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Lightening Your Load


Are you carrying a heavier load than normal these days?  Whether it is the never-ending cold, the rising costs of inflation eating away at your bottom line, or the fact that major league baseball is not happening on schedule this year, there are many reasons to feel like you are carrying an extra load. Licensed insurance brokers have no training in resolving situations like these. But we can provide advice that will help you manage risk and hopefully help you avoid an unwanted loss that can be prevented.

With the excessive amount of snow that we have already received across southern Manitoba, and approximately four to fourteen weeks of winter still left, there will be more snow before we pull out our socks and sandals combination for the spring. One area that we see losses in years like this, is damage to buildings and bins caused by snow load.

Excessive amounts of snow have caused roofs to completely collapse. We have also seen excessive amounts of snow cause damage to roof rafters that while not completely failing, are no longer structurally sound, and therefore repairs are needed in order to maintain the integrity of the building. We have seen situations where snow gets blown onto bins, whether by wind or during yard cleanup, which eventually causes the bin roofs to collapse due to the weight. Typically, houses are engineered to such strong standards that snow load doesn’t cause structural issues to dwellings, but we have also seen countless events where excessive snow build-up causes ice damming which leads to a very different set of issues.

Did you know that not all insurance policies cover damage or collapse due to snow load? There are a few reasons for this. First, not all buildings qualify for the coverage, as certain types of structures are more prone to collapse and therefore don’t qualify. Another reason is, not all policies insure damage from snow load; named perils policies typically do not list snow-load or collapse as a covered peril. However, with most insurance policies now written on an all-risk basis, most policies will provide this coverage. This is a great conversation to have with your broker before a potential loss situation arises.

Now that you are alarmed and frantically looking out your windows at the structures in your yard, it is a good practice to monitor the amount of snow parked on your various roofs and bins. Even if your policy covers these exposures, the challenge of simply replacing bin roofs, etc., after damage is not a quick and simple fix. The best remedy is prevention. Our suggestion is to monitor the amount of snow on your roofs and make sure to lighten the load before spring, as one wet, heavy snowfall on top of our existing load could be detrimental to your roofs.

Hang in there, the end of winter is in sight. It won’t be long before we are playing in the dirt, fishing in the ponds and working our socks and sandals tan lines to absolute perfection.


Be sure to seek advice and purchase insurance from those who understand your business!

David Schmidt is an Account Executive and Rempel Insurance Brokers in Morris, MB, specializing in insuring farms and businesses across Manitoba and Saskatchewan. 

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