Protect Your House: Avoid Damage From Frozen Pipes:
In New York, the winter weather can change dramatically. The temperature can fluctuate from a balmy 55 degrees one day and then plummet to sub-freezing temperatures the next day. Vulnerable pipes can burst if water in them freezes and expands. This can lead to thousands of dollars in property damage to the home and its contents. According to the Insurance Information Institute, winter storms are the third largest cause of loss, resulting in over 23 billion in insured losses over the past decade.
To prepare for the onset of cold weather BEFORE the freeze, homeowners should:
- Cover any vents around your home’s foundation
- Add extra insulation to attics, basements and crawl spaces
- Drain water sprinkler supply lines
- Protect faucets, outdoor pipes, and pipes in unheated areas
- Learn how to shut the water off and know where your pipes are located. In the event of a burst pipe you need to be able to locate the shut off valve and stop further damage.
- Set your thermostat at a minimum temperature of 55 degrees, especially when you’re gone for the day or for an extended period.
- Let indoor faucets drip if they are connected to pipes that run through unheated or unprotected space.
If You Have a Loss:
Mitigate the damage by turning off the water supply and moving personal property out of harms way. At this point you should contact your insurance agent or insurance broker and he/she will advise you whether to make temporary repairs to prevent further damage. Keep all damaged property and any receipts that you have so that they are available for inspection by the adjuster.
Most standard home insurance policies cover this water damage to your home and its contents, subject to your deductible. Also, most home insurance policies will cover the cost to obtain access to the pipe. What is not covered is the actual repair of the pipe itself-this will usually be excluded. For more information on this important coverage you should contact your insurance agent or broker to review coverages before a loss occurs.