Fall is the ideal time to do maintenance work on your house in order to prevent winter-related problems in the coming months. Standard homeowners policies cover cold-weather mishaps, such as burst pipes, frozen gutters, and fallen ice-covered trees. But making sure your home is in good condition may help you avoid filing a claim, so you can keep your premium more affordable. Apply for home insurance quotes to get the best price and coverage to protect your home and belongings.
Here are a few steps you can take to winterize your home:
Check heating and plumbing systems
Service your furnaces, boilers and chimneys at least once a year to prevent fires and other problems. Make sure smoke alarms, fire alarms and carbon dioxide detectors work properly. Check your pipes for cracks and leaks, and fix any minor damage to prevent more expensive repairs in the future. Standard homeowners and renters insurance provides coverage for water damage from burst pipes. However, your policy won’t cover you for damage, if you haven’t properly maintained your pipes and water heater, according to the Insurance Information Institute. Some policies cover sewer and drain backups as well. If you policy doesn’t provide this coverage and you would like to have this extra protection, buy a sewer backup rider. When you obtain home insurance quotes, review the policies carefully.
Make sure you have enough insulation
You need to have sufficient insulation in your attic, basement and crawl spaces to prevent heat from escaping from your house. Your attic should be five to 10 degrees warmer than the outside temperature, according to III. This will prevent ice and snow from building up on your roof. Otherwise, your roof may collapse under the increased weight. Warmer basements and crawl spaces will help protect pipes from freezing during colder weather. If you have rooms that aren’t insulated, wrap exposed pipes with heating tape. If the house has a new roof and is made with fire and/or hail resistant materials, you may even qualify for a discount on your home insurance policy. Ask about discounts you may be eligible for, when you apply for home insurance quotes.
Clean gutters and trim trees
Remove leaves, acorns, sticks and other debris from your gutters to prevent “ice damming.” This occurs when water is unable to properly drain through the gutters and seeps into the house causing water to drip from the ceiling and walls. You may also consider installing gutter guards. Trim your trees and bushes to remove injured or dead branches. Ice, snow and wind can cause weak trees or branches to break. Standard homeowners policies cover damage from fallen trees. If a tree falls on your home, it doesn’t matter if the tree belongs to you or your neighbor. In either case, file a claim with your insurance company.
Remember when you buy a homeowners or a renters policy, you’re insuring the structure of your home and your personal belongings in your home. Once you have determined the best coverage for your family’s needs, you’re ready to obtain home insurance quotes. Call agents in your local area, contact several insurance companies directly or use insuranceQuotes.com to instantly get competitive insurance quotes from the nation’s leading insurance providers. Take the time to protect you and your family today.