Winter is Coming. Are You Ready?

dangers of winterAs insurance experts, our picture of winter isn’t always cozy. While you may associate winter with making snowpeople in the yard or gathering around the fireplace, insurance agents are reminded of the dangers of winter whenever a new claim is filed.

Winter brings a lot of perils. Winter storms frequently cause traffic snarls and, even worse, they can turn hillsides into sheets of ice causing cars to slide around like hockey pucks.

Cold temperatures can result in frost swells and other similar problems, causing pipes to burst. Then there’s the increased risk of fire between heating your home, using a fireplace, and leaving on holiday lights.

The good news is that, with a little preparation and a few precautions, you can avoid the worst of these problems. Here are some tips to avoid the dangers of winter.

Be Prepared

It’s important to be ready before you start to run into winter weather-related problems. After all, if you’re caught in a storm or notice a problem, it’s often too late to do anything.

One of the most important preparations involves winter-proofing your car. This includes making sure that your tires’ treads are still good (or even better, equipping your car with good snow tires or chains) and checking if your wiper blades need to be replaced. Also, make sure that your antifreeze is sufficient and be sure to pack some emergency road supplies (such as flares, flashlights, blankets, and snacks).

Keep your attic cool to help prevent ice dams. This can be done by insulating the attic floor (which can also help you save on home heating costs) and keeping the attic well-ventilated.

Be careful not to overload circuits with holiday decorations. I know that there’s that urge to plug in every last decoration instead of leaving some in the box, but an overloaded circuit is a fire risk. Also, be sure to turn off your decorations when you go to bed.

When Winter Storms Hit, Be Smart

If you don’t have to drive during a storm, you’re better off staying put. If you have to go out, make sure you’ve winterized your car and have a full tank of gas.

When the air is cold, keep your bathroom and kitchen cabinet doors open so warm air can circulate around pipes. If your pipes freeze, let them thaw naturally because they’ll be less likely to burst.

If the power goes out, don’t leave candles or fires burning unattended. In fact, I always recommend using flashlights instead of candles. If you use a portable generator, follow the instructions and never use it indoors.

Know What Your Insurance Covers

We want to help you rest easy.  If you follow our tips, you’ll be more relaxed because you’ll know that you’re much less likely to suffer damage from a storm or the other dangers of winter.

If the worst does happen, your insurance policy can help to cover repair or rebuilding costs. However, your deductible does apply. Be sure to check your policy to see what’s covered and to see your chosen deductible.

If you have any questions about your coverage (or want to make adjustments to be on the safe side) be sure to give us a call today at (203) 775-2564, because who knows what will happen tomorrow!

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