Insurance Considerations – Winter Special Edition

It gets cold across the Eastern Seaboard. It’s always been important to protect oneself from the approaching winter. And winter is costly too. Winter storms caused insured damage worth $6 billion in 2022, according to Insurance Information Institute reports. In storm situations, winter damage consists primarily of snowing, freezing, and flooding. Some of these conditions can be fatal. Others can lead to homeowners having to lose a lot of money in repair work.

In the current scenario, US news reported that insured losses totaled $34 billion in the first half of the year. This is due to the exposure to rapidly changing environmental conditions and frequent weather damage.

Clearly, it is crucially important to know more about the insurance policies that homeowners and small business owners can turn to for help if the worst were to happen. There is a strong need to reevaluate the insurance portfolio before winter begins and take necessary protection before any mishaps.

Various challenges winter brings for homeowners and small business owners

Winter can present several anticipated and unexpected challenges for homeowners, car owners, and small business owners. Let us take a closer look at them below:

  • Property damage

One of the most serious issues in winter is property damage. Americans who live in some of the colder parts of the country do plan ahead of time for the winter season. They know that heavy snowfalls can cause roof damage, snow accumulation on walls and soil, deck and porch damage, and other issues that can jeopardize structures and peace of mind. Things can even take a drastic turn if the entire structure is damaged by storms or floods.

  • Water/ heat system damage

Water and heating system failures are two of the most common problems that people face during the winter. Repair costs can go up at this time as it can be difficult to find the right/ in-budget handyman for the job during the holidays. Frozen pipes, sewer overflow, roof leaks, water contamination, and other problems can cause significant damage during the winter season. Similarly, heating systems can fail during winter, when they are most needed to withstand the cold winds. This can include boiler failure, thermoset failure, heat pump freezing, and so on. Fixing these issues and their aftermath can prove a costly exercise for home and business owners.

  • Power outages

We now know that regions across the nation are known to face power outages during peak winter conditions and the situation is unlikely to change this year. Power outages or failures can be extremely inconvenient for both homeowners and small business owners. Apart from the electrical damage to crucial appliances that can result in power outages, there can also be damage to stored goods and materials. This can be extremely distressing for homeowners or business owners.

  • Accidents

Accidents are common during the winter season. According to reports, approximately 1,300 people are killed and 116,800 are injured in snow or sleet-related crashes. Car accidents happen more frequently due to snowy roads and “black ice”. This raises the prospect of injuries, damages to vehicles and property, and even fatalities.

Slips and falls also occur more frequently due to slick stairs or decks. This can result in significant liabilities for any business owner or homeowner if a customer/ guest is injured while visiting the property. As a result, staying safe and maintaining the property’s premises is critical.

Insurance policies for the winter

  • Liability coverage

The most important insurance policy to obtain or renew during the winter season is general liability coverage. During normal proceedings or workdays in winters, there is a high risk of accidents occurring and others being injured. With liability coverage, homeowners and small business owners can pay for any liability, legal fees, medical compensation, and so on.

Whether it is personal or commercial property insurance, the winter season necessitates a thorough review of the property insurance. It is critical to assess the covered aspects and whether any additional support is required for other additional spaces such as a porch, garage, etc. With the right property insurance, one can easily pay for rebuilding or refurbishing a property. In many cases or insurance policies, temporary relocation is also covered.

  • Business income insurance

During the winter season, businesses may be forced to close due to heavy storms because of disruption in operations and factory damage. Business income insurance is a simple way to replace lost income due to repair work or a loss of basic business amenities. In some cases, business income insurance may also cover expenses such as moving to a temporary location for running day-to-day business operations.

Auto insurance is one of the most important things to have during the winter season. With so many crashes occurring during the season, it is critical to invest in quality auto insurance. Commercial as well as personal auto insurance for business owners can assist an individual in paying for any medical or legal expenses that may arise as a result of a road accident. If a family drives a personal/ single-owner vehicle, umbrella insurance is also a good policy to purchase. This is because if someone without auto insurance is involved in an accident then there is no way to avoid financial ruin as no claim can be made.

Winters are extremely harsh on people and their assets. Before the winter season arrives, every individual and small business owner should reevaluate their insurance needs. During the changing seasons, risk management analysis and portfolio evaluation are critical. If you are a homeowner or a small business owner who needs an insurance profile assessment to increase your protection level, please contact us.