Kadrie Insurance Agency

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Address:

5724 Villa Drive
Shoreview, MN 55126

Phone:

651-785-9224

Fax/Other:

651-784-5960

Jack Frost Is on His Way — Are You Prepared?  

Winter storms and cold weather caused $1.7 billion in property damage in 2016, with only $1 billion of these losses covered by insurance. This was a relatively mild winter after the brutal cold of 2015, when total losses spiked to $4.7 billion.1

What can you expect from the winter of 2017­­–18? No one knows for sure, but the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Prediction Center forecasts another warmer-than-average winter across the southern two-thirds of the United States and up into New England, with colder-than-average temperatures from northern Minnesota to the Pacific Northwest. The rest of the country has an "equal chance" of warmer, average, or colder temperatures.2

Of course, a long-range forecast can only consider broad trends, and harsh weather might blow into almost any part of the country. Wherever you live it would be wise to do some maintenance to help prepare your home for winter.

Winterizing Checklist

  • Protect your pipes. Set your home’s thermostat at a minimum of 65 degrees to ensure that temperatures inside the walls stay warm enough to prevent pipes from freezing. Install a pressure-release valve in the plumbing system to keep pipes from bursting in freezing temperatures. Most important, know how to shut off your water; quick action could reduce the amount of damage if your pipes do freeze.
  • Add insulation. A well-insulated attic will help keep warm air from escaping through the roof, which can cause a dangerous cycle in which ice or snow melts and refreezes, potentially leading to ice dams or even a roof collapse. Adding insulation to basements, crawl spaces, and unfinished garages also makes it less likely that pipes will freeze and burst.
  • Consider fire safety. Have furnaces, fireplaces, and chimneys inspected and cleaned to help prevent fires; installing a chimney cap may keep animals, birds, water, or debris from entering your chimney. Wood stoves and space heaters should also be checked for defects. Make sure your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors are working, and keep a fire extinguisher handy.
  • Maintain walkways. Repair broken sidewalks, steps, and banisters, and install new handrails where appropriate. Removing snow is hard work, but it’s essential for safety. Have a snow shovel and ice melt on hand so walkways and steps remain clear and dry.
  • Trim trees. Remove dead branches to reduce the risk that ice, snow, or wind will cause them to break and fall. Heavy tree limbs could cause significant damage to your roof or car; even worse, they could injure someone on your property.
  • Clear gutters. Remove all debris and muck from the gutters to help prevent ice dams, which can cause water to seep into the house. Consider adding gutter guards to block leaves from entering gutters in the first place.

Consider Your Coverage
Fortunately, standard homeowners insurance policies cover damage (up to policy limits) caused by many major winter-related problems, including burst pipes, ice dams, wind, and fire. They also help provide coverage for liability claims resulting from personal injuries suffered by others on your property.

However, a standard policy by itself might be insufficient for your needs. Insurance for sewer backups may be included in some policies or available as an endorsement. Coverage for flooding typically must be obtained separately. If you have questions about your coverage, contact your insurance agent.

1) Insurance Information Institute, 2017
2) National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, 2017

 

The information in this article is not intended as tax, legal, investment, or retirement advice or recommendations, and it may not be relied on for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. You are encouraged to seek advice from an independent professional advisor. The content is derived from sources believed to be accurate. Neither the information presented nor any opinion expressed constitutes a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security. This material was written and prepared by Broadridge Advisor Solutions. Copyright 2017 Broadridge Investor Communication Solutions, Inc.