Connecticut is known for its scenic foliage, rich history, and savory cuisine (lobster rolls, anyone?). Our great state is also known for wind storms, tornadoes, hurricanes, and blizzards. The United States suffered 10 weather disaster events in just the first half of 2020, causing over $1 billion each.* How do you protect your family? Prepare your emergency kit with a flashlight, battery-powered radio, and spare batteries, and call Waitte’s Insurance for a quote so you can be ready to weather the storm.
It has been a brutal winter in the Eastern part of the United States with New England states receiving the brunt of the snow and nasty weather. In one day, Worcester Massachusetts had 31.9 inches of snow on January 27th, which came on top of several other feet of snow this winter. Thompson, Connecticut had over 30 inches on that day too. Communities and states went from worrying about trying to dig out from the snow to trying to figure out where they were going to put it all when they did remove it.
Although most New Englander’s may not think so right now, there is another problem around the corner that could be as bad as snow: eventually the snow will melt and municipalities and their citizens will have to face the problem of flooding. People who live near rivers and along the coast face dangers of melting snow and ice creating run-off conditions that can cause as much or more damage to homes than the excessive snow from this winter.
In preparation for impending urban flooding due to the snow, there are things that homeowners can do to in advance:
*Check for flood insurance policies to ensure you have appropriate coverage in case flooding does occur and you’ll be covered for property damage.
*Move snow away from your home’s foundation to keep water from running into the basement when the snow does begin to melt at a fast rate.
*Clear drains and downspouts so water can go where intended and not create a backup of melted water.
*Remove area rugs and store them so that they won’t get wet and mold won’t grow on them.
*Make certain that sump pumps are working appropriately.
*Know where the electricity shutoff is so that if your home does flood, you can make your home safer.
*Have an emergency preparedness kit ready.
While you’re checking your insurance policies to ensure you’re covered for flooding, double check to be certain you have appropriate coverage for storms too. It may not seem like it when we’re still digging out from the yet another blizzard, but flood and storm season really are right around the corner.
Waitte’s Insurance doesn’t want you to get blindsided by the potential disastrous costs of property damage due to melting snow. Insure your property from mother nature by reviewing your current policy, or call our office at (860) 886-1961 to see which flood insurance policy could save you money and aggravation come Springtime.
Traditionally in New England, the period of time that leaves your home the most susceptible to flood damage is during the rainy spring season. Most often in March and April, consistent downpours and minimal sunshine can create a world of problems for homeowners. But as all Connecticut locals will tell you, if you don’t like the weather, just wait a few minutes. As unpredictable as the four seasons can be in this region of the U.S. there are always preventative measures for protecting your home, automobiles, and of course, your loved ones during unfavorable weather conditions. In regards to an excess of water threatening your home, you’ll want to keep a few things in mind in the effort to prevent flood damage.
6 Simple Ways You Can Prevent Flood Damage to Your Home
Shovel Snow Away From Your Foundation:
This issue is particularly relevant to New England homeowners. With how drastically temperatures can rise during the transition into spring, snow mounds leftover from previous winter storms can melt at an expedited rate. Move all remaining snow away from your home so that it doesn’t melt into your foundation and cause damage.
Repair/Protect Your Roof:
Any necessary repairs to your roof should be made well ahead of the rainy season. Simply putting a bucket underneath a leak in your ceiling only masks the problem. Leaks that may appear to be small will inevitably get bigger and cause extensive damage to your roof. Schedule a maintenance check on your roof and fix any and all problematic areas. Not to be used in place of repairs, but large tarps can provide a temporary solution to cover weak spots that are prone to leakage. Investing in a rubber roof underlayment could also prevent widespread damage.
Gutters clogged with debris, such as leaves and mud, are completely useless. The main purpose of gutters on your home is to detract rainfall away from your foundation and prevent flood damage. To allow water to properly flow and escape through your gutters, make sure to remove large clumps of debris and clear away blockages using a garden hose if possible. This project will typically require a ladder so ALWAYS use caution when cleaning your gutters.
Invest in Sandbags:
Burlap bags filled with sand can work wonderfully for blocking water from entering your home. Piling large mounds of these bags around every inch of your home’s foundation isn’t necessary. However, sandbags can be very effective in keeping water away from easily accessible entrances to your home, such as basement doors.
Elevate Expensive Equipment/Possessions:
During any threat of flooding, devise a plan for certain electronics, furniture, appliances and other valuable items to be raised out of areas that are prone to flooding. For larger items such as washing machines, this may be a difficult task, but raised platforms for temporary placement can protect many of your pricier belongings. All electrical items should also be unplugged during a flooding occurrence.
Document All Possessions:
Irreplaceable items such as gifts with sentimental value should always be in a waterproof and elevated location. For possessions that can be replaced but are expensive in nature, properly document and appraise them so that they can be submitted in an insurance claim in the event that flooding damages them. Certain items may not be covered under your current homeowners insurance policy, so you may want to consider looking into Personal Articles coverage for particular valuables.
Connecticut and its surrounding states must always be on alert for ever-changing weather conditions. Whether you are stocking up on salt for the winter or collecting sandbags to prevent flood damage, your home is one investment that needs continuous tender, love and care. Stop a disaster before it even starts by not only preparing your home for unforeseen storms and flooding but also with sufficient insurance coverage.
If you’re in the market for a new homeowners insurance policy or you simply wish to review your current policy, Waitte’s Insurance Agency is always there! Maintain peace-of-mind for your home and family by calling our office at (860) 886-1961.
So you say you’ve never had to file any homeowner’s insurance claims. (knock on wood!) If you fall into this category, then you’re one of the fortunate ones. However, as long as you’re aware that disasters can occur at any moment, you’re more prone to take precautions to lessen the blow whenever the need to file a claim may pop up. Even the most common damages or injuries that occur inside or around the home can be minimalized with a few simple preventative measures. Check out some of the ways you can decrease the likelihood of having to file a claim on your home.
Prevent Damage, Injury, and Costly Homeowner’s Insurance Claims Against…
With a lack of caution, unpredictable weather such as wind, rain, hail, snow and other storms can force the need to file homeowner’s insurance claims.
– Purchase and install storm doors and windows. Always keep them securely locked during any type of storm.
– Prepare proper storage for outdoor furniture, lawn ornaments, potted plants, or any light-weight yard items. Things such as deck tables or potted plants can not only get damaged themselves but can become dangerous when thrown around by extremely high winds.
– Lightning can also pose a threat. Install lightning rods to avoid as many lightning strikes as possible. Use surge protectors and unplug unnecessary electronics during a storm.
– During the winter, accumulated snow can wreak havoc on homes, especially those with flat roofs. Clear off your roof any time there is snowfall. Just a foot of snow can weaken a flat roof to the point of collapse.
– Hire a licensed professional to trim any tree branches that hang over your home. Branches can become weakened and snap from intense winds or added weight from snowfall.
Water damage is not typically covered by standard homeowner’s insurance; therefore, you often need a separate policy.
– Rain gutters should be relatively new and installed securely. Aim gutter reservoirs as far away from your home’s foundation as possible. Clear all gutters of leaves, mud and other debris at least twice a year to allow water to flow easily.
– Regularly inspect outdoor water hoses, spouts and other things that discharge water. Pay attention to details while looking for wet spots or leaks.
– Have your roof inspected annually, as the smallest leak can quickly escalate into a much larger problem.
– Seek professional assistance at the first sight of leaks coming from your sinks, toilets, showers, or other indoor piping. Especially in regards to plumbing, repairs will only increase in cost and aggravation the longer you put them off.
Fire damage to your home can be devastating, but it is also one of the most preventable disasters.
– Unplug electronics when they are not in use.
– Damaged electrical cords should be replaced immediately.
– Keep furnaces, space heaters, fireplaces, and other heat sources properly maintained and far away from flammable objects and furniture. Never leave heating sources or flames, such as candles, unattended.
– For smokers, try to smoke outside whenever possible. In case you do smoke indoors, thoroughly extinguish your cigarette/cigar
and its ashes with water. Never smoke when you are sleepy.
– Set a timer with an alarm whenever using an oven, stovetop or grill to remind you that it is on. Never wear loose-fit clothing when cooking.
– Keep all lighters and flame sources stored away and out of reach of children.
– Connecticut state law requires smoke detectors to be installed on each floor of your home. As an extra precaution, install these detectors in each bedroom as well. Test them every month to make sure they are working properly.
– Store fire extinguishers at each end of the house. Check their gauges monthly and replace them right away if they are inoperable. (see image on right)
If someone is injured on your property, you may be liable depending on the circumstances.
– Clear all ice/snow from walkways and doorsteps during the winter.
– Rearrange electrical chords, furniture or other objects that can be a tripping hazard.
– Replace any loose or broken floorboards, stairs, handrails or driveway divots that can cause injury.
– Swimming pools should be completely fenced in with a locking gate.
– Properly secure any hanging decorations or furniture that can potentially fall and injure someone.
– Dog owners can be liable if their pet bites someone on your property. The best solution for this is to properly train your dog to not be aggressive, but if that is not in the cards, keep your dog fenced in your yard and display a “Beware of Dog” sign on the fence.
Prevention is key! It doesn’t require a lot of effort to safeguard your home and side-step the most common homeowner’s insurance claims. In some instances, your home may require additional coverage in the form of a Personal Umbrella. If you believe this might be the case for you, please contact us today for a quote!