairs to multiple apartments.

If you don't have insurance, it can get pricey.

As AAA Texas explains, it is important to know what your insurance policy covers.

"Most storm damage is covered under homeowners' insurance. There are certainly exclusions like a flash flood," AAA Texas spokesperson Daniel Armbruster told 25 News. "The last thing you want is to learn too late that you don't have insurance on your home."

After the February 2021 storm, the average cost of storm damage jumped by about $3,000, totaling $10,000 on average.

Check with your insurance agent to make sure you're covered.

"It took about two weeks with just plastic sticking over a hole in my roof," Cook remembered. "I could see sunlight."

She is able to laugh about it now and just thankful the winter storm of February 2022 isn't expected to do the same.

Cook had renters' insurance, but she couldn't afford the deductible, so she didn't bother filing a claim.