A nice house after a snow storm

 

It’s been a cold, wet and snowy November.  As we head into the winter season your insurance advocate wants to be sure our clients know what steps to take to keep your home safe. Your home is your world and you want to be sure it is protected from winter’s woes.

 

Below are some of the types of claims we see over and over again once winter weather rolls into town. We offer a few tips to help reduce the risk of damage and prevent you from thinking “if I only I’d have known and been better prepared”.

Burst Pipes
Our #1 homeowner claim at Advocate Brokerage is property damage created by a burst pipe. The losses created by a burst pipe are devastating but even a small crack can create damage. New smart technology solutions allow you to monitor your home and stop water in its tracks.  With smart technology, approximately 93% of all water damage can be avoided. The best news is that when a whole-house water shut-off system is properly installed, you can qualify for substantial insurance policy discounts.  There are two different types of whole-house water control technology, sensor based systems and flow based systems. If you want to read more about sensor based or flow based systems, you can check out a blog from our archives.  Link to: 2017 Advocate Water Blog

Secondary Homes
If you own a secondary home, your risk of a burst pipe is greatly increased.  There are things you can do to be sure it is protected.  Most importantly keep your heat turned to at least 65 degrees.  Another good idea is to keep cabinet doors in the bathroom and kitchen open so that the warmer air from the room can circulate.  All interior pipes should be insulated or have wall insulation around them, especially in vulnerable areas such as attics, crawl spaces and along outside walls

Ice Dams
When ice dams form they can rip gutters off, loosen shingles and cause leaks in attics and walls.  An ice dam is a solid formation of ice at the edge of your roof.  It forms when the heat from inside your home rises to your attic and warms the underside of the roof (this is a natural process).  This melts the snow on the roof but as the melting snow begins to run off the roof and reaches the eaves, the snow refreezes creating a thick layer of ice which forms an ice dam.  This ice formation creates a barrier that prevents melting snow from running off your roof, into your gutter system and safely away from the foundation of your home.  In order to keep ice dams from happening, you need to try to keep the attic cool so there is less thawing and refreezing on your roof.  Insulating the attic floor can help to minimize the amount of heat that rises to your roof.  You can also keep the attic ventilated so that the cold air outside can circulate and reduce the overall temperature in your attic.

Home Fires
During a cold snap when people spend more time indoors, the instance of home fires increase.  A majority of home fires are preventable when you take steps to minimize your risks.  While smoke detectors are certainly effective and save lives, but we recommend that every home have a Central Station Fire and Burglar Alarm. The advantage is that when a fire starts the alarm company and the fire department are contacted right away.  The reduction in lag time is dramatic and life saving.  Insurance companies often provide a significant discount for the proper installation of a central station fire and burglar alarm system.

 

Educating our clients on the options for protecting their homes is of the utmost importance to the entire team at Advocate Brokerage.  We would be happy to speak with you to answer any questions regarding the above information including helping you determine if the installation of smart technology or a central station fire and burglar alarm makes sense for your home.  We would be glad to help you locate resources for quotes and installation so get in touch us.  Together we’ll make sure that your world is protected.

 

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