In many parts of the country, harsh winter weather is a reality for which millions of residents are prepared every year. But in others, where cold snaps and other extreme conditions are less common, the preparation just isn’t there. In Virginia, for instance, hundreds of homes and businesses in a relatively small area have seen their pipes freeze and burst, which can lead to major flooding damage and costly repairs that could take quite a long time. For these reasons, the more that insurance agents can do to help people understand the risks they face, what their policies do and don’t cover, and what they can do to better protect themselves in both cases.
In Virginia, residents have suffered through long stretches of sub-freezing temperatures this winter, which isn’t a very common occurrence and has, in fact, brought a lot of difficulty to people’s lives, according to a report from Richmond television station WWBT. Pipes freezing and bursting has become an extremely common problem, and companies that deal with the fallout are working a lot of overtime to deal with demand and help affected homes, businesses, and municipal buildings.
“First three days, we probably had 700 pipe calls, residential, commercial, hospitals, schools. It was incredible,” Andy Bahen, owner of the 24-hour disaster restoration company ServPro, told the station. “We’ve worked through [Hurricanes] Isabelle and Irene and Gaston and never had to call in out of town companies ServPros to help.”
What can be done?
For people worried about this kind of thing happening to them, Bahen recommends making sure they’re keeping their heat turned up when they’re at work or go on vacation, the report said. This will increase their heating bills, but in comparison with the potential cost of repairs and the hassle of filing home insurance claims, simply paying a little more over the winter might be preferable.
Insurance agents who are good at keeping lines of communications open with their clients will typically be the most successful in the industry. That’s because data shows that agents tend to have the best customer satisfaction and client retention rates when they’re providing good service, rather than simply being able to find people discounts on their coverage. For these reasons, the more regularly agents can keep in touch with their clients and warn them about coming conditions that might impact risk – and what they can do to insulate themselves – the better off all parties will be.