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How to Minimize Risk of a Homeowners Insurance Claim

You know you have coverage, but avoiding a homeowners insurance claim is still one of your top priorities. Preventing water damage is one of the best ways to ensure you won’t need to place that call to your insurance company.

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Non-weather-related water damage accounted for 19 percent of all homeowners insurance claims between 2009 and 2015. This includes appliance failures and toilet overflows, but also burst pipes.

If you live in a region that gets severely cold temperatures, like Utah, lower your risk of water damage by staying proactive and guarding against frozen pipes.

Prepare for Winter

When winter is around the corner, your first step should be to disconnect all garden hoses and turn off their inside water line valves.

If you leave a garden hose connected, the water inside the hose can freeze and expand, putting pressure on the entire interior plumbing system. This could potentially lead to a burst pipe indoors. Open the exterior spigot after shutting off the water so that any remaining water can drain out.

Where Are Your At-Risk Pipes?

Next, you must identify the at-risk pipes in your home — those most likely to freeze. Pipes may be in the garage, attic, crawl space or underneath your kitchen or bathroom cabinets. Every pipe in an unheated area — whether hot or cold water sources — must be insulated. Wrap them with a pipe sleeve or heat tape.

You may also consider adding more insulation to the wall where the pipe is attached. In extreme cases, it may be worth it to re-route the pipe, but talk to a plumber for advice before you take this step.

During a Frost

When a cold front starts to move in, take preventive action.

Close garage doors, and open kitchen and bathroom cabinets to allow heat to circulate and warm your interior pipes. Don’t lower your thermostat too drastically at night — the higher heating bill will likely be less than the cost of a homeowners insurance claim for burst pipes.

You can also leave your faucets dripping slightly to keep water moving through the pipes. Moving waster is less likely to freeze.

Thaw Frozen Pipes Before They Burst

If you suspect a pipe is frozen, call a licensed plumber right away. Turn on your faucets too; water running through the pipes will help melt the ice. Never use an open flame to thaw frozen pipes, such as a blowtorch.

Instead, wrap the pipes with hot towels. Use a hair dryer to blow hot air on them. Check on all your other at-risk pipes as well, because if one pipe frozen, it’s likely another may be as well.

Trust Four Seasons Insurance for more tips on how to prevent a homeowners insurance claim and keep your home safe from water damage. You deserve the best when it comes to homeowners insurance coverage. We have policies to fit your budget and your needs.

Contact us today for more information.

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