RALEIGH, N.C.— With the dangerous combination of snow, sleet, and freezing rain in the south, the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI) offers winter storm recovery tips.
“Weather like this can cause auto accidents and property damage,” said Nancy Egan, PCI’s regional manager. “Driving in these treacherous conditions can be tricky, so if you do venture out, make sure your vehicle has a winter storm kit in case you have an accident or get stuck and have to wait for help.”
A winter storm kit should include a windshield scraper and small broom; flashlight with extra batteries; road salt, sand or cat litter for traction; booster cables; emergency flares and reflectors; snack food; blankets and a first aid kit.
Property damage from falling trees or tree limbs is also common during extreme winter weather. If a tree falls on your house or car, take photos and call your claims adjuster. Be sure to talk with the adjuster before you sign a contract with a firm to remove the tree.
“Talk with your insurer about how your coverage works and if you experience damage, insurers are ready to work with you to minimize the inconveniences and help make the claims process go as smoothly as possible,” added Egan.
If in an auto accident, it is important to take the following steps:
• Stay calm.
• Get immediate help if anyone is hurt.
• If possible, move vehicle out of traffic to a safe place. Use emergency flashers to alert oncoming cars.
• Call the police to report the accident.
• Secure and conceal any valuables before exiting vehicle.
• Write down the other driver's name, address, phone number, vehicle make, license number, insurance company and insurance policy number. If possible, get witnesses' names, phone numbers and addresses.
• Avoid discussing who was at fault at the scene of the accident. Exchange insurance and contact information only.
• Examine the damage to any vehicles involved.
• Contact insurance company immediately to report the claim. If possible, take pictures of any damage to vehicles as it may help with the claims process.
Important Tips for Homeowners:
• Frozen water pipes represent the biggest potential problem for most homes. A little advance planning will usually prevent frozen pipes.
• Insulate pipes, especially those leading to the outside.
• Set the heat in the home warm enough to avoid problems. At night, the heating system needs to circulate water to avoid freezing.
• Make sure there is warm air flowing around pipes that are located near an outside wall, don't forget pipes under the sink.
• Make sure there is clear access to the main water shut-off valve in case there is a leak or a pipe suddenly bursts.
• Open the water faucets in sinks to allow a slow trickle of water to maintain the flow of water in the lines and help prevent freezing.
Winter Weather Headquarters: http://bit.ly/PCIWinterHQ
Winter Weather Quiz: http://bit.ly/WinterWxQuiz
Winter Weather Reality Check Infographic: http://bit.ly/2hSFUps
Old Man Winter Infographic: http://bit.ly/2hSSQf8
Video Winter Weather Driving Blues: https://youtu.be/Rb-z8q1M-tI
Video Winter Weather Blues: https://youtu.be/384nVIDzxiY
Keep the Holidays Accident Free: http://bit.ly/2riFpuR
Winter Storm Homeowner Tips: http://bit.ly/2UbCkdu
Winter Storm Driver Tips: http://bit.ly/2SxEgeL