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Claims Spike With Winter Weather [AUDIO]

The colder and snowier the winter, the busier insurance companies tend to get. Winter weather is normally the third-leading cause of losses, behind hurricanes and tornadoes, according to the Insurance Information Institute.

(Toniann Antonelli, Townsquare Media)
Heavy, wet snow pulled down power lines and tree limbs and caused damage throughout the state in early February, 2014.

“The losses come from the types of things you’d expect — a tree falling on a house, a tree falling on a car,” said the Institute’s Michael Barry. “Burst pipes are another thing.”

Automobile accidents, unsurprisingly, are another major reason for claims. Power outages can lead to a number of issues that need addressing, including spoilage in the refrigerator and an interruption of business at stores.

“The claims are, of course, scrutinized, but the insurance companies — when their policyholder has a loss, this is their time to shine,” Barry said.

Photographs and documentation can certainly make the process smoother for claimants.

Anita DaSilva with State Farm in River Edge couldn’t offer hard numbers on whether this winter in New Jersey has been more packed with claims than previous winters, but she expressed hope that this is the most active season of the year.

“One thing that comes to mind when you have this much snow is that once it starts thawing, it’s going to make the spring a flood and water nightmare,” DaSilva said.

For that reason, DaSilva encourages residents to study their flood insurance options and add coverage, if necessary, for “backup of sewage and drains.”

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