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Winter 2016  Volume 11, Number 4        

Minimize Your Water Damage Exposure

Weather-watchers expect this winter to be wetter than normal in many areas, due to El Niňo. This weather phenomenon is characterized by higher than normal sea surface temperatures in the equatorial Pacific Ocean. Consequences include increased rainfall across the southern tier of the U.S., which can cause destructive flooding

What can you do to minimize your potential losses?

  • Buy flood insurance, even if your home is not located in a designated flood zone. Many water-related losses occur in moderate- to low-risk flood zones. National Flood Insurance Program policies provide up to $250,000 to cover the structure in a one- to four-family residence, and up to $100,000 to cover building contents. If you have a high-value home or possessions, you can buy additional coverage by buying excess flood insurance from a private insurer.
  • Check your home’s landscape and systems to ensure proper drainage. You do not want water to pool around the foundation. Your yard should be graded to slope away from the home. If this isn’t possible, French drains and other drainage systems can draw water away from the basement and foundation. A sump pump can help keep water out of the basement.
  • Keep gutters and downspouts clean to avoid damage to roofs and other structures. In areas with deep freezes, you’ll also want to check gutters during the winter for ice buildup. So-called ice dams can occur if gutters and downspouts become clogged. Ice dams can lead to damage of your roof.
  • Check the flow from your gutters and downspouts. Do they direct water away from the foundation and other vulnerable areas, such as walkways? If not, a qualified contractor can help.

Not all water damage insurance claims stem from the weather. Every year, thousands of claims occur when washing machines, dishwashers and other appliances malfunction. Failure of washing machine hoses leads to millions of dollars in water damage claims every year. Check the hoses on your washing machine regularly. When it’s time to replace them, upgrading to a sturdier wire mesh hose or stainless steel hose can prevent costly water damage.

Knowing where the main shutoff valve for your home’s water supply can be useful in an emergency. Water lines under toilets, sinks and leading to outside faucets should all have shutoff valves. If yours do not, contact a qualified plumber.

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In this issue:

This Just In...

Staying Warm…And Safe

Fight Back Against Car Theft

Planning for Power Outages

Minimize Your Water Damage Exposure



The information presented and conclusions within are based upon our best judgment and analysis. It is not guaranteed information and does not necessarily reflect all available data. Web addresses are current at time of publication but subject to change. SmartsPro Marketing and The Insurance 411 do not engage in the solicitation, sale or management of securities or investments, nor does it make any recommendations on securities or investments. This material may not be quoted or reproduced in any form without publisher’s permission. All rights reserved. ©2015 The Insurance 411. Tel. 877-762-7877.