How to Prevent Property Damage in Winter and Action Steps to Take When It Occurs
Did you know that homeowner’s insurance claims related to wind or hail damage are the most common homeowner insurance claims? According to the Insurance Information Institute (III) “About one in 20 insured homes have a claim each year, about one in 50 insured homes have a property damage claim caused by water damage or freezing each year, and homeowners’ claims related to wind or hail are the most frequent.”
Unfortunately, the statistics on the likelihood of property damage in the winter are not very promising. At Penny Insurance Agency, we want our clients to be as prepared and informed as possible. We’ve compiled some of the most common property damage incidents that occur in the winter with tips on how to prevent them and actions steps to take when property damage does occur.
1. Hail Damage
Many factors can play into the severity of roof damage during a hailstorm – wind speed, the size of the hailstones, the density of the hailstones, the quality of the roof materials, and natural barriers such as trees. If you want to set yourself up for success should this scenario occur, check your house for any damage immediately following a storm. Even seemingly insignificant damage can have a snowball effect and contribute to significant damage later down the road. If you’ve determined that there is damage that needs to be repaired, contact your insurance company and connect with an advocate who can you take you through the next steps in filing a claim and hiring a contractor to get the damage repaired.
2. Roof Damage from Tree Limbs or Snow
In addition to hail, tree limbs and snow are very prevalent causes of roof damage. Winter storms can wreak havoc on homes with intense wind blowing down limbs and snow weighing heavy on a roof. Snow can cause roofs to cave in, clog gutters and collapse decks. Tree limbs can cause power outages, cut through house siding and more. As with hail damage, the best way to position yourself for the best possible outcome is to keep a close eye on your property because small damages can intensify later on. If you see obvious damage to your property, don’t hesitate to document the damage with photos and mark it with chalk to make filing an insurance claim and the repairing the damage easier for everyone involved.
3. Frozen Pipes
Water damage from a frozen pipe that has burst can cause immense damage to a home. Busted pipes can ruin sewage systems, cause flooding, and more. To prevent pipes from freezing and bursting, ensure that your house temperature is at least 65 degrees Fahrenheit, know the location of your home’s main water shutoff switch in case you need to use it, and frequently allow your faucets to slowly drip to keep the water in the pipes flowing. If you suspect that your pipes have frozen, take immediate action to unthaw them before they burst. Call a plumber immediately if you need assistance unthawing your pipes. This preventative measure could save you money and hassle later on. If the worst-case scenario happens and the pipes do burst, immediately cut off the water supply and be proactive about drying any water damage. Contact your insurance provider right away to file a claim in order to ultimately repair your home.
From the day we were founded, Penny Insurance Agency has been building trust with clients and providing comprehensive homeowners insurance. If you would like more information about homeowner’s insurance, or if you are facing property damage to your home, give us a call. We’re here to help.