Minimize Insurance Risk of Freezing Pipes with Seasonal Property Inspections

Minimize Insurance Risk of Freezing Pipes with Seasonal Property Inspections
It’s anticipated by weather experts that the 2016-17 winter season on the East Coast will be especially brutal with extremely cold temperatures. While this news is less than pleasing for most of us to read, it should be especially concerning for property owners.
According to research, nearly two-thirds of freezing pipes and temperature claims occur between the months of December and February. This puts us right in the thick of this cold weather season, and our insurance carrier clients are already seeing an uptick in these types of claims.

On a positive note, you can add a lot of value to your insureds by taking the time now to educate them about what they can do to prepare their property to handle the cold weather. Offering seasonal cold weather inspections is an effective way to touch base with your insureds, strengthen your relationship, and minimize insurance risk.

Here are several areas that a seasonal cold weather property inspection will take into consideration and educate property owners about:

Inspect the roof and foundation.
A property inspector should take a look at the roof to identify any issues. This includes confirming that the gutters are free of debris and that overhanging trees are trimmed back. In certain cold weather environments, it may even make sense to add heating cables to the base of the roof to prevent too much snow and ice from accumulating.

In addition, the property inspector needs to take a close look at the property’s foundation for any cracks that could lead to flooding within the property from melting snow. Any identified cracks should be sealed to prevent water damage.

Unhook any hoses around the property.
Water has a tendency to remain inside the hose. As a result, the pipe that leads to this exterior faucet is more likely to burst in cold weather. This can create some serious problems the next time you go to turn your hose on.

Ensure that the property is sufficiently ventilated.
When a property is sufficiently ventilated, cold air will be able to make its way into the attic. If you get a lot of snow this winter, you’ll want to make sure that warm air in your attic does not cause the snow on your roof to melt. Too much melting often leads to damage to your property.

Keep the temperature inside your property at 55 degrees or above.
This is especially important if your property will sit vacant for an extended period of time. Maintaining a temperature of at least 55 degrees within your property will minimize the risk of frozen pipes.

Making your insureds aware of what they can proactively do to prevent freezing pipes and temperature claims will significantly reduce insurance risk.

Please contact us at Insurance Risk Services to learn more about how we can partner with you to provide seasonal cold weather property inspections for your insureds.