Each season brings unique risks for homeowners, especially in Minnesota, where residents experience all four seasons. Winter brings below-zero temperatures, icy and snowy conditions, and bone-chilling winds. These conditions can wreak havoc on Minnesota homes and potentially lead to burst or frozen pipes and ice dams, which can cause significant dwelling and personal property damage.
Learn more about these two common winter-related home insurance claims, including how to prevent them and how to check whether your existing policy covers such incidents.
Claim #1: Burst or Frozen Pipes
The extreme cold temperatures in Minnesota winters can leave your home’s pipes at risk of freezing or bursting. Water expands as it freezes and puts significant pressure on the metal or plastic pipes that hold it. Water from a burst pipe can cause damage to carpeting, short out electrical appliances and ruin furniture.
While your specific policy may cover the costs of a burst or frozen pipe up to the policy limits, you may receive coverage only if you’ve taken reasonable steps to prevent this from happening. First and foremost, you should ensure that your home is heated to at least 55 degrees Fahrenheit. Next, you should let your faucet drip on the coldest days and open doors or cabinets in your home to expose pipes to the home’s heat. Consider wrapping pipes in insulated foam and using valve units on external water spouts.
Claim #2: Ice Dams
Although they may look pretty, icicles on the eaves of your home are not only dangerous, but they could be an indication that you have an ice dam—a ridge of ice that’s forming at the edge of your roof. This ice dam prevents water from draining correctly, causing water to pool and collect on your roof, which can lead to costly water damage.
Some ways to prevent ice dams include ensuring your attic is properly insulated to help seal spots where heated air could leak up to your roof, causing snow to melt and refreeze. You should also clean out your gutters before winter starts and keep them clear so melting snow can drain properly. Avoid climbing on your roof to scrape off snow, as it can weaken your roof. Call a roofing specialist for more information.
Are You Covered?
Sometimes, even if you’ve taken the proper precautions, incidents can happen. That’s where the right home insurance policy can help. Call Abbott Insurance Agency LLC today to review your policy and check whether you’re protected if you experience an ice dam or burst or frozen pipes this winter. We’re proud to serve residents in Minneapolis, St Paul, Bloomington, Burnsville, Brooklyn Park, Brooklyn Center, Minnetonka and Eden Prairie.
This blog is intended for informational and educational use only. It is not exhaustive and should not be construed as legal advice. Please contact your insurance professional for further information.