Winterize Your Property and Reduce Claims

After the warm fall that we’ve had, when temperatures drop below freezing, it’s easy to forget the necessary protection for your home and business. Now that winter weather is upon us, remember to insulate your pipes, leave water dripping at night, and winterize your outdoor faucets to reduce the risk of frozen pipes, which could lead to expensive claims.

If you own a property and the building is vacant, make sure you insulate exterior pipes, keep heaters on even though it’s empty, and check the property’s plumbing after a hard freeze. If you have a rental property, be sure to communicate these home precautions to your renters.

Severe winter weather doesn’t hit often in the South, but when it does, it usually results in dangerous sheets of ice. While fires are the most common causes of losses, other winter weather-related losses follow close behind.

If you run a business, implement a property plan so that it’s easily deliverable to your insurance company.  Here’s how:

  1. Create a written, formal plan to check snow loads and freeze risks, including some triggers that kick the plan into action based on precipitation and temperature trends.
  2. Create a logging system that is simple for staff to follow and for you to send to your agent/carrier.
  3. If there’s a way to deliver this electronically or use a risk management technology platform, even better.

Anything you can do to improve risk management and housekeeping practices while making them available to underwriters will enhance your position with carriers.

For homeowners, your property plan should include:

  1. Precautions to keep pipes from freezing, as discussed above.
  2. Have your heating unit serviced so that it doesn’t go out before cold weather.  Alternate heat sources such as space heaters, long-term use of fireplaces, and leaving ovens on and open to heat the home are fire hazards, so it is best not to have to resort to them. 
  3. Also, consider purchasing a generator in case your power goes out; be careful about where you run it due to carbon monoxide output. 

For more information on creating a winter-weather risk management plan, email your agent or Lynn Swink at lynns@www.palomarins.com.

With our experience, our team is committed to finding insurance solutions. As we continue to work with insurers and carriers, we find opportunities to build long-term results. Email Lynn Swink for a complimentary comprehensive review for your renewal and to build a better risk profile for the future at lynns@www.palomarins.com.

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