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How Liability Insurance Helps Homeowners Prepare for Winter

How Liability Insurance Helps Homeowners Prepare for Winter

The winter season brings twinkling holiday lights, beautiful snowfalls, cozy nights next to the fireplace, and holidays spent with family and friends. This time of year also ushers in freezing temperatures and ice that can damage homes, causing costly homeowners insurance claims that may increase your rates.

Fortunately, you can get homeowners the protection they need this winter by partnering with us at Prime Insurance Company and offering liability insurance for property owners that can cover them against damages from harsh winter storms and cold temperatures.

The Dangers of Winter Months for Homeowners

Homeowners rely on homeowners insurance and liability coverage to protect them financially if a covered peril occurs. In the winter months, homeowners typically file home insurance claims from winter weather damage. Risks in the winter can be especially dangerous and lead to significant property damage. These can vary depending on the home’s location and size, but generally, homeowners should be aware of several dangers during the cold season.

The Dangers of Winter Months for Homeowners

1. Water Damage

Thawing snow and freezing temperatures can lead to water damage, which may destroy a homeowner’s walls, carpet, and cabinets.

  • Frozen pipes: One of the most common causes of water damage in the winter is frozen pipes. If the water in the pipes freezes, the H20 molecules could later expand too much and cause the pipe to burst. A burst pipe can extensively damage a home’s floors and walls. Outdoor pipes need insulation to protect them from the freezing temperatures. Homeowners may want to purchase foam or Fiberglas insulation to prevent broken pipes.
  • Leaky water heater: In the winter, a water heater must work harder. Old water heaters with a significant amount of sediment could leak or burst, leading to flooding in the home. Homeowners should check for leaks, unusual noises, and faulty pipes throughout the winter to identify if something is wrong.
  • Overflowing gutters: Melting snow and ice can flood and block gutters, causing them to overflow and water to seep into the home’s foundation or flood the basement. Gutters need regular cleaning to prevent overflow, especially when winter is coming to an end.
  • Damaged water lines: Damaged or ruptured water lines can also lead to water damage in the winter months. Homeowners may want to turn off exterior lines, such as garden hoses, to prevent the risk of water damage.

Water Damage

2. Wind Damage

Wind can damage a home any time of year, but damage in the winter can be hazardous. Wind can loosen shingles and leave a home exposed to the elements, increasing utility bills and making the property vulnerable to mold from melting snow or rain. Additionally, wind can blow leaves into gutters, clogging them and causing a significant threat of damage. In the winter, wind can also break off branches or topple trees.

3. Tree Damage

Though trees tend to be resilient and strong, even during the winter, trees near a home can pose a threat during the winter months. Branches that grow heavy from the weight of snow can droop or fall and damage siding, windows, and roofs. They could also strike passersby and potentially cause significant injury. To prevent property damage or injury, homeowners should trim branches near a home, walkway, or driveway before ice or snow can accumulate.

Ice, Snow, and Hail Damage

4. Ice, Snow, and Hail Damage

From the foundation to the roof, many parts of a home are at risk of ice and snow damage during the winter months. Snow melting on a roof can pose a threat to the home. If the roof accumulates too much melted snow, the home could be at risk for mold growth and flooding. Proactive snow removal will prevent this damage from occurring.

Ice dams are another risk homeowners may face in the winter. These occur when water runs down the homeowner’s roof and refreezes to form a mound of ice and icicles. Homeowners should thoroughly clean gutters in the fall and ensure adequate insulation in the attic.

Relatedly, homes can also sustain damage from hail in the winter. After a hailstorm, homeowners may find dents or cracks in:

  • Gutters
  • Shingles
  • Vinyl siding
  • Wood shakes
  • Asphalt roofs
  • Aluminum siding

When hailstorms lead to cracked shingles, this can create gaps that allow melted snow and water to infiltrate the roof. The impact from hail can also force a shingle to bend and damage the base of the shingle, even if the surface is still relatively intact. However, the weakened base of the shingle can drastically reduce a roof’s life span.

5. House Fires

Homes can also be at risk of house fires in the winter. Fireplaces and unsupervised space heaters can cause house fires. Chimneys and flues need regular cleanings and inspections, as do heating systems. These need to be in top shape and ready to work hard throughout the cold months to heat the property through frigid temperatures.

Homeowners must clean ashes out of a fireplace after each fire, and never leave fires unattended. Fire screens and fireplace doors can also offer extra protection. Homeowners should also check their smoke alarms, regularly replace filters, and clean air vents thoroughly.

Unfortunately, Christmas trees can also lead to fires in the home during the holiday season. U.S. fire departments respond to an average of 160 fires each year due to tree ignition. Though these fires are not responsible for many deaths and injuries, they cause about $12 million in annual property damage.

Christmas tree fires are often due to electrical malfunction or failure and heat sources placed too close. Non-artificial trees are likelier to dry out and ignite if they remain in the home for a long time after the holidays, so homeowners may want to take down their trees sooner rather than later to prevent a house fire.

How Liability Insurance Can Help Homeowners

A home is a significant investment, which means homeowners need the proper insurance to protect this asset. The following are some of the benefits homeowners can enjoy with liability insurance.

  • Peace of mind with comprehensive coverage: When you partner with us at Prime as an insurance producer, you can give homeowners the peace of mind they need with comprehensive coverage. Coverages we offer include excess coverage, excess flood coverage, mobile home coverage, personal property coverage, and tenant liability coverage.
  • Customized coverage to what they need: At Prime, our customized specialty liability coverage can offer protection for specific types of incidents outlined in the policy.

The Benefits of Providing Liability Insurance to Homeowners

As an insurance producer, you can benefit from the ability to offer more liability insurance options to your clients. Below are some of the benefits of providing liability insurance to homeowners.

Protect a Wide Range of Homes

No matter what types of homes your clients own, you can offer the liability insurance they need when you partner with Prime.

  • Luxury: Clients with luxury homes need high-value home insurance that can offer them the coverage they need. This insurance can also cover gray areas and gaps, such as wildfires and coastal areas.
  • Vacant: Some homeowners may want to insure vacant properties or land parcels. Our comprehensive vacant property insurance coverage can apply to single-family dwellings, multi-family homes, mixed-use buildings, and commercial properties.
  • Rentals: Property managers and landlords can benefit from our tenant legal liability insurance that covers property damage losses caused by tenants. This fully customizable policy adds an extra layer of protection to the existing insurance coverage.

Protect a Wide Range of Homes

Write More Business and Increase Your Portfolio

At Prime, we can help you grow your business. By offering liability insurance options, you can serve more clients. Some insurance partners won’t work with you if you only have a few clients who need personal liability coverage, so when you partner with us, you can expand your portfolio without worrying about minimum requirements. We also offer a team approach and risk mitigation services that can keep your business running smoothly.

Contact Prime Insurance Company About Liability Insurance Coverage for Homeowners

At Prime, we have been in the business for more than 40 years, and we have earned an “A” rating from AM Best. We can provide coverage beyond the typical insurance companies with innovative liability solutions. We are a leader in excess and surplus lines insurance, so you can offer insurance to customers who would otherwise need to self-insure or go uninsured. We provide a marketplace for the following unique underwriting characteristics:

  • Emerging risk
  • New ventures
  • Claims history
  • Declined or rejected
  • Misunderstood risks
  • Canceled or non-renewed

Offer homeowners the protection they need from winter storms by becoming a Prime partner today. Contact us to learn more about liability insurance that you can provide to homeowners this winter season.

Contact Prime Insurance Company About Liability Insurance Coverage for Homeowners

Last updated on December 22, 2022.

rick lindseyAuthored by Rick J. Lindsey, CEO, President, and Chairman of Prime Insurance Company

Rick J. Lindsey hails from Salt Lake City, Utah. He began working in the mailroom of his father’s Salt Lake City insurance firm, getting his introduction to the business that became his lifelong career. Lindsey quickly rose through the ranks while working in nearly every imaginable insurance industry job. As an entrepreneur, specialty lines underwriter, claims specialist, risk manager, and a licensed surplus lines broker, Rick Lindsey is highly skilled in all levels of leadership and execution. As he progressed on his career path, Rick discovered an urgent need for insurers willing to write policies for high-risk individuals and businesses. He was frequently frustrated that he could not provide the liability protection these entities desperately needed to safeguard their assets. He also formed the belief that insurance companies acted too quickly to settle frivolous claims. Lindsey decided to try a different approach. He started an insurance company and became the newly formed entity’s CEO. This opportunity has enabled Rick to fill a void in the market and provide a valuable service to businesses, individuals, and insurance agents who write high-risk business. Prime Insurance also specializes in helping individuals and businesses who live a lifestyle or participate in activities that make them difficult for traditional carriers to insure. If you’ve been denied, non-renewed, or canceled coverage, don’t give up quite yet. Chances are Prime Insurance can help.

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