While most Americans welcome the spring season with its warmer temperatures and sunnier days, seasoned homeowners know that it can also bring several problems. As the weather gets warmer, the damage of winter weather is often revealed. These are some of the most common spring insurance hazards.
With all the rain we’ve had it’s good to know more about flooding. And with the onset of spring showers there could be more heavy rains coming.
It is important for all homeowners to remember the difference between flood damage and water damage. While flood damage is caused by widespread rain or flooding bodies of water, regular water damage comes from broken pipes, roof leaks and similar home-related problems. A home insurance policy covers water damage but not flooding. All homeowners who live in flood zones should purchase flood insurance from the National Flood Insurance Program. You may be able to consider Flood Coverage even if you are not in a Flood Zone and it could be surprisingly affordable.
Salt, sand, ice and traffic create a damaging combination for roads. When spring approaches, it is common to see more potholes in the road. These can ruin tires and damage the wheels on some cars. Drivers who have collision insurance are usually covered for pothole damage. When unsure, ask an agent about what an individual policy covers.
3. Hail Damage
Spring storms are often severe enough to produce hail. These ice balls hit roofs and unprotected vehicles hard enough to cause cracks or dents. Damage to the roof is usually
covered under a home insurance policy. If the hail breaks a window and causes rain to leak into the home, the broken window and resulting water damage are both usually covered as well. Auto owners should review their coverage to find out if they are covered for hail damage.
4. Driveway Cracks
Extreme temperature changes from winter weather and the pressure from vehicles can cause a driveway’s surface to crack. Homeowners should check their policies to see if they are covered for cracks. If the damage was caused by a neighbor using sand or salt, the neighbor’s insurer could be liable.
When spring arrives, vehicle owners should wash their cars at a drive-through carwash that also sprays the undercarriage. This helps remove salt residue that accumulates on the vehicle from the roads. Salt can damage a car and cause rust or worsen existing rust problems. Rust is not typically covered on an auto policy. Fortunately, this is not a common problem with newer vehicles.
6. Damaged Landscape
Heavy snow, ice, or winter storms may flatten trees, bushes and landscaping. It is important to remove dead tree branches every spring. This is especially true if they are hanging over the home itself. Rotting mulch and other hazards should be removed. Home insurance policies typically do not cover weather-damaged trees, bushes or grass.
Make a habit of watching for these hazards as temperatures start to rise and snow piles start to diminish. It is important to address issues immediately and take preventative measures. Contact us to learn more about preparing for hazards and updating/checking insurance.