Winter-Proofing Your Home

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Surviving_WinterWith the venerable Farmer’s Almanac predicting a particularly cold winter this year the Insurance Information Institute wants you to know how to protect your home from ice and snow.

The Institute cites Munich Re statistics showing that winter storms caused $38 million in insured losses in 2012. They also cite an ISO study of winter storms occurring from 1992 to 2011, resulting in around $28 billion in insured catastrophe losses.

Some of the ways homeowners can guard against catastrophic damage from winter storms include common-sense maintenance like cleaning out gutters and trimming dead branches from trees. Homeowners should also keep the thermostat at 65 degrees to keep pipes from freezing.

The Institute also recommends the installation of gutter guards to keep water moving down, and away from the house.

Home plumbing systems can benefit from an emergency pressure release valve, which can protect the system against increased pressure caused by freezing pipes and can help prevent your pipes from bursting.

These are just some of the tips that the Institute offers. The organization even offers mobile apps to aid in disaster prevention and planning. Of course, being the Insurance Information Institute, they’re all about the insurance coverage. But it’s never a bad idea to check your homeowner’s insurance policy, check what is (and isn’t) adequately covered, and make changes if needed.


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