Winter Safety

Protecting pipes from the cold weather

Naturally during the winter there tend to be more factors that could lead to the increased probability of claims. However, there are many ways in which one can protect themselves from these unfortunate occurrences.

Protecting the home from frozen pipes:

  • Disconnect garden hoses
  • Ensure that all pipes are adequately insulated in areas that could lead to frozen pipes. Such areas include pipes that run under floors above basements, along outside walls, and above ceilings in unprotected attics.
  • Seal foundation cracks in crawl spaces that may permit cold air or even ice and snow to enter.
  • Enable a slight trickle of water to run through vulnerable faucets.
  • Wrap pipes with approved insulating.
  • If you are planning to be away from your home for an extended period of time, set your thermostat no lower than 55˚F (12˚C)
  • If you intend on being away for a longer period of time you can go as far to drain and turn off the water system in your home.
  • (Note: If you have a sprinkler system installed in your home, shutting off the water system will deactivate the sprinkler system as well.)

However, if an incident occurs and there is a claim due to winter weather and the damage of water pipes, there are some tips to speed up the process to regain what you may have loss.

  • Take photographs of any area that may be damaged. This will assist the claims adjustor in the investigation.
  • Prepare a thorough summary of any damage to your home and/or belongings that may be related to the claim.
  • Make sure to have any receipts, checks, or invoices available to help the adjustor determine the value of any property that is lost.
  • Be sure to try and prevent any further damage occurring after the original incident takes place.

Preventing claims due to walkways and stairs

A major problem for everyone in the winter is maintaining walkways and steps. Ice can easily form in a short period of time and can even be hard to see. One of the biggest claims that insurance companies face in the winter are liability claims due to injury on steps and/or walkways from slipping and/or falling. Here are a few ways to ensure that you are doing your part in helping prevent these unfortunate occurrences.

  • Regularly remove snow from walkways and steps ensuring a clear path.
  • Apply a de-icing agent to help speed the process of melting away snow and ice.
  • If able, install hand rails in problem areas such as steps.
  • Even in the spring and fall, ice can form overnight due to cooler temperatures. Applying a de-icing agent in the morning/evening is a good preventative measure to take.