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Wednesday, February 16, 2022

With every change of season, your home needs specific attention and maintenance. Winter can cause insurance claims that are easy to avoid with some planning and elbow grease. Being well prepared will keep your house in top condition and filing fewer claims will keep your insurance costs down no matter the weather. Here are four ways to avoid winter homeowners insurance claims this year.

1. Avoid Frozen Pipes

Your exterior water features and faucets are the most susceptible to frozen and burst pipes. 

Start by draining and disconnecting outdoor hoses and protecting faucets with insulation. You may think outside water connections are not that big of a problem – but if your pipes freeze and break, you could end up with a flooded basement or an ice rink instead of a driveway! 

Your indoor pipes also need attention. If you live in an older home with less insulation than today’s standards, or have water lines in your outer walls, consider how you might keep your pipes exposed to warmth. Something as simple as leaving your under-sink cabinet doors open overnight could help. 

Make sure you know how to turn off the water main to your house, too. One simple turn of the control could stop water from entering broken pipes and save you significant time, disruption, and higher homeowners insurance costs. 


2. Prevent Slips & Falls

Personal injury claims are no fun for anyone involved. Anyone of any age can slip and fall on  ice while visiting your property, and you can be found liable. (Remember that ice rink above?) 

When snow melts and refreezes, your walkways and driveway can be extremely hazardous. Stock up on salt or ice melt before the winter season so you have a bag available when that freak storm inevitably arrives. Prep your walkways before the storm and get outside with your snow shovel as soon as it is safe to clear the walkways and re-apply the ice melt. 

Taking time to expect the unexpected could help protect you from a personal injury claim expense. 

3. Review Your Policy Exclusions

Damage to your roof or property from fallen branches and wind is important to consider. Your first step is to review your policy and check for any exclusions or damages that may be viewed as an Act of God. Contact Independent Insurance Associates if you have questions or need to adjust your coverages. 

In many cases, you are protected if your roof is damaged by wind and hail, but double-check how neighboring trees may impact your safety and wallet. It is recommended you review and discuss your policy on an annual basis to make any adjustments to keep up with your lifestyle and property changes. 

4. Ice and Snow and Roofs, Oh My! 

If you don’t live where ice dams are a common problem, you may not be aware of the potential damage heavy snow and ice can do to your home. Ice dams can form in your gutters when the rising interior heat of your home melts the snow and ice off your roof. Oh my, indeed! 

Adding extra insulation in your attic will help keep the heat inside, preventing the melt and those dangerous icicles from forming. If possible and safe to do so, rake or blow the snow off your roof after a heavy snow. Roof damage from deep snow can lead to leaks and other damage inside your house. 

You may not live in a guaranteed winter wonderland, but the weather is certainly unpredictable! Being a homeowner means making a list and checking it twice as each season ushers in potentially damaging elements.

Your Independent Insurance Associates are here to help you prepare for all the risks Mother Nature may throw your way. Just as you should check your AC system before the summer sets in, you must make sure you’re ready for the cold, wind and wet.

Contact us to discuss your homeowners policy so you can relax and enjoy that rare snow day in your well-protected home.