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How Seasonal Damages Can Impact Homeowners Insurance

With winter just around the corner, it's time to double-check all the areas of your house which, if damaged by the cold and snow, could drive up your homeowners insurance rates. Proper preparation is the key to keeping your home in optimum shape for the harshest of seasons.

Typical Insurance Losses

The most likely insurance losses come from small maintenance details that are all too often easily overlooked. For example, just keeping the walkway up to your front door free of ice and snow can help prevent injuries sustained on your property. Another example is clearing leaves out of rain gutters before the first freeze. If ice and snow can't melt freely through the gutters when the air warms up, the water is likely to build up and seep back into the home instead, causing water damage.

Learn to Minimize Damage

Another part of ensuring winter isn't too harsh on your home is recognizing where damage is likely to be caused, and taking steps to minimize the effects or prevent them entirely. It's important to keep the inside temperatures warm enough to keep internal water pipes from freezing, and keep the faucets open with a slow drip to keep water moving in cold pipes if you'll be out of town. Any exterior hoses should be disconnected and put away well before the first frost. You should also know where the emergency water shut-off is, just in case you have to use it.

Potential Property Damage

You should also remember that the inside of your home is not the only direction damages can come from. Tree limbs can break under the weight of too much snow, especially if they're already old or weak. Make sure to tidy up the yard before winter hits to prevent the possibility of damage resulting from this type of outside force.

Remember, any claim filed for your insurance benefits can have the unpleasant side effect of spiking your monthly premiums, even if the damages are caused by Mother Nature. Taking the time to make sure your home is ready for the upcoming winter can save you from expensive damages or repairs to your home, and help keep your homeowners insurance rates low the rest of the year.

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