Harsh winter weather presents significant risk for homeowners. Snow, water, ice, and even just the cold itself can cause property damage, turning what should be a festive holiday season into a stressful claim-filled one. In order to avoid this, it’s important to fully understand your homeowners insurance policy and secure additional coverage for the winter if you feel that it will be necessary. It’s always easier to prepare ahead of time than try to pick up the pieces after a disaster.
Utilize these tips for protecting your home from winter weather and ensure common potential damage is covered by your insurance.
Prepare for Snow Damage
A heavy snowfall might leave a beautiful blanket of snow, but it could also damage your home. Make sure your policy provides coverage for weight of ice, snow, and sleet so you are covered in the event of a damaged roof. If roof damage occurs, take plenty of photos to show the damage to your insurer for your claim.
Stay on top of fixing minor damage and preventing further incidents from occurring. If your damaged roof lets snow in and you don’t bother shoveling it out, you may not be provided coverage for the water damage it will cause when it melts.
Beware of Falling Trees
Trees could also collapse under heavy snow and ice. Even if they don’t hit your house or your car on their way down, clearing them away can be quite a hassle. Dead trees are a hazard and should be removed from your property as soon as possible. Healthy ones shouldn’t be neglected either. Trim them to make sure none of the overhanging branches would pose a threat if they snapped off.
Take actions for the trees that could damage your neighbors’ property. If a tree on your property falls and damages theirs, they are likely to file a claim. Many insurers won’t cover tree damage if the tree is in poor condition or hasn’t been trimmed as needed.
Protect Your Interior Walls
If ice dams form on your roof, they eventually melt out and could seep through the roof, soaking into your walls. Damage to the interior of your walls will be a difficult and costly repair.
To help prevent this from happening:
- Make sure that your attic is ventilated
- Insulate your attic floor to prevent heat from rising too much
- Install a water-repellent membrane underneath your roof covering
If something happens to your interior walls, call your insurance provider to see how they can help.
Never Overload Circuits
Circuits often work extra hard during the winter. We spend more time indoors running appliances and using electronic devices, along with the lights we string everywhere. We must be cautious about overloading our circuits with all these extra decorations and devices. This could easily lead to blown fuses or fires. If a fire breaks out while no one is there to grab the fire extinguisher, it can get out of hand very quickly. Unplug anything inessential when you’re not home.
As a final note, know exactly what your policy covers, and be sure to communicate thoroughly with your agent if there is anything you are confused or wondering about. As further precaution, have a professional inspect your home for maintenance recommendations before big winter weather hazards strike.
About Sine Insurance
At Sine Insurance Group, we are dedicated to providing you with custom tailored insurance policies to protect your assets. Our comprehensive packages have been expertly crafted to serve St. Louis and the surrounding areas for the past 25 years. For more information about our products, contact us today at (636) 947-1177.