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Winter is Coming, Here’s How to Prepare

Posted by Denise Russo on Nov 13, 2023 10:05:19 AM

As winter quickly approaches, it's crucial to prepare your property for the challenges that colder temperatures can bring, especially with the Northeast anticipated to experience a harsher winter than prior years. Winter often brings potential hazards that can lead to property damage, making it essential to take preventive measures ahead of storms. From freezing temperatures to heavy snowfall, homes and commercial properties are vulnerable to various challenges during this season often leading to expensive losses. Knowing and implementing practical tips to protect your property from the harsh winter conditions can ensure your property stays in good condition throughout the season.

2023-2024 Winter Predictions

Each year ahead of winter, experts in meteorology come together to predict the severity of the upcoming season. The most heavily relied upon resource is the Old Farmers Almanac, which predicts all seasons and tends to be very accurate, with an average accuracy of 80%. This year, the Almanac has predicted normal to colder than normal temperatures, but above-average snowfall for much of the northeast.

In addition, the North American Electricity Reliability Corporation has released a report stating there is a higher risk of power outages this winter across the nation. According to the organization, the availability of natural gas for gas-fired power plants is low. With extreme cold temperatures, generators can face difficulties in operations. Where prior years supplies for additional gas may have been readily available, this year's supplies may be diverted away from standard heating due to shortages.

So, while every year brings its own set of risks to property and dwellings, this year, in particular, is shaping up to be especially challenging for many across the nation, and owners need to be timely in implementing measures for risk management.

What are the Most Common Claims in the Winter?

Winter weather brings challenges that can lead to common insurance claims. One reoccurring claim category is water damage, usually stemming from burst pipes due to freezing temperatures. Consequently, homes may experience leaks or flooding upon thawing, Additionally, slips and falls on icy surfaces contribute to another frequent type of claim during winter. Icy sidewalks, driveways, and entryways pose hazards, leading to injuries and liability claims. Homeowners and businesses more often find themselves filing insurance claims to address medical expenses and potential legal repercussions in the wintertime.

Another common claim involves property damage caused by heavy snow and ice accumulation. The weight of snow on roofs can lead to structural issues, potentially causing collapses or severe damage. Storms can also cause tree breakage around homes that can cause damage to dwellings and outside property.

For businesses, power outages can severely impact day-to-day operations. While most power outages can be fixed in a timely manner, recent winters have shown extended periods of no power can occur. This can lead to business interruption and damage to the dwelling if power is out long enough to cause structures to freeze.

How can Individuals and Businesses Prepare for Winter?

To mitigate winter-related insurance claims, businesses and individuals can take proactive steps to prepare for the challenges that this season brings. Ensuring proper insulation and maintenance of pipes is crucial to prevent burst pipes, a common source of water damage during winter. Regularly checking and reinforcing insulation in vulnerable areas, along with keeping interiors adequately heated, can help avoid potential issues. Having a backup generator and standard home evaluations can ensure that your property is prepared to manage intense weather, and backup steps are implemented.

For businesses and homes, regular inspections of roofs and gutters are essential. Timely removal of accumulated snow and ice can prevent build-up and potential structural damage.

In addition, snow and ice removal from walkways and driveways can significantly reduce the risk of slips and falls and lower liability claims. Establishing a standard routine for snow removal and salting in high-traffic areas promotes a safer environment for employees, customers, and visitors.

Overall, a proactive and preventive approach to winter preparation can help businesses and individuals navigate the season with fewer insurance-related concerns.

Insurance Coverage for Winter Risks

Insurance coverage for winter risks is a critical aspect of risk management. Property insurance is a key coverage for protecting against winter-related damages such as burst pipes, roof collapses from heavy snow, or structural issues.

Liability insurance is equally crucial, offering coverage in the event of accidents like slips and falls on icy surfaces, ensuring financial protection against medical expenses and legal claims, which can be costly.

Additionally, business interruption insurance can cover financial losses incurred due to the temporary closure or disruption caused by winter-related incidents. A comprehensive approach to insurance coverage helps individuals and businesses alike navigate the risks of winter, providing financial support and a safety net in the event of a claim.

Insurance with ECBM

At ECBM, we understand the challenges that winter poses to both individual and commercial assets. As a family-owned practice, we pride ourselves on offering personalized insurance solutions that prioritize the specific needs of our clients. Our team is committed to securing the best coverage at the most cost-effective rates. Trust ECBM to provide comprehensive insurance for your personal and commercial needs. For more information on our services, contact one of our agents.