Winter weather can be harsh and cause many problems for homeowners. As a result, winter-related issues are among the most common claims made on home insurance policies. Some of these winter home insurance claims include damage from frozen pipes, ice dams, and snow or ice accumulation on the roof. As an experienced company dedicated to helping our clients, Miller Hanover Insurance always aims to educate and empower our customers so that they can protect their property and family while understanding their insurance coverage. Let us break down the types of winter insurance claims you can make.
You might be surprised to learn that house fires are most common during the winter period. After all, the weather is cold and humid, with snow and ice everywhere. However house fires can happen at any time of year, but they are more common in the winter due to the increased use of heating systems and fireplaces. In addition, the dry air and indoor activities common in the winter can increase the risk of a fire starting and spreading quickly. For these reasons, house fires are a common cause of Winter insurance claims.
House fires are one of the quickest ways to lose all your belongings. It is always better to protect yourself than end up launching an insurance claim. Here are some tips to help prevent house fires:
- Keep flammable materials, such as paper and cloth, away from heat sources, such as radiators and fireplaces.
- Never leave candles unattended, and make sure they are extinguished before going to bed or leaving the house.
- Be sure to properly maintain heating equipment, such as furnaces and space heaters, and have them serviced by a professional if necessary.
- Install smoke alarms on every level of your home and test them regularly to ensure they are in working order.
- Develop and practice a fire escape plan with your family so that everyone knows exactly how to react in the event of a fire.
- Following these tips and being cautious can help prevent house fires and keep your home and family safe.
Frozen pipes are a common problem leading to many homeowners insurance claims. When the water inside pipes freezes, it expands and can cause the pipes to burst. This can result in significant water damage to a home and the need for costly repairs. At Miller Hanover Insurance, we always advocate for protection. That is why we always advise you to keep the home adequately heated and to let faucets drip during cold weather to help prevent pipes from freezing.
Ice dams are another common property insurance claim during winter. Ice dams occur after snow from the roof melts and refreezes at the roof’s edge. This can cause a build-up of ice that can damage the roof, gutters, and other parts of the home. Home insurance policies typically cover damage from ice dams. However, ensure your roof is clear of snow and that gutters are in good working order to help prevent ice dams from forming.
Snow and ice accumulation on the roof can also cause damage, which is grounds to launch an insurance claim. Heavy snow can put a lot of weight on a roof, causing it to collapse. Due to the weight caused by ice accumulation, the force can pull on the roof and gutters and cause water to back up and leak into the home.
Fallen Tree Branches
If a fallen tree causes damage to your home or other property, your homeowner’s insurance may cover the costs of the damages. However, coverage for this type of damage can vary depending on the specific policy and the circumstances of the claim. For instance, if your property is damaged due to a covered event like a storm and a tree falls as a result, your insurance may cover the damages. However, if the tree was already in a state of decline and fell due to old age or natural causes, the damages may not be covered. It is advisable to consult with your insurance company to determine what is covered under your policy.
Personal Injury Liability Caused By Snow And Ice
Now that you understand more about what winter home insurance claims you can launch, it is important to remember that there are circumstances in which you may be liable. For example, you may be held liable for injuries caused by snow and ice on your property if it can be shown that you were negligent in maintaining the property. This means that you failed to take reasonable steps to remove the snow and ice or to warn visitors of the potential danger. If someone is injured on your property due to snow or ice, and it can be proven that you were negligent, you may be held liable for their injuries and may be required to pay for their medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages. It is important to take reasonable steps to maintain your property and ensure it is safe for visitors.
In addition to these common winter home insurance claims, there may be other potential winter-related claims that should be part of your policy, depending on your area of residence. It is always a good idea to review your home insurance policy and make sure you have the appropriate coverage for potential winter-related damages. This can help protect your home and give you peace of mind during the cold winter.