The number one insurance claims filed by homeowners in winter

Published: Jan. 10, 2022 at 7:02 PM EST
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - If a winter weather disaster strikes would you know what to do? From burst pipes to fallen tree branches, there are lots of things that happen you can be mindful of, and even prepare for in the winter months.

Ben Moore, an insurance expert with Nerdwallet, helped us put together a list of the top things that cause a homeowner’s insurance claims to be filed this time of year.

Number one: burst water pipes.

Moore says a homeowner’s insurance policy will cover the accidental water damage from a burst water pipe but it’s crucial to understand that you need to take some steps in order for that claim to be approved.

“They need to maintain their home’s temperature to a minimum of 55 degrees during the coldest days of the year and then also if the pipe does burst a homeowner needs to take action to make sure no further damage happens from the burst pipe,” said Moore.

You’ll need to document that you turned off your water valve.

Ice dams forming on roofs is another cause of damage and a claim. Most insurance policies will cover this, but making sure your attic is sufficiently insulated is key.

Another cause of a claim? Fallen tree branches.

“Your dwelling coverage will cover damage to your home. But let’s say a branch falls on your fence or your shed-- your other structures policy is going to cover damage to those structures.” Moore also says keeping trees trimmed regularly so they don’t extend over the home or other structures on the property also helps.

House fires are the other major cause of winter claims. Homeowners’ insurance policies will typically cover this as long as the fire wasn’t intentional.

Also, loss of use coverage can help pay for hotel bills and additional living expenses if the home is uninhabitable due to smoke or reconstruction.

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