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Written by Adam Miller
How to Handle Property Damage and Losses from Ice Storms

Winter Storm Uri has brought unprecedented cold temperatures, icy precipitation, and dangerous conditions to the entire state of Texas, resulting in widespread utility outages and property damage. While struggling to keep warm and meet basic needs, property owners also face challenges on how to minimize or handle property damage that resulted from the storm. In today's Aegis blog post, we discuss how homeowners and rental property owners should handle property damage resulting from the most recent weather disaster so they can have a faster recovery period.

Damage from Broken Pipes

One of the most common ways properties have been impacted by Winter Storm Uri is because of frozen water pipes that burst and then leak water inside walls, through ceilings, throughout homes, and across the entire exterior landscape. These water leaks can be quickly stopped by shutting off water mains, but the property damage can be devastating and time consuming. Property owners should ensure that all water lines are shut off and that damage is well documented with photos, video, and a detailed list of all personal items and areas that suffered water damage. This would include flooring, walls, furniture, appliances, ceilings, and any other damaged property. Owners should also document any interior or exterior ruptured pipes and search for others that may have leaks or cracks to prevent additional damages. Finally, property owners with water damage should document all expenses and costs related to clean up and demo work for ripping out damaged areas.

Utility Losses and Expenses

When a home has suffered water damage due to frozen pipe ruptures, the damage and losses caused can be widespread. In addition to causing flooring, ceiling, property, and Sheetrock damage, water leaks and utility disruptions can also make the home inhabitable because of unsafe conditions, meaning the property owner may need to seek shelter in a hotel or paid lodging. In addition, homeowners may experience the loss of spoiled food due to the loss of electricity for an extended period of time.  These expenses may be covered under a Homeowners Policy, as well as any losses of food from broken appliances due to interior flooding.

Car and Exterior Property Damage

Finally, these most recent winter storms have also led to damages to cars and homes due to falling debris or icy conditions. For example, people attempting to drive on icy roads are more likely to bump into other vehicles or guardrails, leading to vehicle damage and possible injuries. Also, heavy icy buildup on trees can cause limbs and branches to break and fall onto cars or homes, leading to more damage and repair costs. Property owners can reduce the possibility of property damage by avoiding driving during icy conditions, and to make sure limbs are trimmed back whenever possible.

Aegis Insurance & Financial Services is here to help individuals, families, and businesses impacted by Winter Storm Uri. Our team of personal and commercial insurance experts can help answer questions and explain the claims process for damages or losses. Contact the Aegis team at 713-850-7622 for more information, or fill out our online form to request additional information.

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