When the temperatures tumble here in Missouri, there are numerous dangerous scenarios that can wreak sudden havoc on your home! The warmth and consistent shelter that a home provides feels extra special during the holidays when everything you have worked so hard for provides the sanctuary and comfort you can always count on. Here are four common types of damage a house can incur during the blustery months, and some prevention tips. We’ll also tell you how your insurance policy can work for you in the event of an icy emergency!

Burst Water Pipes:

On incredibly frigid winter mornings, you might notice that your kitchen faucet isn’t working suddenly. Frozen water pipes are one of the most damaging incidents for homeowners, as they can cause a very expensive and unavoidable repair. The best way to prevent burst pipes is to allow your faucets to drip a bit on the coldest days which prevents the pipe water from encountering dangerous subzero temperatures. Sleeves and newspapers can be used to cover pipes in spaces that are exposed to the coldest temperatures. When the pipe does freeze, it’s best to shut the water off immediately.

If a pipe does burst, it’s important to realize that almost any home insurance policy will cover the damage after the event. As soon as you pay your deductible, your home insurance will pay out sufficiently and properly up to your policy limits. The coverage on your drawing itself will work for home repair costs, while your personal property coverage will take care of damaged belongings expenses. For your home insurance policy to cover the damage that takes place, you are expected to take steps to lower any encompassing risk.

Precarious Ice Dams on the Roof:

The very damaging and feared “ice dam” forms on a roof when a fresh snowpack melts and freezes near the gutters or roof edges. As the ice begins melting, the leftover precipitation will seep under roof shingles, creating different types of mold and leaks. Even though the ice bolts hanging from your roof might look like something from one of your favorite Christmas movies, they can be dangerous to fixtures such as gutters and fascia. 

Your homeowners insurance will cover damage caused by ice dams, but you may have to make sure that you have taken extra care to prevent it from happening. Excellent attic insulation concealed spots where warm air will eventually leak up from inhabited areas. This allows your roof to stay ideally cold, which prevents ice dams from forming. Making sure to keep your gutters fully clear of debris allows for quickly melted snow to drain properly. 

Fallen Tree Branches:

This dangerous event takes place when ice causes large branches to break, and then falls onto property or surrounding fences. Your insurance policies dwelling coverage should cover necessary home repairs, and the other structures coverage will pay for things such as intense fence or shed damage. Trimming trees regularly is the best way to avoid this problem, as some insurers may deny claims if they conclude that extreme damage stems from a lack of long-term maintenance. 

In some situations where the downed tree was on a neighbor’s property, your insurance company may try to collect what is due in a process called subrogation. When a tree hits an insured structure, a homeowners policy will usually cover the cost of removing the tree. Depending on the type of insurer and policy purchased, this is generally from about $500 to $1000. Fire, lightning, theft, aircraft, vehicles not owned by the resident, and shrubs are covered under your standard homeowner’s insurance. Coverage for these disasters is generally limited to 5 percent of the amount of insurance on the structure of the house, with most insurers guaranteed to cap the coverage for any individual plant or tree.

House Fires:

House fires are the most common cause of frequent winter insurance claims, as fireplaces and candles are used to make things more festive and warmer. Here are some tips to prevent flames from intruding on your holiday peace and safety:

  • If you do lose power, flashlights are a better choice than candles. 
  • Make sure that Christmas trees are properly hydrated, as fire strikes in barren conditions.
  • Don’t ever use your kitchen stove to heat your home! It is a very prevalent hazard.
  • Space heaters are best kept at least 5 feet away from anything flammable and should not be plugged into power strips.
  • A metal screen is a good idea for the front of your fireplace, as well as having a professional chimney sweep clean it annually.

Your home insurance will cover fire damage if it is proven that the fire was not intentional. Your loss of use coverage can help with paying for hotel stays and additional living expenses. It’s best to be in constant contact with your providing agent to see what your policy will take care of if a disaster happens. It’s best to carefully go over your home insurance declarations page provided by your insurer to see exactly what is covered. The exclusions section of your policy will provide you with a detailed list of the items that you will NOT see covered in the event of an emergency. 

Winter Hazards, Zero Worries: The Insurance Agency Advantage You Can’t Ignore

Don’t leave your property vulnerable to any of these severe risks! Our comprehensive coverage options will assist you promptly if any of these common occurrences rear their head on your property. When the season endures a very intense cold snap, some of these events can seem out of your control. As the flakes fly and the ice scrapers make their appearance, trust us here at the Alexander Agency of St Charles to keep your home and loved ones secure- your safety is our top priority!