Winter is not a Season, it’s an Occupation

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Winter is not a Season, it’s an Occupation

December 28, 2020

Although the title of this post belongs to American playwright Sinclair Lewis, it may just as aptly express the collective sentiments of the many insurance adjusters who often find themselves overwhelmed by the large volume of property insurance claims that occur each winter. For those who are curious, the Insurance Information Institute offers these interesting facts and statistics on winter storms from 1980-2019. The short story: old man winter’s occupation creates a lot of property damage each year.

Wishing Everyone a Safe Winter

While cold, snow, wind, and ice can lead to a variety of claims that are often covered by most insurance carriers, we encourage insurance consumers to examine the following insights and recommendations from several leading insurance carriers. Those who embrace just a few of these practical, preventive strategies will improve their chances of enjoying a safe winter and happy new year.

Aim for a Not So Roaring Fire

Chubb Personal Risk Services offers “Nine Safety Tips for Winter Fires” to remind all homeowners who enjoy a roaring fire in their fireplace of the steps that should taken to ensure a safe experience. If you regularly practice each of these nine steps, you are in rare and safe company. A common oversight of mine: occasionally using firewood that is not well seasoned. Frequently hearing snap, crackle, and pop is an indication that you’re using unseasoned wood (assuming you’re not also eating a bowl of Rice Krispies).

Darned Ice Dam

Said no one ever who has experienced an ice dam, which occurs when melting snow under a snow pack freezes at the eave of a roof, driving water into the roof and into the home as it leaks through. Fortunately, many of the causes of ice damming are easy to prevent. In this article from Berkley One, Risk Management Consultant Jerry Forrest and Agency Experience Manager Frances Brodeur provide important insights on the damage that can be caused by ice dams, as well as a number of practical tips to protect your home.

Water, Water Everywhere!

These are the words heard each winter from many homeowners who experience the water damage that results after a deep freeze causes a burst pipe. Water damage is among the leading causes of loss for homeowners, and according to the Insurance Information Institute, on average 1 in 50 insured homes have experienced a claim caused by water damage or freezing. Fortunately, many water damage incidents can be avoided or reduced by leak detection and shutoff mechanisms. The preventive measures to reduce the risk of a frozen pipe are easy to understand and implement, and are outlined in this article by Chubb, “Five Ways to Prevent Frozen Pipes.”

If You Read Nothing Else

The seasoned risk management professionals at Berkley One have crafted this Winter Storm Guide that does a great job summarizing the many different risks that consumers should take steps to avoid over this winter. Here’s wishing everyone a safe winter!