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Temperatures have dipped dangerously low in many parts of the country which makes this an ideal time to share information s about cold weather preparation and how to make insurance losses less likely during the winter months.

Our carrier partner, Safeco, and the Insurance Information Institute provided these helpful tips:

  • Keep sidewalks and entrances to your home free from snow and ice.
  • Watch for ice dams near gutter downspouts. Keep gutters free of leaves and debris so melting snow and ice can flow freely. Ice dams can cause water to build up and seep into your house.
  • Keep the house heated to a minimum of 65 degrees. The temperature inside the walls where the pipes are located is substantially colder than the walls themselves. A temperature lower than 65 degrees will not keep the inside walls from freezing.
  • Identify the location for the main water shutoff in your home. Find out how it works in case you have to use it.
  • Open hot and cold faucets enough to let them drip slowly. Keeping water moving within the pipes will prevent freezing.
  • If you own a swimming pool and temperatures are expected to dip below freezing, run the pool pump at night to keep the water flowing through the pipes.
  • If you haven’t already, make sure all hoses are disconnected from outside spigots.
  • If your garage is attached to your house, keep the garage doors closed. The door leading to the house is probably not as well-insulated as an exterior door.
  • If ice forms on tree limbs, watch for dead, damaged or dangerous branches that could break and fall because of ice, snow or wind and damage your house, a car, or injure someone walking near your property.
  • If you use fireplaces, wood stoves and electric heaters, watch them closely and make sure they are working properly.
  • Remember to close the flue in your fireplace when you’re not using it.
  • If you have to leave your home on a trip, ask a neighbor to check the house regularly. If there is a problem with frozen pipes or water leakage, attending to it quickly could mean far less damage.
  • If you plan to be away for an extended period of time (or if temperatures are expected to remain below freezing), have the water system, including pool plumbing, have the water system drained by a professional to keep pipes from freezing or bursting.

A Worst-Case Scenario

  • If you discover that pipes are frozen, don’t wait for them to burst. Take measures to thaw them immediately, or call a plumber for assistance.
  • If your pipes burst, first turn off the water and then mop up spills. You don’t want the water to do more damage than it already has.
  • Call your agent or company as soon as you can. An insurance adjuster doesn’t need to see the spill before you take action. However, he or she will want to inspect any damaged items.
  • Make temporary repairs and take other steps to protect your property from further damage. Remove any carpet or furniture that can be further damaged from seepage.
  • Make a list of the damaged articles.
  • Save the receipts for what you spend—including additional living expenses if you must leave your home until repairs are completed—and submit them to your insurance company for reimbursement.

Standard homeowners policies will cover most of the kinds of damage that result from a freeze. For example, if house pipes freeze and burst or if ice forms in gutters and causes water to back up under roof shingles and seep into the house. You would also be covered if the weight of snow or ice damages your house.

However, most policies do not cover backups in sewers and drains or flood damage, which can also happen in winter. To be covered for flooding, you need a policy from the National Flood Insurance Program, while coverage for sewers and drains is generally offered as an endorsement to a standard homeowners insurance policy.

If your home suffers water damage, it is important to make sure that it is properly dried and repaired to prevent any potential problem with mold. Remember, mold can not survive without moisture.

Call us if you are unsure what your polilcy covers.  And keep warm. 

 

 

 

Edgmon Insurance and Higginbotham have merged operations. Higginbotham is a leading insurance and financial services firm with more than 20 locations in Texas. The union with Edgmon Insurance extends Higginbotham's reach to Odessa, Texas. According to Tim Edgmon "the vast expertise and resources that Higginbotham brings to Edgmon means that clients who trust us with their business, home, and auto insurance can now trust our extended family for their employee benefits, life and disability insurance too."  For the entire press release, click here.

The Summary of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses” must be posted by February 1 and kept up until April 30, 2014.  This notice must be posted in a conspicuous space.

Before posting company officials must verify that they have completed and attested that the form is complete and accurate.

OSHA can cite an employer who fails to post OSHA Form 300A as required.

Click here

OSHA 300A “Summary of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses” must be posted by February 1, 2014 in order to be in compliance.

to download a copy.

In these cold temperatures, you never know when you may be stranded in your car.  To prepare for this type of emergency, we suggest putting together an emergency kit.  Here are the items that you should have:

  • Blanket
  • Shovel 
  • Flashlight
  • Hand warmers
  • Matches
  • Bottle of water and a few protein/snack bars
  • Syphon Pump
  • Lightsticks
  • Flares
  • Whistle

Use your cellphone phone to keep in touch with family and business associates.

With the severe winter temperatures, here are some tips to prevent and thaw frozen pipes. 

Preventing:

  • Disconnect and drain outside hoses.
  • If there is an inside shut off to your hose bibs shut it off, but keep the outside valve open so that any water remaining in the pipe can drain or expand without causing the pipe to break.
  • Check around your home for other areas where water supply lines are located in unheated areas.  Check basement, crawl spaces, attic, garage, and under kitchen and bathroom cabinets.  Both hot and cold water pipes should be insulated.
  • If you don’t have insulation available you can temporarily use newspaper to wrap the pipes until they can be properly insulated.

Thawing:

If you didn’t get a chance to protect your home, here are some tips to help thaw out frozen pipes:

  • If you turn on a faucet and only a trickle comes out, the problem is likely a frozen pipe. Likely places for frozen pipes include against exterior walls or where your water service enters your home through the foundation.
  • Keep the faucet open. As you treat the frozen pipe and the frozen area begins to melt, water will begin to flow through the frozen area. Running water through the pipe will help melt ice in the pipe.
  • Apply heat to the section of pipe using an electric heating pad wrapped around the pipe, an electric hair dryer, a portable space heater (kept away from flammable materials), or by wrapping pipes with towels soaked in hot water. Do not use a blowtorch, kerosene or propane heater, charcoal stove, or other open flame device.
  • Apply heat until full water pressure is restored. If you are unable to locate the frozen area, if the frozen area is not accessible, or if you cannot thaw the pipe, call a licensed plumber.
  • Check all other faucets in your home to find out if you have additional frozen pipes. If one pipe freezes, others may freeze, too.

And finally, here are some cold weather preventive tips:

  • Keep garage doors closed if there are water supply lines in the garage.
  • Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing. Be sure to move any harmful cleaners and household chemicals up out of the reach of children.
  • When the weather is very cold outside, let the cold water drip from the faucet served by exposed pipes. Running water through the pipe - even at a trickle - helps prevent pipes from freezing.
  • Keep the thermostat set to the same temperature both during the day and at night. By temporarily suspending the use of lower nighttime temperatures, you may incur a higher heating bill, but you can prevent a much more costly repair job if pipes freeze and burst.
  • If you will be going away during cold weather, leave the heat on in your home, set to a temperature no lower than 55° F.

Should you experience a claim, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Keep warm and safe.

If you are a junior golfer and would like to particpate in the Trusted Choice Big "I" National Championship to be held at the historic Brackenridge Park Golf Course, June 19-20th, then click here to read all about it.

If you have any questions, please call Tim Edgmon at 432-368-7676 or at redgmon@edgmoninsurance.com

Edgmon Insurance Agency has a new look and new interactive technology to better service their clients.  Their website allows their clients and visitors to research various insurance products, request quotes, and communicate with  members of the agency  For existing clients, the new Client Resources section allows for many services to be available 24/7. 

With the myriad resources, making informed decisions about insurance is easier than ever. 

In addition to personal and general business insurance, Edgmon provides comprehensive services in the areas of group and individual benefits such as life and health insurance.