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1/30/2013 - III: Don't underestimate Mother Nature's wrath in winter


Winter weather can do plenty of damage to personal property.

The throes of winter may not be as damaging as the kinds of violent weather activity that the summer and fall can bring, but a recent analysis may be surprising as to how costly freezing temperatures and heavy snowstorms can be.

According to the Insurance Information Institute, which based its statistics on a collection of data from Munich Re, winter storms were responsible for nearly 10% of catastrophe losses between 1992 and 2011. In terms of monetary damage, $28.2 billion worth of damage occurred as a result of winter weather.

Thus far, this winter has been relatively tame compared to previous years. But forecasters say that can quickly change depending on the jet stream, which is the dictator of weather. Just six years ago, property insurance damage totaled nearly $1 billion nationwide, making it the second-costliest winter in terms of insured losses.

Winter storms can also often bring fires, primarily due to homeowners mishandling heating equipment, such as space heaters. The National Fire Protection Association has an online resource called "Put a Freeze on Winter Fires" that families can use to protect themselves and avoid the risk of these events.

Click here for more information on developing a heating safety checklist and other helpful ways to steer clear of fire danger this winter.


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