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Loss Prevention - Frozen Pipes and Coverage Problems

There’s plenty of cold weather predicted for North Carolina this week!  Enough to freeze pipes, causing costly water damage at your property, home, or business.

If you suspect you have a frozen pipe – call a qualified plumber immediately. Shut off the main water valve, and leave the faucets open until repairs are made. If a pipe has burst, take the necessary steps to prevent further damage, and contact Anders, Ireland & Marshall, Inc. to file a claim. Damage from burst water pipes is covered under many homeowner and commercial insurance policies, provided you have taken reasonable precautions as specified by your policy.

Prevent pipes from freezing

  • Maintaining heat to assure temperatures stay above 40 degrees
  • Open doors and cabinets to allow heat to reach your pipes
  • Repairing and sealing windows or doors that could allow cold air to reach indoors
  • Sealing walls and attics to prevent airflow around pipe openings
  • Increasing insulation wherever pipes run
  • Allowing faucets to drip to help prevent freezing if water cannot be turned off and drained
  • Clear gutters to prevent ice dams, leaks and roof issues

Slip, Trip and Fall Prevention

  • Review contracts with snow removal contractors and assure you have adequate protection.
  • Keep sidewalks and parking lots free of ice and snow accumulations.
  • Be prepared for ice with salt, ice melt and shovels. If you have a snow blower, is it ready for use?
  • Check exterior lighting, especially those illuminating walking surfaces.
  • Eliminate water drainage across key walking areas from downspouts and roofs.
  • Control wet walking surfaces inside and out with appropriate mats and warning signs.

Emergency Preparations

  • Create a weather emergency plan.
  • Assemble flashlights, batteries, emergency weather radio and an emergency contact list.
  • Create a plan for loss of power, including considerations for maintaining heat and preventing frozen pipes.
  • Establish safe equipment shut down procedures
  • Is your generator ready for use? Remember to operate generators only outdoors and to store fuel in safe manner.
  • Use caution when burning candles.
Monitor buildings closely to make sure heating systems are operating. For example, if your commercial building or home is unoccupied for a weekend or other extended period, have someone check your property to ensure that the heating and plumbing systems are working properly. Many polices exclude frozen pipe damage if the building heating system is not maintained.  Turning off your heat to save money can cost you more in the event of a claim.


Additional tips to Prepare Your Property for Winter are available on Cincinnati Insurance Company's website.

And How to help prevent frozen pipes on Travelers Insurance Company's blog.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency offers these tips for Winter Storms & Extreme Cold

The FEMA Snow Load Safety Guidance flyer summarizes warning signs of overstress conditions during a snow event; key safety issues and risks a snow event poses to buildings; and what to do after a snow event.


Our loss control service is advisory only. We assume no responsibility for management or control of customer loss control activities or for implementation of recommended corrective measures. These materials were gathered from trade services and public information. We have not tried to identify all exposures.




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