Winter in the Centennial State is beautiful...when it is not wreaking havoc on your home or business property.
Now that it is November, take a moment to review the winter preparedness checklist from our public adjusters. This way, you may be able to avoid significant property damage and the need to file an insurance claim.
Item #1: Check if your heating system or insulation needs updates
Your heating system will obviously be crucial in keeping your loved ones, employees, and customers comfortable in the coming months. Make sure your system is ready to go.
Schedule an appointment with a professional to check if your furnace or boiler needs a tune-up. If you plan on using the fireplace, have your chimney cleaned by a highly trained chimney and venting company. Along with this, check your walls and ceilings for cracks, especially if you are feeling a draft — it may be worth it to add more insulation. The last thing you need is to have a malfunction that leads to a pipe freezing and bursting, causing major water damage, and possible mold growth.
Keep in mind, as a February 2021 Forbes article highlights, “Water damage (including damage from freezing plumbing ) is one of the most common and most costly types of homeowners insurance claims.” The article continues to explain that every year, “about one in 50 homeowners will file a water damage claim, accounting for almost 24% of all homeowner’s insurance claims, according to the Insurance Information Institute. The average cost of this type of water damage claim is about $10,900.”
From a commercial property perspective, insurance data indicates that 15% of all small business property and liability claims result from winter related water damage. If not addressed immediately and properly, such damage can also cause major business interruption and business income loss.
Item #2: Keep carbon monoxide detectors in working order
As you may well know, carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless, and tasteless gas produced by burning gasoline, wood, propane, charcoal or other fuel. If produced in an enclosed area without ventilation, carbon monoxide can accumulate to dangerous levels. It is common for this to happen during the winter months since vents for exhaust can get blocked by piled snow. Make sure your carbon monoxide detectors have fresh batteries and are working correctly. If they are not, replace them immediately to prevent any possibility of carbon monoxide poisoning of anyone on your premises.
Item #3: Check if your roof needs repairing
Year after year, heavy snowfall can test the integrity of your home or business’ roof. Before winter arrives, have a professional inspect it for cracks and other damage to help prevent roof collapse, water damage, and more. Some of the damage may be unnoticeable to an untrained eye. For example, melted snow can find its way through a minor crack or loose shingle, staining your walls, ruining electrical systems, and warping wood components, including floors.
Item #4: Maintain your landscaping as necessary
Your roof is not only exposed to the snow, but also to your nearby landscaping. Heavy snowfall can knock down branches or entire trees that could fall and damage your roof, siding, windows, and even mechanical and maintenance equipment left outside.
Use the brisk autumn months to evaluate your landscaping to see if you need to remove or trim anything back to protect your property.
Bonus tip: while doing this, make sure hoses are brought inside, sprinklers are blown out, and any exterior pipes are insulated.
Do you have winter weather damage? Get a fair insurance settlement with the help of Adjusters International/MBC.
Despite your best efforts to maintain your home or business this winter, disasters happen. If it happens to you, talk with our Colorado-based team of public adjusters at AI/MBC.
Major property claims are time-consuming and stressful without an insurance expert on your side. Meanwhile, the insurance company will bring a team to protect its financial exposure.
Our public adjusters level the playing field. We serve as your advocates, bringing our team of adjusters, inventory specialists, building estimators, and forensic accountants to accurately document all damage, including any business interruption losses. We prepare a detailed property damage insurance claim and negotiate a full settlement without delay so that you can get back to your life sooner.