Coverage for Water Damage-Homeowners vs Flood Policy

Most homeowners insurance policies do not cover flood damage – federal flood insurance does. Flood insurance also covers damage from mud flow, dirt and debris resulting from moving water.

 

A homeowners insurance policy provides coverage for many types of water damage including damage from broken pipes, heavy rains and storms, but it usually does not provide coverage for damage from flood.

 

Flood insurance is available in all 50 states, as long as your community participates in the National Flood Insurance Program and your home is not in a Coastal Barrier Resource System Area.

 

Don’t wait for an imminent flood to obtain flood insurance. Most flood policies have a 30-day waiting period before coverage begins.

 

You don’t need to live by water to be at risk. Anywhere it rains, it can flood. Over 20% of all flood claims occur in low- to moderate-risk areas.

 

A home in a high-risk flood area has a 26% chance of being damaged by flood during the course of a 30-year mortgage. That same home only has a 9% chance of a fire.

 

 

Visit our website at https://batesins.com for additional information.

5 Tricks to Avoid Frozen Pipes

When it is too late to insulate, try these 5 tricks to avoid frozen pipes:

1. Use the hair dryer. Freezing pipes can be warmed by moving a hair dryer across the pipe, but be careful to not hold the nozzle in one place
for long.

2. Open your closet. Some water pipes may be located in the wall behind a closet. By opening the door and taking things out of the closet, you allow heat from the living areas to penetrate the wall and reach the pipes.

3. Open cabinet doors. This lets warm air circulate to the water lines under the faucet.

4. Shut off the water. If there is no heat due to a power outage, shut off the supply line. If you’re traveling during the winter, even for a day or two, shut off the main.

5. Run the water. Periodically run the faucet and flush the toilets, as this moves standing water in both the inbound and outbound pipes. Don’t forget you may need to get up and do this in the middle of the night as well. And because moving water is less likely to freeze, you can let the water run just a trickle at all times.

See our website for more tips:  http://batesins.com

Is Your Home Ready for Winter?-Part 3

In this part we discuss a different hazard of the winter season.

Firing Up A Hearty Loss

Do you own a fireplace, wood-burning stove or portable heater? What about a gas or an electric furnace? If so, you need to take steps to make sure that they are safe and used properly. This should be done well before the arrival of the heating season.

Have your furnace inspected to make sure that it will operate properly in cold weather. Clean filters and vents will go a long way to keep your furnace a source or warmth rather than a cause of a fire loss. An inspection should also make certain that your furnace is not a creating a dangerous carbon monoxide buildup.

Fireplaces and wood-burning stoves should also be inspected and, if necessary, thoroughly cleaned. Creosote, a tar-like byproduct of burning wood, builds up in chimney and stove flues very quickly. Even a single wood-burning season could produce enough buildup to create a fire or severe smoke hazard. Don’t do the inspection yourself. It’s worth the cost to have a professional inspect and clean your fireplace or stove. Also, make sure that you don’t burn softwood or paper. Using anything other than hard woods exposes your fireplace or stove to quicker creosote buildup (softwood) or more intense heat (paper), which could clog or contribute to cracking a flue or liner.

Be very careful with the use of portable heaters. Depending upon the type, they can be prone to malfunction or could be a hazardous source of burns, especially for children. Further, many types can be easily tipped with the combination of heat source and fuels, creating a serious fire hazard.

Finally, make sure you have fire/smoke and carbon monoxide detectors properly installed and in good working order. Test them and put in new batteries. Small expense, big payoff.

As always, insurance professional is a valuable source of safety and insurance information. Don’t hesitate to contact an agent to discuss your questions. If you haven’t had the chance, please be sure to read parts one and two of “Is Your Home Winter Ready” which discusses other winter concerns.

Check out other valuable tips on our website:  https://batesins.com

Is Your Home Ready For Winter-Part 2

In this part we discuss an important legal responsibility created for homeowners by the winter season.

Creating A Clear Liability

Snow doesn’t show favoritism. Instead of conveniently falling onto unused areas, it covers homes, sidewalks and driveways. As a responsible homeowner you should arrange to make travel across your property safe. This calls for clearing your walkways of snow and ice. It is also important to clear your property of items such as rakes, shovels, tools, toys and similar items. Remember that it takes only a small amount of snow to hide items that, during clear conditions, are easily seen and avoided. So take time to move such property and make repairs to uneven or cracked pavement.

Keep in mind that clearing walkways (including stairs) is an invitation for pedestrians to use the path. So, once you clear an area, it has to be kept clear and safe, especially from ice. Also, avoid creating piles of snow that can block either a driver’s or a pedestrian’s view. Finally, be sure that your property is safe for children who are enjoying winter. Don’t allow children to slide around without being aware of pedestrians or motorized traffic and don’t let anyone throw snow or ice balls at cars (you could be sued for any accident caused by careless play) related from the use of your property or premises.

Don’t forget the inside of your home. Visitors should be kept safe from harm. Be sure to keep interior stairs and floors clear of the watery remains of melted snow. Keep things dry and consider using mats that provide good traction and an area where folks can clear snow and ice from their shoes or boots.

As always, an insurance professional is a valuable source of safety and insurance information. Don’t hesitate to contact an agent to discuss your questions. If you haven’t had the chance, please be sure to read parts one and three of “Is Your Home Winter Ready” which discusses other winter concerns.

For more safety tips check out our website at http://batesins.com

Is Your Home Ready For Winter-Part 1

Because we live in a climate that includes cold winters, you know the season creates special challenges for homeowners. In this article, we discuss an icy situation.

Ice Dams

An ice dam refers to ice that has formed along a roof’s edge. The dam of ice blocks additional water and the pooling water backs up and finds pathways into a home’s interior. This water may cause deterioration and decay to interior wood and plaster, drywall or other insulation materials. Once an ice dam has forced paths into a home, the roof becomes more susceptible to future ice dams and water damage.

Too much heat rising from the home to warm the roof is the most frequent cause of ice dams. The process occurs unevenly with the warmer area at the higher part of the roof melting the snow and then the cooler, lower area, particularly the roof edge, permitting the water to refreeze and then accumulate. Inadequate insulation lets too much heat escape into the attic and this creates a warmer roof. Improper ventilation creates moisture and heat buildup due to the lack of air movement.

How To Detect A Problem

Compare the way the snow is melting from the living area of your home with how snow appears on the roof over an unheated area such as a garage or shed. How does any snow coverage on your roof compare with your neighbors’ homes? Check for icicles. They can be pretty, but heavy icicle buildup means that interior heat is melting a lot of snow and may contribute to ice dams.

How To Prevent Ice Dams

There are a number of ways to help prevent ice dams:

  • Clear excess snow from the roof. However, in order to minimize damage to the roof and roofing, hire a professional to remove the snow.
  • Add rubberized or special roofing adhesives to help prevent pooled water on the roof from finding entry into the home’s interior.
  • Inspect the attic and roof for cracks, holes, or joints that permit warm air to escape to the roof, and seal or repair these areas.
  • Add the recommended amount of insulation to the attic and exterior walls of your home to minimize escaping heat (this also reduces your heating costs).
  • Reduce your home’s thermostat and throw on warmer clothing during extended cold spells.
  • Clear your gutters and downspouts so that water is properly shed off your roof.

As always, our staff is a valuable source of safety and insurance information. Don’t hesitate to contact our office to discuss your questions. Look for Parts 2 and 3 of this discussion in upcoming blogs.  For mor information check out our website at http://batesins.com

Flood Prevention: Gutters and Downspouts

Is your gutter system working how it should? Watch for a few things you should check to avoid flooding and costly repairs.

Inspect all of the gutters around your house to make sure that they’re free of leaves or any other debris that may obstruct the flow of rainwater.

Check your downspouts to make sure they’re long enough to carry the water away from your house. If water is pooling around your foundation after a heavy rain, longer downspouts may be necessary.

If your gutters feed to underground drainage systems, check the drain grates to make sure they’re not clogged.

Check all connections between gutter sections and downspouts to make sure that nothing has become disconnected.

check out our website for more helpfull tips:  http://batesins.com

 

Prepare Your Seasonal Home for Winter

10 Tips for Closing Your Seasonal Home: Unplug appliances and turn off the home’s electrical power at the main breaker. Clean out the refrigerator and prop the door open.

Turn off water at the main line, even if your seasonal home is in a warmer climate. No one will be around to find plumbing leaks.

Store lawn furniture, grills, tools and other items inside. If that isn’t possible, cover with plastic and secure in a protected location.

Clean leaves and debris out of the gutters so rain water drains away from the house.

 Have sprinkler lines blown out, drain all water from outside hoses and cover outdoor faucets with insulation.

Turn off your home’s propane or natural gas. Get help from a professional if you aren’t sure what to do.

Set out small containers of charcoal or cat littler in every room to absorb moisture and odors.

Arrange to have mail forwarded and stop all other regular deliveries. Ask a neighbor to pick up any items in your mailbox or on your porch.

Keep valuable items out of view from the street and yard. Move them away from windows or hide them in a closet.

Find someone who will drop by on occasion to make sure your seasonal home is secure. Be sure they know how to reach you.

Check out our website for more important tips:  http://batesins.com