Mercury Insurance Provides Protection from Extreme Heat
"A home is like a vehicle … it needs a tune up to handle the change in seasons," explains Mercury Insurance vice president of claims Chris O'Rourke. "Knowing how to prepare for it can save you money…and maybe your home."
LOS ANGELES, June 12, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Tree branch drops. Water leaks in your home during 100 degree temperatures. Surges to electrical systems. Extreme heat can cause a lot of problems in and around your home, and The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is forecasting above normal temperatures for much of the country this summer and beyond.
The good news is that insurance covers many claims caused by extreme summer heat. The bad news is that forty percent of U.S. homeowners are not aware of what their insurance policy actually covers, and almost one in five policyholders believe they don't have enough insurance to repair or replace damaged or stolen property, according to a national survey Mercury Insurance conducted in 2018.
"A home is like a vehicle in the respect that it needs a tune up to handle the change in seasons," said Mercury Insurance Vice President of Property Claims Christopher O'Rourke. "Now is the time to prepare property for the intense summer heat, and one important step is to contact an insurance agent to assess coverage before you suffer a loss."
O'Rourke advises property owners to prepare for the following scenarios.
Tree branch drops. Parking a vehicle under a tree for its shade might seem like a good idea during the summer. However, the phenomenon called "tree branch drops" caused by extreme heat can cost you money. If a tree on your property extends over parked cars, you're responsible for any damage they cause if they fall. Tree branch drops aren't limited to streets, however, because they can also do a lot of damage to your home, too. Consult a local arborist about how to keep your trees healthy and to trim potentially hazardous limbs. And for those in wildfire prone areas, remember to control overgrown vegetation and keep a defensible space. Tip: Comprehensive coverage will protect vehicles damaged in this scenario when there isn't coverage by the tree owner, and your homeowners policy will protect your house.
Sudden, accidental water leak in your home. Water leaks in your home when the temperature hits triple digits happens more often than you might think. July is one of Mercury's busiest months for homeowners' claims due to water damage caused by blocked HVAC drains, and water damage accounts for nearly half of all homeowners claims. Air conditioning units see a lot of use during the summer months and many homes are built with plastic pipe drainage systems that can get clogged over time by debris or damaged by foot traffic. A simple HVAC overflow preventative measure is to get it serviced by a professional before the weather warms up.
Power surges. Electrical spikes can be caused by a scheduled blackout when the utility company turns the power off and then back on. These events can send a surge of electricity to your home's electronics and appliances, potentially "frying" them in the process. Often, homeowners and renters will not remember to unplug their devices, and some require using the circuit breaker to turn them off to protect them. You should also consider plugging your devices into surge protectors rather than directly into a wall outlet. However, before the worst happens, be sure to protect appliances and electronics from rolling blackouts during summer by investing in a good home systems protection coverage plan. Mercury customers can add this coverage to their homeowners, condo owners or renters policy.
ABOUT MERCURY INSURANCE Mercury Insurance (MCY) is a multiple-line insurance organization predominantly offering personal automobile, homeowners and commercial insurance through a network of independent agents in Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, Texas and Virginia. Since 1962, Mercury has specialized in offering quality insurance at affordable prices. For more information visit MercuryInsurance.com or Facebook and follow the company on Twitter.