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Nerdwallet addresses common winter insurance claims

From burst pipes to fallen tree branches, there are lots of things that happen in the winter you can be mindful of and even prepare for.
Published: Feb. 9, 2022 at 10:11 AM EST
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(InvestigateTV) -- If damaging winter weather hit close to home, would you know what to do?

From burst pipes to fallen tree branches, there are lots of things that happen in the winter you can be mindful of and even prepare for. Ben Moore, an insurance expert with Nerdwallet, helped us put together a list of the top things that cause a homeowner’s insurance claims to be filed this time of year and number one is burst water pipes.

Moore said a homeowner’s insurance policy will cover the accidental water damage from a burst water pipe, but it’s crucial to understand that you need to take some steps in order for that claim to be approved.

“They need to maintain their home’s temperature to a minimum of 55 degrees during the coldest days of the year and then also if the pipe does burst a homeowner needs to take action to make sure no further damage happens from the burst pipe,” Moore explained.

You’ll need to document that you turned off your water valve. Ice dams forming on roofs is another cause of damage and a claim. Most insurance policies will cover this, but making sure your attic is sufficiently insulated is key.

Another cause of a claim is fallen tree branches.

“Your dwelling coverage will cover damage to your home, but let’s say a branch falls on your fence or your shed. Your other structures policy is going to cover damage to those structures,” Moore added.

Moore said keeping trees trimmed regularly, so they don’t extend over the home or other structures on the property also helps. House fires are the other major cause of winter claims. Homeowner’s insurance policies will typically cover this if the fire was not intentional. Also, loss of use coverage can help pay for hotel bills and additional living expenses if the home is uninhabitable due to smoke or reconstruction.