With the holidays behind us, many states in the U.S. are preparing for a long, cold, snowy and potentially dangerous winter season. Whether you have clients who celebrate the drop in temps and take advantage of the snow or you have clients who retreat from the snow, only to emerge in spring when the thaw starts to melt, there are hidden dangers for homeowners that should be prepared for when living in colder climates. Here are a few helpful suggestions to pass along to any of your homeowner clients if you live in a winter wonderland state!
MAKE SURE YOU'RE COVERED
Most people don't think about checking their policies regularly to make sure they're still covered but this is a prime time of year to do so. Encourage your clients to examine their insurance policies so they know what’s covered and what isn’t. Also suggest that they review their limits to make sure they have ENOUGH coverage.
It's also helpful to be mindful of the new year. Changes that happened over the past year might not be reflected on your client's insurance policies. Suggest that your clients make an annual review of their policies to make sure everything is correct and up-to-date will be helpful in the case of a claim.
We know that when it's cold enough for the water outside to freeze, there can also be problems with the water freezing inside our homes. Burst pipes are no joke for a homeowner. The results of a frozen and burst pipe can go from bad to worse FAST. Let your clients know that keeping their house at a minimum of 65˚ helps prevent pipes freezing. If you have clients who leave their residence for warmer weather in the winter, suggest that they leave a faucet dripping. This also helps to prevent pipes from freezing when the temps drop drastically.
For most clients, cars are a major asset and there are a few preventative measures they can easily take to try to protect that asset. If your clients live in a very cold and snowy region, suggest keeping their cars in a garage when available. In addition, clients should always let their cars warm up when it's been in freezing temps for a long period of time. And keeping the gas tank full will help prevent lines inside the car from freezing and causing damage.
Same as cars, boats are a huge expense that your clients are likely very willing to keep protected. Many people choose to store their boats in the off-season for various reasons, but even still, it's wise to peek in on them every few weeks to be sure nothing weather-related has taken place. Most boat owners take great pains to winterize their boats properly, but some damage from freezing may not be covered. It's wise to check this time of year!
As with anything, you'll want to be sure to encourage clients to keep their policy and claims info handy in case of any type of emergency, but as they say, the best defense is a good offense. Remind your clients that being proactive with winter prep can save them a lot of money and potential heartache.
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