Unwanted house guest

It’s always bad news when a raging blizzard comes knocking, but most of us manage to keep the snow outdoors where it belongs. Iowa couple Steve and Betty Ehlers weren’t so lucky. Unfortunately, the blizzard they thought they were escaping when they went on vacation decided to let itself into their home and make itself comfy. A family member who came to check on the house found snow piled in the hallway and kitchen—and even inside some closets and cupboards. How’d it get there? Heavy winds had blown open a side door.

Culprit: Blizzard and a blown-open door. When snow floods into a home and no one’s around to clean it up right away, it has nothing to do but melt. Unfortunately for the Ehlers, this type of water damage is usually not covered by insurance.

Repairs needed: Drywall, trim, carpet and flooring, paint and wall finish, and furniture and personal items.

The bill: $5,896

*National average for water damage from flooding, Insurance Information Institute