article image 11-3-22.jpgAdjusting Property Insurance for Winter

November 3, 2022

Winter wreaks havoc on property, but as an insurance agent, you’re in the perfect position to help owners keep their assets safe. From community associations to condo owners, everyone needs the right insurance. By imparting your knowledge, you can help insureds get the most effective coverage and even avoid some of the most expensive winter problems. Reaching out to your community is an excellent way to offer assistance, boost your reputation and even gain a few clients. As you discuss adjusting property insurance, don't forget to mention the following points.

Community Associations Also Need Insurance

Like businesses, community associations face legal liability if someone gets injured on their property. As cold weather sets in, the risk of slips and falls increases, prompting associations to review their current coverage.

Of course, thorough community association coverage should include the following in addition to general liability:

  • Employee benefits
  • Property
  • Directors and Officers
  • Non-Owned and Hired Auto
  • Equipment Breakdown
  • Crime

Some associations hesitate to increase coverage due to costs, so it's essential to point out that a comprehensive policy can save money in the long run, as entities won't have to pay out-of-pocket for damage or court costs.

Homeowners Should Review Coverage Before Winter

Homeowners should also review their policies to ensure they have proper coverage. For example, they may need property and casualty insurance to protect them. As an insurance agent, you can explain the many benefits of these policies to your insured, highlighting the various services insurance pays for should their home incur water damage or a guest break a bone on the premises.

Winter months are also rough on roofs, as the weight of snow, combined with water damage, can cause leaks and even sagging. Replacing a roof is extremely expensive, so good insurance is vital if homeowners have concerns.

Homeowners Can Protect Their Property From Winter Woes

Of course, as an insurance agent, you must make it clear to your clients that policies cover unexpected events, not damage from negligence. Homeowners must perform regular maintenance on their properties, including tasks specific to cold weather:

  • Insulating pipes
  • Draining and shutting down sprinkler systems
  • Clearing gutters

Clients may also consider weatherstripping, upgraded appliances, and smart thermostats to reduce energy usage, as higher energy consumption levels can result in power outages. Without a backup generator, homes could be without electricity for days, posing serious problems for residents trying to stay warm and keep their properties safe.

Community Associations Can Help Homeowners Prevent Winter Damage

Homeowners are responsible for maintaining their individual properties, but community associations safeguard their neighborhoods. For example, an HOA can contract snow removal companies to clear public areas such as roads, sidewalks, and community parks. These associations may also enact rules about home and lawn maintenance. Doing so ensures residents keep their walkways clear of ice, trim dead branches and remove dangerous icicles from gutters. ◼