WHOA -- WINTER IS COMING ARE YOU READY??With plenty of snow and cold temperatures predicted for the northern United States this winter, it is important to prepare your home and review your insurance coverageaccording to the Insurance Institute.
The 2016 Farmers Almanacpredicts snowier conditions than normal for the northern and central Great Plains, New England and parts of the Ohio Valley. In the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states, the winter skies will be stormy and likely to drop a good amount of snow.
Water damage, which can be caused by snowy conditions, and freezing account for almost 22 percent of all homeowners insurance claims and are the third-largest cause of losses, behind only hurricanes and tornadoes. Winter storm related catastrophes in the U.S. caused $2.3 billion in insured losses in 2014, up from $1.9 billion in 2013! From 1994 to 2013 winter storms resulted in about $27 billion in insured U.S. catastrophe losses (in 2013 dollars), or more than $1 billion a year on average, according to Property Claim Services (PCS).
Standard homeowners and renters policies cover winter related damage, such as that caused by burst pipes, ice dams and wind, as well as damage caused by either weight of ice or snow.
Coverage for flooding, including flooding caused by melting snow, is available from FEMA’s national flood Insurance program (NFIP). Melting snow can also overburden sewer systems, causing raw sewage to back up into the drains in your home. Backed up sewers can cause thousands of dollars in damage to floors, walls, furniture and electrical systems. Sewer back up coverage can be purchased either as a separate product or as an endorsement to your homeowners or renters policies. I always include this coverage and make my clients tell me to remove it! Check your homeowners policy to make sure you have this included!
Beyond making sure they have the proper insurance coverage, there are also steps homeowners can take to protect their homes before the official start of winter on Monday, December 21, 2015.Outside Your HomeClean out gutters. Remove leaves, sticks and other debris so melting snow and ice can flow freely. This can prevent ice damming, a condition in which water seeps into the house, potentially damaging ceilings and walls.
Install gutter guards to prevent debris from entering the gutter and interfering with the flow of water away from the house and into the ground.
Trim trees and remove dead branches. Ice, snow and wind can cause weak trees or branches to break and damage your home or car, or injure someone walking by your property.Inside your homeTune up your furnace! -- It is always a good idea to change the filters and get an expert to inspect and prepare your furnace for the coming winter months!
Reverse your ceiling fans! --- Yes there are two modes on a ceiling fan -- one for winter and one for summer -- Make sure your ceiling fans are set for winter!
Caulk windows and doors --- A 6 dollar tube of caulk can save you $100's this winter -- take some time to caulk windows and doors.
Fireplace CLEANED -- if you have one make sure it is professionally cleaned to prevent chimney fires!
These are just a few tips -- as always if you want more information or simply need a quote call me at 440-527-0304!
STAY WARM MY FRIENDS!
Source: Insurance Information Institute