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DIFS Offers Winter Weather Insurance Tips to Michigan Residents
November 07, 2022
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 7, 2022
(LANSING, MICH) It is Winter Hazards Awareness Week in Michigan, and the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS) is reminding Michiganders to review their insurance documents while taking steps to prevent winter-related damage. Winter storms and freezing temperatures can damage your home or vehicle, but understanding your insurance coverage can help you ensure you are financially protected if severe winter weather strikes.
"Dealing with winter-related damage to your home or vehicle is stressful and the prospect of financial loss only increases the burden residents face during the winter months,” said DIFS Director Anita Fox. “We encourage Michiganders to review their insurance coverages before experiencing a loss to make sure they understand the rights and responsibilities they have under their insurance policies. If you are unsure of what your policy covers, contact your insurance agent or company for help.”
Understanding how your insurance policies work and what they cover is key to a quick recovery. Here are a few tips that can help give you peace of mind this winter:
Tips for Home Owners:
Homeowners insurance policies usually cover damages resulting from things like burst pipes, ice dams, wind, or a building collapse caused by the weight of ice or snow but will often exclude coverage for damages resulting from power outages unless the outage was caused by a covered peril such as wind, ice, or snow.
Home owners should review their insurance policy and take the following steps to help prevent winter damage:
- Keep your home heated to at least 65 degrees to prevent frozen pipes. If you are away from your home for an extended period of time, have someone check your home to catch any burst pipes as soon as possible.
- Keep gutters clean to prevent ice damming, which occurs when melting ice backs up under roof shingles before freezing again.
- Remove trees that have died or are rotting to prevent branches from falling under the weight of snow or ice.
Tips for Automobile Owners:
Driving in winter weather can be hazardous even if you are driving carefully. Coverages you may consider purchasing, or confirming you currently have, include:
- Collision Coverage provides coverage for damage to your vehicle while driving, should your vehicle collide with another vehicle or hit a tree or utility pole from loss of traction due to ice and snow.
- Comprehensive Coverage provides coverage when your vehicle has sustained damage that did not result from a collision. Examples include damage from falling tree limbs, hail, or vandalism.
- Property Protection provides coverage for damage unintentionally caused to another person's property, for example if you slide off the road and damage someone's mailbox. This coverage is one of the three mandatory coverages required to drive legally in Michigan.
For more tips on preparing your family for winter, visit the Michigan State Police’s Emergency Management & Homeland Security Division preparedness website at Michigan.gov/MIReady. For questions or concerns about your insurance, contact DIFS 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday at 877-999-6442, or file a complaint by visiting Michigan.gov/DIFScomplaints.
The mission of the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services is to ensure access to safe and secure insurance and financial services fundamental for the opportunity, security, and success of Michigan residents, while fostering economic growth and sustainability in both industries. In addition, the Department provides consumer protection, outreach, and financial literacy and education services to Michigan residents. For more information, visit Michigan.gov/DIFS or follow the Department on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.