NJ Homeowners Insurance Advice: Severe Weather Protection

 Having NJ homeowners insurance could be a lifesaver when Mother Nature decides to put on a show. Recently we have been sharing this great article via Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company. If you own a home, or would like to one day it is certainly worth the read! Check it out below!

Protect Your Home During Severe Weather

Energy costs, burst pipes, ice dams, chimney fires, and power outages
are all potential hazards during the winter months as a result of severe
weather. It is important to minimize the inconvenience and damage that

“A few precautions can help protect you from serious losses and
disruptions this season,” says Lyman Munson, vice president of risk
services at Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company. “Protecting your home is vital to keeping your family safe and comfortable in the winter months.”

Indoor floods

While home fires make headlines, water damage is more common and
often just as severe. The most frequent cause is faulty or broken pipes.
In fact, Fireman’s Fund Personal Risk Consultants see a surge in water
damage during the first three months of the year, when pipes are most
likely to freeze and burst. Be sure to insulate exposed pipes.

If you leave your home to spend time in warmer climates or even just
a weekend on the ski slopes, always leave the heat on in your home and
set it to at least 55 degrees. Don’t let high fuel prices tempt you into
going lower. The pipes that come in through your foundation or run
through external walls can reach temperatures much lower than the
setting on your thermostat. Have someone check on your home while you
are away.

A foolproof way to protect your home from broken or leaking pipes at
any time of year is to install an automatic water shutoff system.
Attached to your home’s main incoming water line, the device senses
increased water flow caused by a burst pipe and automatically shuts the
system off. Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company recommends the Leak Defense
System from Sentinel Hydrosolutions, LLC and the FloLogic System. A
premium discount is available to policyholders who use this system, so
let your insurance agent know if you install one.

Back up generators

Power outages can cause many problems from food spoilage to basement
flooding. Install back-up generators to power all of your home’s
critical systems including sump pumps, security and fire alarm systems,
and heating systems.

Chimney and furnace fires

While fire presents a year-round risk, certain causes of fire occur
more frequently during the winter. Chimneys, boilers and furnaces are
particular risks. Approximately 25,000 residential fires begin in a
fireplace or chimney every year, according to the Consumer Product
Safety Commission.

Why so many? Over time, a layer of unburned carbon-based residues
(sometimes referred to as fireplace creosote) builds up along the inside
walls of your chimney and can eventually catch fire. The solution is to
have a trusted, professional chimneysweep clean and inspect your
chimney annually.

An annual inspection is just as important for those with furnaces
and boilers. And remember, your furnace room should never be used for
general storage. Wood scraps, old books, paint, solvents and other
flammable liquids are significant fire hazards and should be removed and
stored elsewhere.

Ice dams and old trees

Snow and ice storms can create a number of potential threats to your
home. One of these is ice damming, which occurs in the days after a

Icicles hanging from your eaves, while they may be beautiful,
usually indicate that a dangerous ice dam has formed. An ice dam is a
build-up of ice that can form at the edge of your roof when snow melts
but is blocked from draining. When more snow melts and is trapped behind
this ice, the resulting water backup can soak through your roof and
cause damage to ceilings, walls and more. The most common causes of ice
dams are clogged gutters and insufficient insulation, both of which are
easy to remedy.

Mature trees on your property represent another potential hazard
during storms. Strong winds or frozen water that covers old branches
with a heavy coat of ice can lead to failure and collapse, a clear
threat to your home or other nearby structures. Have a trusted
horticultural expert take a look at your property’s mature trees and
prune or cut down unstable specimens.

For more advice on how to protect your home from winter’s severe weather, visitdisasteradvisor.ffido.com/microsite and www.facebook.com/disasterinfo. And for more information about NJ homeowners insurance feel free to get in touch with one of our agents here at American Insurance Services Agency!

-Robert Catalano