Top Insurance Claims Seen During Winter in Michigan
As winter blankets Michigan in a layer of snow and causes temperatures to plunge, individuals and families may face unique challenges that often lead to increased insurance claims. From icy roads to frozen pipes, the winter season brings about a range of issues that may lead to costly incidents.
Common Insurance Claims
Whether considering homeowners, auto or other insurance policies, there are many common incidents related to the harsh winter conditions of Michigan that could necessitate filing a claim, such as the following:
- Water damage—Michigan’s frigid winter temperatures can cause pipes to freeze and burst, leading to significant water damage in homes. In addition, rapid snowmelt and ice dams may also cause flooding.
- Roof damage—Accumulation of heavy snow on roofs can pose a threat to their structural integrity. Claims related to roof damage, such as leaks or collapses, become more prevalent during winter.
- Falling trees and tree limbs—The strong winds and heavy snow of winter can put a strain on trees and their branches. These incidents could cause catastrophic damage to homes or automobiles, making claims against insurance policies necessary.
- Fires—Increased use of fireplaces, space heaters and candles can represent significant fire risks during the winter. Even a small blaze could wreak havoc on a policyholder’s home and possessions, potentially forcing temporary relocation.
- Accidents on the road—Icy roads, darker conditions, poorer visibility and increased activity of deer can all present significant hazards during Michigan winters, contributing to an increase in auto accidents and subsequent claims.
Minimizing the Risk of Having to File a Claim
While insurance policies can provide crucial financial protection from out-of-pocket expenses and losses, needing to file a claim at all could lead to higher premiums or even cancellation of coverage. As such, avoiding incidents altogether should be a top priority. Consider the following winter safety tips:
- Drive slowly. Practice safe and defensive driving by slowing down during inclement conditions, allowing your car to warm up before getting on the road and increasing the distance you follow other vehicles.
- Practice home fire safety. Never leave flames burning unattended and position space heaters and other heat sources away from flammable objects. Avoid overloading any outlets or extension cords, and test smoke detectors regularly.
- Keep water flowing. Frozen pipes can burst and cause catastrophic water damage. To help prevent this from happening, run water through faucets regularly.
- Look out for dangerous trees. Inspect your property for potentially problematic trees or limbs, especially those that might hang over your roof or appear leaning to one side.
- Hire professionals. In some cases, you may want to enlist the assistance of qualified professionals to inspect the condition of your fireplace and chimney.
- Review coverage. The capabilities and limitations of insurance policies can vary, making it necessary for Michigan residents to regularly reassess their needs and ensure they are adequately covered.
At DeVette & Ford Insurance Agency Inc., we have the knowledge and experience to help you assess and address your coverage needs. Contact us today to learn more.
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.