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Insurance Advisors' Newsletter
   February 2014

Your Home Might Not Like Colorado's
Cold and Snow As Much As You Do
By Susan Cormier for Insurance Advisors

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IA Team

While you’re out enjoying all the fun activities that winter has to offer in Colorado, don’t forget that your home might need a little extra TLC to protect it from the extreme cold and snow.

In fact, Colorado has had a couple of doozies when it comes to home damage caused by winter storms, including the Blizzard of March 2003, which was the most expensive winter storm in state history – estimated at $93.3 million for more than 28,000 claims.

Most of the damage from this storm was caused by heavy, wet snow that triggered the collapse of roofs, porches, carports, etc. According to the Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association (RMIIA), significant damage also was caused by downed trees and limbs, as well as claims for wind and snow melt issues, food spoilage, and out-of-pocket living expenses for people forced out of their homes.

Fortunately, standard homeowners insurance polices cover most winter-related damage, such as burst pipes and leaky roofs. Coverage for backup of sewers and drains also is available, but flood damage is usually excluded.

And while storms like the Blizzard of March 2003 are relatively few and far between, there are some preventative measures you can take to reduce possible damage to your home from the cold, melting snow and power outages.

1.      Keep your home warm – at least 65 degrees.  A temperature lower than 65 degrees will not keep the temperature inside the walls - where the pipes are located – warm enough to prevent freezing.

2.      On those very cold days, keep cupboard doors open below sinks to allow warm air to circulate around the plumbing fixtures. You also might want to turn on hot and cold faucets to a slow drip, so that water is moving within the pipes, thereby preventing freezing.

3.       Clean gutters so melting snow and ice can flow freely. When snow or rain freezes in the gutters, it can cause an “ice dam.” When this ice starts to melt, it can spread under the roof shingles and cause damage to your ceilings.

4.      Take a few extra steps to keep your house and pipes as well insulted as possible. For example, add extra insulation in attics and basements. You might even want to use foam insulation on your pipes or wrap them with heating tape. Check your windows and doors. If sealants around these openings are no longer pliable or continuous, reseal or caulk them.

5.      Clear snow and ice off the sidewalks and entrances to your home. Make sure any steps or hand railings are in good shape to reduce the risk of injury by family and visitors.  

6.       In case of a power outage, you should stock up on fuel, such as firewood or propane, if you have a back-up heat source. 

We hope this gives you a start on preventing any damage or injury this winter. Please don’t hesitate to call the Insurance Advisors at 720.210.9898 if you have any questions or suffer any damage as a result of this winter’s cold and snow.

The Hartford

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19751 E Mainstreet, Suite 380, Parker, CO 80138   |   720.210.9898   |   www.theinsuranceadvisors.net
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