How to Prevent Winter Insurance Claims

We see many seasonal claims reported during the winter.  The months of January and February can be brutal, we are in the thick of it!  From ice dams, to frozen pipes, to slip and falls homeowners claims can be pricey.  Here are some ways to prevent some of the most common winter home insurance claims.

Ice Dams

Ice dams occur when the attic of a house is too warm and it causes the under layer of snow and ice on the roof to melt and then build up. The water then gets under the eaves and causes roof leaks and water damage in to the house.  Those pretty icicles on the edge of your roof are ice dams and are not good for your house.  The best ways to prevent ice dams are proper attic insulation, adequate attic ventilation and removal of snow from your roof after a snow storm.  If you are unable to remove the snow from your roof yourself, there are many companies that will do it.  Make sure you find a reputable one that has referrals.

Also, make sure in older homes that there are no kitchen or bathroom exhaust fans going to the attic.  Ice dams are fairly common in Massachusetts and are very costly when claims are filed.

Frozen Pipes

When the temperatures outside are below freezing pipes in poorly insulated areas, like the garage and attic, have a risk of freezing and could eventually burst.  When a pipe bursts in the home it could cost thousands of dollars in damage.  Some ways to prevent pipes from freezing: insulate pipes in cold areas of the house, keep the water dripping when the temps get extremely cold, keep interior doors open to promote heat circulation, seal off any leaks in the wall near pipes that would let cold air in and warm air out.

Slip and Fall

Winter storms can dump a lot of snow in our area.  It is important as a homeowner to properly shovel/snowblow all walkways and use a non-slip ice melt.  You are responsible for the safety of  people who come on to your property, invited or uninvited.  Slip and fall claims can be very expensive depending on the extent of injuries.

Winter conditions can create costly home disasters.  The best way to protect your home is prevention.  However, if you do encounter one of these winter woes most home insurance policies will cover the damages.  Please call us with any questions or to go over your coverage to make sure you are adequately insured.  Happy Winter!