5 Common Insurance Hazards to Prepare for This Spring - NYCM Insurance Blog

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Mar 19, 2021

5 Common Insurance Hazards to Prepare for This Spring


From Rainstorms to Potholes, These Tips Can Help to Prepare You Against Common Springtime Insurance Claims

 

For many people, the season of spring is eagerly welcomed after a long and cold winter. However, as many seasoned homeowners are aware, along with warmer temperatures and bright sunny days, spring can also bring its own set of issues. Continue reading to learn more about what insurance hazards are most common during the spring, and how to best prepare for them!

 

1. Flooding


April showers may bring May flowers but they can also lead to major issues in and out of flood zones. It’s important to note that there is a difference between flood damage and water damage. While flood damage is typically caused by rainwater or overflowing bodies of water, actual water damage is more often caused by roof leaks, broken pipes and other home maintenance related issues. If you live in a residential flood zone, there is a good chance your mortgage company required you to purchase flood insurance while applying for the loan. In most cases, regular homeowners insurance will not cover damage caused by flooding.

While flood damage is not 100% preventable, there are a few things you can do to lessen the likelihood of your home flooding:

 

      Install foundation vents or a sump pump

      Apply extra coatings of sealant to your foundation, walls, windows and doorways

      Grade your lawn away from your house

      Point downspouts away from your home

 

2. Fallen Trees 


High winds and lightning storms have the potential to cause some real damage to your home and property. According to a study conducted by Kent State University, there were nearly 400 deaths due to tree-related incidents from 1995 - 2007. This is not including the non-death related falling-tree incidents. It’s important to make sure your home and vehicles are both insured properly so that you will be covered in the event that a tree or tree branch were to fall on them. While we can’t control the weather, there are a few things you can do to help the trees on your property better withstand these natural events. 


      Remove dead or partially attached branches that are hung high enough to potentially fall and cause damage or injury

      Remove cracked stems and forked branches

      Remove trees with hollow or decayed areas on the trunk or main limbs

      Remove trees that have mold or mushrooms growing from the bark as it could indicate a decaying or weakened internal structure

      Remove trees with heaving soil at the tree base as this can indicate an unsecure root system

 

3. Potholes 


As spring approaches, it is not uncommon to see more potholes in the road. Unfortunately, these can ruin a vehicle’s tires and even damage the wheel or frame of a vehicle if hit hard enough. Collision coverage will often cover pothole damage although it is best to consult your insurance agent about what your individual policy covers. It’s important to keep an eye out for potholes and avoid them whenever possible. If you must drive over them, do so slowly and carefully to avoid damage to your vehicle. You might even consider reporting the pothole to your area’s Department of Transportation for repair. 

 

4. Hail Damage 


Along with thunder and lightning can come some pretty severe hail storms. These balls of ice can hit roofs, siding, and unprotected vehicles hard enough to create cracks, dents, and even break glass! Oftentimes damage caused by hail is covered under your homeowners policy, however it is always best to check with your agent when you have questions about coverage. Those who carry auto insurance should review their policies as well to be sure that they are covered for hail damage should it occur.


To protect your home and vehicle from hail damage, you can do the following:

 

Vehicles:

      Store vehicles inside a garage or under a carport whenever possible

      Alternatively, use a protective covering when a storm is approaching

      Find temporary shelter for your vehicle before a storm

 

Home and Property:

      Carry out routine inspections to ensure your roof is in good shape

      Protect your windows with functional shutters

      Shelter your landscape and gardens with makeshift canopies

 

5. Driveway Cracks 


Drastic weather and temperature changes can often cause driveway surfaces to move and crack. You’ll want to review your home insurance policy to see if you are covered for this type of loss. It’s important to address these cracks as soon as possible to prevent trip hazards as well as to take preventative measures against further damage. Depending on the type of driveway you have, you can help prevent cracking and safety hazards by doing the following:

 

      Apply an extra layer of sealant to an existing driveway

      Lift, level and reseal existing cracks and heaving

      Avoid leaving chemical leaks, excess dirt and other materials to sit on your concrete or asphalt driveway for long periods of time as they are porous and can weaken your driveway

Now that you are ready to tackle and evade these five insurance hazards, you might be interested in learning what else you can do to prepare your home for spring. Check out the link below to learn more!




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