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Is Your Home Or Business In The Snowstorm Nemo's Path? The Hanover Insurance Group Offers Tips For Protecting Your Property From Winter Weather

WORCESTER, Mass., Feb. 8, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Starting today, unprecedented snowstorms are predicted to sweep across the East Coast. Such blizzard conditions can lead to large snow loads on the roofs of homes and businesses, which—unattended can cause damage and even collapse.

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20051031/NEM023LOGO )

With this severe weather underway, The Hanover Insurance Group, Inc. (NYSE: THG), a leading provider of property and casualty insurance for businesses, families and individuals nationwide, urges property-owners to take immediate action to protect themselves and their property.

"Cold winter months alone can cause damage to your home or your business. But, emerging challenges, such as snow loads can weigh down a roof, causing serious damage and even collapse—especially if the roof is flat," said Mark Desrochers, President, The Hanover's personal lines insurance business. "While pre-season prevention works best, there are steps you can take now to help avoid damage."

With this in mind, The Hanover offers a few simple steps that can help home and business owners protect themselves and their property during the storm:

  • Watch for falling snow and ice from roofs.
  • Don't put untrained individuals on roofs to clear snow. Falls from roofs and possible exposure to electrical wires while on the roof are serious hazards.
  • Inspect roofs for leaks or structural deficiencies that may develop during the storm.
  • Make certain that gutters, drains and downspouts are clear of ice and debris.
  • Clear snow and ice away from exhaust vents that go through exterior walls.
  • Clear decks of snow to reduce stress on them.

Additionally, after the storm:

  • Clear areas around downspouts so that water from melting snow has a path to flow away from the house or building.
  • Remove snow from side walls to prevent high snow mounds from pushing them in.
  • Temporarily shore up and brace dipping or sagging roofs or walls.
  • Improper operation of doors or windows, deflection of ceiling finishes or exposed beams, roof leaks or sprinkler heads moved from their normal positions could be signs of roof failure.

"As always, The Hanover is deeply concerned about individuals and businesses that may  be  impacted by this or any storm," said Desrochers. "If you do experience a loss, know that we are standing by, ready to quickly support claims throughout the area. When filing an insurance claim, it is best to contact your independent insurance agent as soon as possible. Let your agent know the extent of the damage and start to document your loss with lists, receipts or photographs."

In the event that your insurance agent is unreachable, The Hanover's customers can submit claims by calling the company's toll-free customer service line at (800) 628-0250, 24 hours a day, seven days a week or through the website, hanover.com.

Desrochers continued, "Customers are advised to locate their policies, if possible, before calling their agent or the company, to expedite the claim reporting process."

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