Monday, December 10, 2018

Insurance Takes Precedence in Water Loss Preparedness

By Edward L. Blais, JD, CIC
President, Blais Insurance 

Contrary to popular belief that most water-related claims happen during the spring or summer months, homeowners in the Northeast region report more water-related losses during the winter. To help homeowners mitigate their risks for water or flood-related losses during the next couple of months, Blais Insurance would like to share some preventative strategies that can help policyholders protect themselves from these types of losses and save money in the long run.

Frozen pipes and melting ice dams are usually to blame for water-related losses in the colder months. These events can cost homeowners thousands in property damage, but most experts agree that certain precautions can help reduce the likelihood of these things happening.

Consumers will find a trove of information online that explain ways to reduce the odds of significant water-related losses, but most fail to mention the insurance aspect of prevention. By understanding your homeowner’s insurance policy and the flood insurance gap coverages that are available, homeowners will be better prepared in the event of a catastrophic loss.

Most homeowners insurance policies cover water damage up to a certain extent. And in most cases, homeowners can work with an insurance agent to have a more comprehensive policy in place. One of the things Blais Insurance, or any other insurance agency, would do would be to accurately assess the policyholder’s individual risk for water-related losses and determine whether their property might be underinsured.

Insurers we work with like to determine whether homeowners are underinsured because they want policyholders to be able to replace expensive cabinets, moldings, or other high-end features in a home that may not be adequately protected in their current policy.

Reevaluating insurance needs provide the biggest benefit to homeowners who have remodeled their home recently or purchased a home that is relatively new.

Once insurance needs have been addressed, homeowners can take the initiate to examine parts of the home that may give way to intense pressure from outside elements. If homeowners know their home has the tendency to form ice dams, for example, they may want to consider calling a roofer to close any shingle gaps, examine the home’s insulation, or install mechanisms such as heating cables.

Another problem that may cause homeowners stress, headaches, and financial woes include frozen pipes. Fortunately, homeowners can avoid calling a plumber by taking a few precautions during cold spells. Those precautions include wrapping heating tape on pipes that are susceptible to freezing, turning up the thermostat in your home, and letting the faucet  drip water.

Finally, homeowners can take an extra step to protect their home from water damage by performing regular maintenance on appliances that use water. Dishwashers, washing machines, refrigerators, and water heaters are responsible for a surprisingly large proportion of water damage incidents.

With water damage being the leading cause of property damage for homeowners, we urge homeowners to consider the precautions mentioned above. Blais Insurance has been protecting families in Southeastern New England from significant losses for more than 100 years. If you have questions about protecting your property from water damage, speak with one of our agents at 401-725-0070.