Wintertime is a season to enjoy blankets of fluffy snow, warmth by the fire and, if you’re a homeowner, avoid the damage snow, wind, sleet, and all that winter weather brings with it!
Zillow Porchlight presents five of the most common insurance claims during winter, per a 2014 analysis of claims data due to weather:
1. Water leaks
2. Wind damage
3. Hail damage
4. Frozen pipes
5. Roof damage from ice and snow
What were the most expensive? The winner in this category is frozen pipes, with claims averaging a cost of up to $18,000, followed by hail damage at $10,000 and tree collapse at $6,000.
How can you prevent such a costly catastrophe from happening during the coldest time of the year?
Zillow advises this:
· Keep your roof up – Literally. Keep an eye on your gutters, making sure they’re clear of debris and replace shutters that are worn.
· Clear away snow – Especially that which gathers on your roof, so the weight doesn’t do any damage. Be safe – use a long handle snow rake or hire a professional to remove snow from your roof.
· Dealing with frozen pipes – To prevent pipes from freezing to begin with, keep water continually flowing and set your thermostat to 68 degree or higher, Zillow advises. Make sure exterior pipes are insulated.
· Tree upkeep – Wind, ice and sleet can easily up-end trees and limbs, causing damage to your home or neighbors’ homes. Regular upkeep can go a long way in minimizing risk toward potential damage.