5 Common Winter Home Insurance Claims

December 5, 2023
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Winter, with its icy winds and freezing temperatures, can be a harsh season for homeowners. From frozen pipes to roof damage, the cold weather brings a set of challenges that can lead to home insurance claims. But what are the most common winter home insurance claims? And how can you prevent them? Let’s dive in and find out.

Burst water pipes  

Frozen pipes are one of the most common winter home insurance claims. When water freezes inside pipes it expands, potentially causing the pipe to burst and damage your home. To reduce the risk of burst pipes in your home, let your faucets drip on cold days and cover exposed pipes with sleeves or newspaper. Keep your home heated, even when you’re not there, and insulate exposed pipes. If a pipe does freeze, promptly shut off the water and thaw it using a heated pad or hair dryer. 

Ice dams on the roof 

An ice dam can form on your roof when snow melts and refreezes near gutters or edges of your roof. This water can pool and seep through shingles, which can lead to roof leakage and potential mould. To prevent water from leaking into your home, ensure your attic is insulated and seal areas where warm air could enter. It is a worthwhile idea to have a professional inspect your roof ahead of heavy snowfall. Additionally, keep your gutters clear and avoid scraping snow off your roof to prevent any damage to shingles. 

Fallen tree branches 

While snow or ice-covered trees make for a beautiful scene, pressure and weight from ice can cause tree branches to collapse. These overhanging tree branches can break and damage your home or other structures on your property and vehicles as a result. Regularly trim trees to prevent this issue, and if you notice damage to trees after a winter storm, remove them promptly when it is safe to. 

House fires

When hosting, you likely focus most of your attention on your guests. But in the event an unexpected fire occurs, are you prepared? Follow safety measures to prevent house fires, such as using flashlights during power outages, keeping your Christmas tree hydrated, and monitoring the use of kitchen appliances. Keep heating devices away from flammable objects and install screens in front of fireplaces to prevent children or pets from getting too close. 

Slip and falls

From icy walkways to driveways, slips and falls present a danger to property owners. As a homeowner, you must legally clear your walkways and property of snow and debris within 24 hours of snowfall. Failure to do so can result in bodily injury and potential ramifications if someone is seriously injured. 

Understanding your policy

As part of your yearly review, examine your homeowner’s insurance policy to understand what is and is not covered. By consulting with Gifford Carr, we can determine if you require additional coverage for a growing family, lifestyle change, or updates to your property. Proper care and maintenance can prevent some home insurance claims, while others may be unavoidable due to severe weather conditions. Always have a comprehensive home insurance policy to protect against unexpected damages.

Winter can be a challenging time for homeowners. You can protect your investment by being aware of winter home insurance claims and taking preventative measures. Remember, prevention is always better than cure. Stay warm, stay safe, and enjoy the winter season!

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