Categories
Hartford Insurance Winter damage to homes

Avoid Insurance Claims for Winter Damage

Gene and Katie Hamilton
http://www.diyornot.com

When an insurance company suggests how to prevent costly damage to your home from the ravages of winter weather it’s a good idea to listen. The Hartford has analyzed winter claims data from the past five years and surveyed nearly 200 claims adjusters to collect some really timely tips and trends to watch out for this winter. “We know winter weather can create challenges for homeowners,” said John Kinney, chief claim officer for The Hartford. “Our goal is to help people prepare for unexpected weather, protect what’s important to them and prevail over the season.”

Advance preparation can go a long way toward helping you ensure your home is prepared and protected in advance. And take the time to understand their insurance coverage you have so re-read the policy, or ask questions of your agent.

The three most costly claims are frozen pipes, hail damage and tree collapses.

Frozen Pipes

One of the most common and costliest cold weather claims is frozen pipes. While most common in the Northeast and Midwest, frozen pipes happen in all areas of the country and average about $18,000 per claim. The Hartford’s adjusters recommend learning where the water shut-off is before faced with a frozen pipe or water leak.

Hail Damage

Hail damage is another common and costly winter weather claim, especially in the South where it is three times more common than in other areas. Roof damage from hail is more likely at the end of winter and can lead to claims that average $10,000. Claims for hail damage are often filed late because the damage isn’t always easy to see. After large hail storm, a homeowner may want to consider hiring a professional to examine the roof if they’re not able to safely inspect it. Filing an insurance claim as soon as damage is noticed allows the insurance company to start working with the homeowner sooner to minimize the damage.

Tree Collapses

Wind damage and tree collapses are another common and costly winter weather claim. Trees in the West are generally larger than other parts of the country and claims in this area average more than $10,000. By comparison, tree collapse claims range on average from $3,000 to $5,000 in the Northeast, Midwest and South. The Hartford recommends regularly assessing the trees and other vegetation on the property. Weakened tree limbs can easily come down in windy weather so the adjusters suggest maintaining and trimming trees near the home that could fall on the house, other buildings or vehicles during a storm.

Be Pro Active

Seasonal maintenance is critical:. Have the heating system serviced on an annual basis, which includes testing to make sure the heat is working throughout the home. It’s also important to insulate any pipes that are susceptible to freezing and unhook hoses from outdoor faucets.

Be prepared: Move vehicles off the street and/or away from large tree limbs and having the snow blower serviced. Become familiar with how to trip the manual release on overhead garage door openers and having shovels ready ahead of the storm.

Keep supplies on hand: Be ready for an extended power outage and have bottled water and non-perishable foods, clothing and blankets, batteries and flashlights. Don’t forget a snow shovel and supply of rock salt or sand.

Don’t Make These Common Mistakes

Despite the best laid plans, it may be necessary to file an insurance claim after winter storm damage. The Hartford’s adjusters indicated the most common claim filing mistakes made by homeowners are: not trying to mitigate or limit damage while waiting for an adjuster to arrive, waiting to file a claim and throwing away items without taking an inventory or capturing documentation.

Visit wwww.diyornot.com and compare the DIY and Contractor costs for hundreds of improvement projects.

Categories
Winter damage to homes

Help Pets and Family Make It Through the Winter

Gene and Katie Hamilton
http://www.diyornot.com

The calendar may tell you that Spring is just around the corner but that doesn’t seem to be the case in this extremely cold and snowy season. While we wait it out it’s a good idea to remember how to make our homes safe and sound throughout what’s left of the winter season.

The Outdoor Power Equipment Institute and TurfMutt have some suggestions about how to keep everyone in your family – including your pets – safe. These common sense strategies are easy to implement and important to remember as you live through snowy winter storm conditions.

Here are 5 suggestions to follow until the weather turns warm.

Clear a Path with a snowthrower or shovel to clear your sidewalks and driveway and give your pet a path to their favorite spot.
Bring Pets Inside during cold weather. When they’ve been outside wipe their paws and bellies after they’ve been outside and check for ice between paw pads and remove any accumulation of a de-icing agent.
Pick Up Debris before it snows and remove items in the yard like toys or hoses so they don’t obstruct shoveling or a snowthrower.
Ventilate a Portable Generator and place it outside and away from windows, doors and vents that could allow carbon monoxide to come indoors.
Be Careful Operating a Snowthrower and keep kids and pets away from the equipment. Never put your hand in the chute or auger to clear a blockage. Turn the machine off and always use a cleanout tool.

Visit us at www.diyornot.com to compare the cost of doing an improvement yourself with hiring a contractor.

Categories
Hartford Insurance Winter damage to homes

Avoid Insurance Claims for Winter Damage to Your Home

Gene and Katie Hamilton
http://www.diyornot.com

When an insurance company suggests how to prevent costly damage to your home from the ravages of winter weather it’s a good idea to listen. The Hartford has analyzed winter claims data from the past five years and surveyed nearly 200 claims adjusters to collect some really timely tips and trends to watch out for this winter. “We know winter weather can create challenges for homeowners,” said John Kinney, chief claim officer for The Hartford. “Our goal is to help people prepare for unexpected weather, protect what’s important to them and prevail over the season.”

Advance preparation can go a long way toward helping you ensure your home is prepared and protected in advance. And take the time to understand their insurance coverage you have so re-read the policy, or ask questions of your agent.

The three most costly claims are frozen pipes, hail damage and tree collapses.

Frozen Pipes

One of the most common and costliest cold weather claims is frozen pipes. While most common in the Northeast and Midwest, frozen pipes happen in all areas of the country and average about $18,000 per claim. The Hartford’s adjusters recommend learning where the water shut-off is before faced with a frozen pipe or water leak.

Hail Damage

Hail damage is another common and costly winter weather claim, especially in the South where it is three times more common than in other areas. Roof damage from hail is more likely at the end of winter and can lead to claims that average $10,000. Claims for hail damage are often filed late because the damage isn’t always easy to see. After large hail storm, a homeowner may want to consider hiring a professional to examine the roof if they’re not able to safely inspect it. Filing an insurance claim as soon as damage is noticed allows the insurance company to start working with the homeowner sooner to minimize the damage.

Tree Collapses

Wind damage and tree collapses are another common and costly winter weather claim. Trees in the West are generally larger than other parts of the country and claims in this area average more than $10,000. By comparison, tree collapse claims range on average from $3,000 to $5,000 in the Northeast, Midwest and South. The Hartford recommends regularly assessing the trees and other vegetation on the property. Weakened tree limbs can easily come down in windy weather so the adjusters suggest maintaining and trimming trees near the home that could fall on the house, other buildings or vehicles during a storm.

Be Pro Active

Seasonal maintenance is critical:. Have the heating system serviced on an annual basis, which includes testing to make sure the heat is working throughout the home. It’s also important to insulate any pipes that are susceptible to freezing and unhook hoses from outdoor faucets.

Be prepared: Move vehicles off the street and/or away from large tree limbs and having the snow blower serviced. Become familiar with how to trip the manual release on overhead garage door openers and having shovels ready ahead of the storm.

Keep supplies on hand: Be ready for an extended power outage and have bottled water and non-perishable foods, clothing and blankets, batteries and flashlights. Don’t forget a snow shovel and supply of rock salt or sand.

Don’t Make These Common Mistakes

Despite the best laid plans, it may be necessary to file an insurance claim after winter storm damage. The Hartford’s adjusters indicated the most common claim filing mistakes made by homeowners are: not trying to mitigate or limit damage while waiting for an adjuster to arrive, waiting to file a claim and throwing away items without taking an inventory or capturing documentation.

Visit wwww.diyornot.com and compare the DIY and Contractor costs for hundreds of improvement projects.