Homeowner’s Insurance Policies: Do You Have Good Coverage For Your Home?

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Have you checked your homeowners’ insurance policy lately? Many homeowners-including myself-believe we have enough coverage to withstand a catastrophe in our homes.  The reality though is far from it.  There are many insurance companies that can sell you flood insurance for your home, but you have to make certain you ask and pay for that type of insurance, or chances are you will have none.  Looking over the coverage your home has, and making changes or adding other types of coverage to your policy may be a good decision to make.

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 Winter damage control: Know your homeowner’s insurance policy

Insurance professionals say it’s important to know what is covered under your homeowner’s policy as snow, ice and subzero temperatures are often linked to winter weather damage.

Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner Teresa Miller recommends that consumers review their homeowners insurance ahead of time to make sure they are prepared.

“Most standard homeowners insurance policies should cover damage to homes typically caused by winter storms, such as a collapse caused by the weight of ice or snow, or water damage caused by burst pipes or ice jams in gutters and downspouts, which prevent proper drainage of water,” Miller said.

Homeowners policies should also cover damage from fallen trees or tree limbs. Miller suggests that consumers check with their insurer before removing fallen trees, to see if the cost is covered.

Mark Luba, marketing director at Baker’s Waterproofing and Foundation Repair in Bentleyville, said he’s received an increase in the number of calls for this time of year from people living in the southern counties it services.

How to protect your pipes from freezing

It’s a job that’s been the butt of jokes (pun intended), but when the temperatures crash below zero this weekend, no one will be joking around about plumbers.

Freezing temperatures are a water pipe’s nemesis, which is why I always tell my clients: Ice expands, pipes don’t. Every winter some 250,000 families in the United States see at least one room in their home damaged by water pipes freezing and breaking, according to State Farm Fire and Casualty Co.

As freezing water expands, it causes the pressure inside the pipes to increase, often resulting in a pipe break. A pipe will not usually burst at the frozen part, but somewhere between the freeze and the faucet.The ice blockage can cause thousands of pounds of water pressure to build up. Just one pipe burst can unleash gallons of water to run behind walls and ceilings, causing thousands of dollars in damage to your house and personal items. The good news is that many home insurance policies will cover the damage.

The ice dam cometh. Are you ready?

After the winter we had, our motto became: “Ice dams be damned.”

My husband and I spent the summer with a parade of roofers and insulation contractors trying to figure out how to prevent our home from being ringed by icicles again.
We had icicles everywhere: the front, the side, the back. They stretched from 2 inches to two stories tall. One time I got so annoyed at one that I tried to knock it down with a snow shovel. I nearly got speared. Don’t ever try this at home.But the icicles weren’t just a nuisance. They were destroying the house. They were the telltale signs of ice dams, which form during periods of heavy snowfall followed by a stretch of freezing temperatures.

The heat in your house rises and escapes through the attic, and it melts the snow on your roof. When the melted water flows to the edge of your roof, it will refreeze and form icicles. If this keeps happening, your house will probably develop an ice dam. That means water will back up under the shingles and then try to find a way out, usually inside your house.



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