Winter-related disasters cause over one billion dollars in losses annually
INSURANCE INFORMATION INSTITUTE
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NEW YORK, October 14, 2011— It can hard to think about winter-proofing your home when the weather is still mild in many places, but now is the best time to prepare your home. Many winter-related disasters can be prevented if you take a few simple steps to protect your home from freezing temperatures, snow and wind, according to the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.).
The Farmers’ Almanac predicts that “the eastern third of the country, (New England down to Florida and as far west as the lower Ohio River and Mississippi River Valley), will experience colder-than-normal” temperatures this winter.
“Standard homeowners policies cover winter-related disasters such as burst pipes, ice dams, and wind damage caused by weight of ice or snow, as well as fire-related losses,” said Jeanne M. Salvatore, senior vice president and consumer spokesperson for the I.I.I. “Coverage for flooding is available from the National Flood Insurance Program and from some private insurance companies. Winter-related damage to cars is generally covered under the comprehensive portion of an auto insurance policy.”
Melting snow can inflict significant damage to property, and winter storms are the third-largest cause of catastrophe losses, noted the I.I.I. According to ISO, winter storms accounted for 7.4 percent of catastrophe losses nationwide from 1991 to 2010, or an average of $1.3 billion per year (in 2010 dollars). The average water damage and freezing claim was $6,347 from 2005 to 2009, with such claims accounting for the second most frequent cause of loss after wind and hail.
An important part of planning for winter is to review your insurance coverage. Make sure that you have enough insurance to rebuild your home and replace everything in it. And, if you do not have flood insurance, talk to your insurance agent or company representative about obtaining this important protection. You can learn more about your flood risk by going to FloodSmart.gov.
“Also, ask about sewer backup insurance. It is included in some policies and available as an endorsement in others,” pointed out Salvatore.
To prepare your home for the upcoming winter, the I.I.I. and theInsurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) offers the following tips.
Outside Your Home
Inside Your Home
If you are going to be away for an extended period, take special care. Turn the water off and/or have the water system drained by a professional to keep pipes from freezing or bursting.
Also, hire someone to check your home on a regular basis so that, if there is a problem, it can be fixed quickly, lessening any damage. Activity at your home will also reduce the likelihood that it will be burglarized.
Farmers Insurance Group of Companies is the country's 3rd largest insurer of both personal lines passenger automobile and homeowners insurance, and also provides a wide range of other insurance and financial services products. Farmers Insurance is proud to serve more than 10 million households with more than 20 million individual policies across all 50 states through the efforts of over 50,000 exclusive and independent agents and nearly 24,000 employees.
Farmers is a trade name and may refer to Farmers Group, Inc. or the Farmers Exchanges, as the case may be. Farmers Group, Inc., a management and holding company, along with its subsidiaries, is wholly owned by the Zurich Financial Services Group. The Farmers Exchanges are three reciprocal insurers (Farmers Insurance Exchange, Fire Insurance Exchange and Truck Insurance Exchange), including their subsidiaries and affiliates, owned by their policyholders, and managed by Farmers Group, Inc. and its subsidiaries. For more information about Farmers, visit its Web site at www.farmers.com or at www.Facebook.com/FarmersInsurance.