5 Winter Safety Tips to Help You Avoid Insurance Claims

Frozen Pipes

We’re so close to walking in a winter wonderland. As those of us here in South Carolina prepare for the joy of winter holidays and traveling to see family and friends, it’s important to remember to prepare our homes for winter conditions that can lead to homeowners insurance claims.

Here are five simple steps you can take to keep your family safe from winter dangers and avoid insurance claims. Want to know more about protecting your family from life’s “what ifs?” Give Edwards Insurance Agency in Taylors, S.C. a call today.

  1. Insulate your pipes now before temperatures drop 

In South Carolina, temperatures don’t tend to drop below freezing for long periods of time. However, all it takes is one cold snap for your pipes to freeze, break, and potentially flood your yard, basement, or home. A broken pipe can cause significant structural damage to your home, including destroying drywall, causing rot in floorboards and wall studs, ruining carpet and wood flooring, and causing dangerous mold growth. Plus, it’s an expensive hassle to get it all cleaned up.

Insulate your pipes now with foam rubber pipe insulation that you can find in any hardware store. Don’t forget to cover your outdoor faucets, too.

  1. Clean your gutters

At the end of autumn, your gutters are probably filled to the brim with fallen leaves if you have trees around your home. Your gutters’ purpose is to direct rainwater (and snow melt) away from your house and protect it from water damage. But gutters can’t do their job when they are clogged with leaves. Blocked gutters can lead to rainwater standing in your gutters, seeping down your walls, and causing rot and mold. Go ahead and have them cleaned as soon as the leaves are finished falling.

  1. Have your fireplace and chimney inspected 

More than 25,000 chimney fires occur every year, leading to over $120 million in property damage for homeowners. Before you light your first fire of the season, have your fireplace and chimney inspected by a licensed professional to make sure you don’t have conditions in your chimney that could lead to a chimney fire, such as bird nests, creosote buildup, or cracks.

  1. Check your trees 

Plenty of homeowners insurance claims are filed during the winter as a result of falling trees and limbs. When winter ice collects on the branches of trees around your home, the extra weight can cause them to fall, which can damage your roof, outdoor structures, vehicles, and even do extensive damage to the structure of your home.

Go outside and inspect the trees around your home. Are any leaning toward your house? Are you seeing exposed roots that could signal that a tree is not properly stabilized? Are there branches hanging over your home, garage, or driveway that could be a danger to those areas? Call a licensed professional tree service to assess the situation and take out any dangerous branches or trees so you’ll be able to breathe easier when winter storms hit.

  1. Make sure your insurance coverages are up to date 

With the high rate of inflation, the coverages that you put into place when you bought your policy may not be enough to cover repairs to your home today. Check with your insurance agent to see if you’ve got enough coverage in case the worst happens.