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Get Ready for Winter I: Amica Insurance offers tips

11/02/2011

LINCOLN, RI – Ice dams, freezing temperatures and record amounts of snow last year left many homeowners with extensive damage to their homes – as well as expensive repair bills. So Amica Insurance reminds everyone that now is the time to prepare for severe winter weather.

“The rare October snowstorm that buried parts of the Northeast last weekend is a good reminder that homeowners need to act now to help prevent weather-related problems this winter,” said Sean Welch, a senior assistant vice president with Amica.

“The best place to start is outside,” said Welch. “Walk around your house and note anything that needs to be secured or repaired – from missing shingles to broken window panes.”

Amica Insurance and the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety also offer these tips and reminders:

  • Remove screens and install storm windows.
  • Make sure doors and windows have a proper seal around them to prevent cold air from entering your home.
  • Remove garden hoses and shut off water supply to outside faucets.
  • Clean gutters and downspouts.
  • Make sure your attic is well-ventilated and insulated to help prevent ice dams. The colder your attic is the less melting and refreezing will occur on your roof.
  • Remove broken tree limbs and branches, especially those near your home.
  • Clean and inspect chimneys.

Homeowners should also take steps now to help prevent water in pipes from freezing, Welch said. “'Frozen pipes can cause thousands of dollars worth of damage and result in costly repairs, too,” he said.

Here are a few additional reminders:

  • Seal cracks and holes in outside walls and foundations with caulking.
  • Insulate exposed pipes.
  • Make sure a slow drip of water flows through faucets in unheated spaces.
  • Drain the water system if your home will be unattended during especially cold temperatures.

“Most of these preventative measures don’t take a lot of time or money,” Welch said. “But they can save you a lot of time – and prevent a lot of damage – in the months to come.”

Julie Rochman, president and CEO of the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS), agreed. The severe weather of the past few winters has caused “billions of dollars in property damage,” she said. “Now is the time to prepare for severe winter weather. Damage from winter weather can be reduced.”

For more information on protecting your home for winter, visit www.disastersafety.org.

About Amica

Amica Mutual Insurance Company, the nation's oldest mutual insurer of automobiles, was founded in 1907. The company, with corporate headquarters in Lincoln, RI, is a national writer of automobile, homeowners, marine and personal umbrella liability insurance. Life coverage is available through Amica Life Insurance Company, a wholly owned subsidiary. Amica employs more than 3,100 people in 40 offices across the country.

CONTACT:Vince Burks, Corporate Communications, 50 Amica Way,

Lincoln, RI 02865-1155, 800-652-6422, ext. 24563

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