With Christmas comes Old Man Winter, and brokers should encourage clients to “Grinch Proof” their homes, urges the Insurance Brokers Association of Nova Scotia.
“There is more to preparing for the upcoming season than stringing up some holiday lights,” states Karen Slaunwhite, executive director of IBANS. “We're not only heading into a time of celebrations with friends and family - we're heading into cold winter weather with strong winds, snow storms and freezing rain in the forecast. It's important to take time for clients to Grinch-Proof the house.”
A reminder to clients to Grinch Proof their homes and property can include suggestions to trim trees and large bushes, ensuring branches are clear of the house and power lines.
“Strong winds, freezing rain and heavy snowfall can cause branches to weaken, snap and fall onto your home, car, power lines or even neighbouring properties,” says Slaunwhite. “A good trim job will help lessen the risk of property damage or loss of power due to falling branches.”
Take a look up, says Slaunwhite, for clogged rain gutters can lead to frozen obstructions and ice damming, and then down to the foundation for any potential leaks – especially if the ground isn’t sloping away from the house to avoid water pooling.
For a complete checklist, click here.
And if you are going away for the holidays, make sure the thermostat doesn’t get turned off.
“If your client is going away for the holidays or traveling this winter, be sure they leave the heat on,” she says. “They should make plans to have a reliable individual check on the house daily while away. Clients should understand that they need to contact their insurance broker to make sure they are meeting the policy requirements for maintaining a home while away during the heating season.”