The winter season may bring warm fires, hot chocolate and cozy socks to mind—but residents in the Northeast aren’t strangers to the bitter cold, snowy conditions that accompany the winter months. This year, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicts that we will see above-average precipitation in the coming months.
What exactly should we expect?
Temperature. According to the U.S. Winter Outlook 2021-22 map, the Northeast is expected to have a warmer winter than usual—specifically, NOAA predicts that there is a 40-50% chance that temperatures will rise above what we typically see in this region.
Precipitation. For some of the Northeast—including parts of New York and Vermont—NOAA predicts that there is a 33-40% chance that there will be more precipitation this year. However, for Connecticut, New Hampshire and New Jersey, it predicts that there is an equal chance that there will be less snow than normal, or more snow than normal. Time will tell.
How do we prepare?
Winter storm season starts when the temperature drops, and lasts until the spring thaw. Last year, the Northeast was hit with a record storm that left parts of New York with nearly 40 inches of snow. So, if parts of the region should expect more precipitation this year, then it’s important to make sure that your insureds are prepared.
As you know, a standard homeowners policy or a standard commercial general liability policy generally can protect your personal- and commercial-lines clients, respectively, from winter-related damage like roof collapses, ice dams, frozen pipes and power outages. But, you should review your clients’ policies with them so that they know what their coverage includes.
Additionally, your insureds need to know that, if they endure flood damage this winter, their standard policies will not cover it. They need to purchase a flood policy through the National Flood Insurance Program. You need to remind them that it takes 30 days for a flood policy to go into effect—so the time to start talking to your clients about flood insurance is now.
PIA is here for you
If this winter season is anything like last year’s season, it’s best to be prepared—and PIA can help you educate your clients about their coverage. To help you communicate with your insureds about the winter season—how to prepare for it, and how their insurance policies cover them—PIA offers resources through its Storm Info Central and PIA Design & Print.
Storm Info Central is a one-stop shop for all your winter storm-related tools, including state-specific insurance department information, and pertinent QuickSource and Ask PIA resources on topics such as storm damage, frozen pipes and fire safety.
PIA’s Design & Print can help agents order materials to help their clients prepare for storm season, too. For more information about how this collaborative, custom, cost-effective member benefit can help you and your agency, email Calley Rupp.