Some things to consider as temperatures drop into freezing conditions:
A recent study by Travelers Insurance found that: "water damage claims are 10 times more likely than fire damage".
The most common sources of interior claims tend to be related to freezing and cracking of ice maker lines, washing machine hoses, and toilet flex-lines. This type of loss is covered under a Homeowner Insurance policy, but the homeowner is required to use reasonable care to:
(a) Maintain heat in the building; or
(b) Shut off the water supply and drain all systems and appliances of water.
While a house is unoccupied during freezing weather, water damage can often be prevented by taking a few simple preventative steps:
* Thermostats should be set at 55 degrees. It is a good idea to go ahead and shut off the flex-lines to toilets, refrigerators, and washing machines. Some additional steps that can be taken are leaving sink cabinets open to further prevent freezing. Also having a neighbor check on your house, especially if power goes out is a great plan. A power outage may deactivate your thermostat program.
* If leaving for a prolonged vacation or for the season, make sure to have your home winterized by a plumber. This includes shutting off your water supply and draining all appliances and plumbing.
* Inspect your house on an annual basis and look for bulging, cracking, corrosion, and leaks. Also inspect washing machine line hoses (replace every five years), leaks around water heaters, ice maker connections, toilet flex-lines, sink plumbing areas, and air conditioning units.
These few simple steps may help you prevent an unwanted water damage claim in the middle of winter. Keeping your home in well maintained and loss free is rewarded by most insurance companies with a loss free discount.
Have a Wonderful Winter,