Triple-I: Winter Weather Poses Unique Risks to Homes, Cars


For immediate release
New York Press Office: Michael Barry, 917-923-8245,


NEW YORK, Dec. 18, 2023—With winter arriving officially on Thursday, Dec. 21, preparing for snow, ice, and frigid temperatures should be a priority for homeowners, renters, and drivers throughout much of the U.S., according to the Insurance Information Institute (Triple-I).


“Since the costliest winter insurance event in U.S. history occurred in 2021, after a deep freeze caused widespread property damage in multiple states, reducing the risks caused by colder temperatures has taken on added urgency,” said Sean Kevelighan, CEO, Triple-I.  “Risk mitigation is the key to reducing property damage and one of the reasons insurers and policyholders are moving away from ‘detect and repair’ and toward ‘predict and prevent.’”


To protect homes, rental units, and cars during the winter months, the Triple-I offers the following guidance.


Inside Your Home

  • Keep your home heated to a minimum of 65 degrees. This will help prevent pipes inside the walls from freezing
  • Open hot and cold faucets enough to let them drip. Keeping water moving within the pipes will help prevent freezing
  • Check that fireplaces, wood stoves, and electric heaters are working properly. Make sure there are no combustible items near heat sources
  • Keep your fireplace flue closed when it is not in use


Outside Your Home
The weight of snow and ice can damage a roof. Clogged gutters might allow water to seep into a house. Taking these steps should reduce these potential hazards from occurring outside a home as snow and ice accumulate.


  • Keep sidewalks and entrances free from snow and ice so no one sustains an injury while walking
  • Watch for ice dams near gutter downspouts. Ice dams can cause water to seep into a house
  • Clear gutters of leaves and debris to allow runoff from melting snow and ice to flow freely
  • Check for dead, damaged, or dangerous tree branches and have them removed. When stressed, branches can fall and damage a house or car, or injure a pedestrian


Insurance Coverage for Winter Weather-Caused Property Damage

Standard homeowners insurance policies provide coverage for damage caused by wind, snow, and ice to property and personal possessions.  Standard renters insurance policies provide coverage for winter weather-caused damage (e.g., burst pipes) to personal possessions.


Property damage caused by flooding is not covered by either standard homeowners or renters insurance policies. Melting snow that seeps into a home, apartment, or condominium from the ground up would be covered by flood insurance. It is provided by FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program and several private insurers.


An individual involved in a car accident between two or more vehicles caused by wintry road conditions is covered by a standard auto insurance policy. If a tree falls on a car, or if it sustains flood damage, the damage is covered under the comprehensive portion of an auto insurance policy. Single-vehicle accidents may be covered by either comprehensive or collision coverage. Nearly 80 percent of U.S. drivers purchase these optional coverages.





Article:            Surviving Severe Cold Weather

Video:              Minimizing Winter Weather Risks 




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