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­­Preventing Insurance Claims All Year

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Indiana's weather can be unpredictable, with extreme temperatures ranging from cold winters to hot summers. These fluctuations in weather can lead to various insurance claims for homeowners and property owners.

Heavy snowfall and ice can damage roofs, gutters, and siding during winter. If not properly addressed, this can result in leaks, water damage, and even structural issues. Homeowners should protect their property by insulating, clearing snow and ice, and preventing frozen pipes. Being proactive is key to avoiding damage.

In the spring and summer, Indiana is prone to severe storms, including thunderstorms, tornadoes, and hail. These storms can damage roofs, windows, and siding and cause flooding in low-lying areas.


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Examine your roof for any indications of damage or lost shingles. If you see curled, broken, discolored shingles coming off your roof, it's important to call your Oakwood Agent. They can help you file your claim and arrange for an insurance adjuster to inspect the damage.

Ensure your gutters and downspouts are clear for proper water flow away from your house. During the fall and winter, leaves and other debris can fill gutters. When completely blocked, they risk overflowing or detaching from your house, leading to possible damage and stagnant water.

Inspect your outdoor faucet and water pipe before using the hose to irrigate your lawn. Are there any visible cracks or signs of wear and tear because of the freezing winter temperatures? A broken faucet or pipe can lead to costly damage, which may include cracks in the foundation and leaks in the basement or crawl space.

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Summer: Stay Cool

Summer brings light and warmth, but it can also bring blistering temperatures and the risk of fire during periods of drought.

Think about installing ceiling fans in rooms with a lot of sunlight to enhance airflow. Ceiling fans can significantly affect cooling expenses, enabling you to increase your thermostat by 4°F without compromising comfort.

Make sure your ceiling fans rotate counterclockwise during summer for maximum cooling. During winter, change their direction to clockwise for improved heat distribution.

Prune any excessively grown trees or branches that could become hazardous in strong winds.Remove dry plants and shrubs close to your house to reduce fire risks. This is particularly crucial during hot, dry, and breezy summer days. Whenever possible, choose fire-resistant materials for landscaping and building.

Insulate your HVAC ducts and confirm your air conditioning system is functioning properly. Over the years, air ducts in your house can form leaks. This can cause your heating and cooling to be less effective, leading to increased bills. Most HVAC professionals provide sealing services, but you can try doing it yourself if you're confident.

Tackle any negative gradients around your house's foundation to stop water from infiltrating your basement. Enhance drainage by leveling the soil around your house with dirt. This will channel water away from your foundation instead of towards it.

Autumn: The Arrival of Temperature Shifts

Prepare your house for autumn leaves and chillier weather as the seasons transition.

Insulate windows and doors by initially identifying any obvious drafts. Next, apply weatherstripping or caulking to save energy, ensure comfort, and prevent the growth of mold caused by moisture in cracks. Weather sealing is a DIY project—learn how here.

Examine your chimney or wood stove for any possible damage before using them during the cold autumn nights. Regular maintenance and scrutiny of your chimney can eliminate creosote buildup and reveal any deterioration or leaks.

The safety of your wood stove is just as crucial. Inspect the door and seal, remove the ash, substitute any damaged firebricks, and confirm that the door latch locks firmly. Never leave your wood stove or fireplace unattended.

Prioritize fire safety if you decide to incinerate dead leaves. Burning leaves is more hazardous than packing them for recycling, but there are safe methods.

Burn leaves or tree waste only on calm, clear days. Keep a safe distance of at least 50 feet from your home when burning. Ensure there is a water source nearby and that no tree branches or wires are close to the fire. Never leave a burning pile without supervision.

Winter: It's Chilly Out There

Winter can be severe, with icy temperatures and substantial snowfall creating significant hurdles for homeowners.

Shield your pipes and safeguard your outdoor taps from freezing conditions. Shut any valves that serve outdoor taps. Next, open the outdoor tap to empty the line. You might unscrew a small cap on the tap to aid in draining. You can also defend exterior taps with an insulated cover.

If the cold is extreme, insulate pipes near the exterior walls. Alternatively, allow taps to drip slowly to stop them from freezing.

Make sure your heating system is functioning properly. We recommend getting your heating system checked by a professional annually. Stay alert for warning signs during checks that indicate the need for immediate action.

  • Worn-out or damaged blower motor belts could cause loud noises.
  • Blocked ducts, dirty filters, incorrectly adjusted burners, or a faulty blower motor may cause poor performance.
  • A defective thermostat or a poorly adjusted furnace might cause inconsistent operating patterns.

Promptly fix any damage to walkways, driveways, and steps. These hazards are perilous all year round, but they become particularly risky when the weather becomes icy. Look for cracks wider than 1/8-inch, uneven areas, and unstable railings on the steps. Inspect for asphalt disintegration or eroded materials on loose-fill paths.

Individuals who enjoy DIY can tackle minor repair tasks, but it's best to leave significant repairs to skilled professionals.

Also, ensure you have a good supply of rock salt, sand, gravel, and a robust shovel. Icy steps and paths can be dangerous and increase the risk of insurance claims. Always prioritize safety to avoid accidents.

Big Picture: The Benefits of Preparation

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Homeowners can save money by taking steps to prevent risks. Preventing risks is a proactive approach that can lead to financial savings.

This is how readiness directly advantages policy owners:

  1. Lower Premiums: Insurance companies often give discounts or lower premiums to policyholders who reduce risks. Homeowners can save on insurance by keeping their property safe and well-maintained to qualify for lower premiums.
  2. Preservation of Claims History: Policyholders can maintain a good claims record by filing fewer claims. This could result in reduced insurance premiums and wider coverage choices.
  3. Preservation of Property Worth: Maintaining your home safeguards it from weather-related damage, accidents, or unforeseen incidents. This guarantees that your home maintains its worth over time.

Build & Sustain Assurance Throughout Each Season

Ensuring your home's safety and security necessitates a forward-thinking attitude and consistent upkeep. This is crucial for maintaining confidence throughout each season. Safeguard your home and family by minimizing hazards and properly managing your property.

Oakwood Mutual dedicates itself to assisting homeowners in protecting their investments. With our help, you can feel sure that your home is safe and prepared for any problems that may come up.