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Fall Will Soon Turn to Winter. Will You Fly the NJ Coop?

Snowbirds: Escaping Winter’s Wrath


‘Snowbirds’ are folks who mimic our fine feathered friends by  relocating to sunnier spots for some duration of the chilly season.

If you are part of the southward-bound winter migration, remember to first make appropriate home preparations. Upon your return, you will want to find your home in good condition, bereft of any losses or damages and any necessary homeowner insurance claim.

To protect your home from the adverse effects of cold, ice and snow while you are away, follow these sensible tips.

  • Prime your home before leaving.

Make a thorough inspection of your home. If you leave roof damage unrepaired, it could lead to leaking. Clean your gutters and make sure any water piping along outer walls is insulated. Keep all cabinet doors ajar; this will allow heat to penetrate inner spots and minimize the likelihood of frozen pipes. Empty and close off outer water spouts.

  • Make pre-storm lawn preparations.

Remove anything on your lawn that may pose a storm liability risk. Cut down dead trees and trim large extending branches.

  • Review your insurance policy.

Discuss your situation with a competent insurance professional who will ensure you have adequate NJ homeowner insurance for your primary residence as well as for your seasonal home. If you rent, make sure your renters insurance tailors your coverage.

RELATED: How to make multiple insurance plan management easier

  • Arrange for driveway maintenance.

Appoint somebody to remove snow on your driveway. A well-maintained winter driveway will keep melting snow from seeping into your house. A shoveled driveway will also help prevent the appearance of a vacant home and the attention of thieves looking for easy prey.

  • Safeguard you home.

While you are on extended leave, you’ll want your home to be adequately secured. Terminate newspaper and magazine delivery subscriptions. Arrange for frequent mail pick-up or ask the post office to have your mail forwarded to your ‘snowbird’ address. Assign someone to make a once-a-week check-stop at your house to ensure delivered circulations are not piled up and your home does not appear vacant. Bolt all entrances and windows with secure locks. Installing automatic timers for turning on and off lights at various times will make the house look like it is occupied.  

RELATED: the difference between a vacant home and an owner-occupied home

  • Make banking arrangements.

Inform your bank that you will be gone so that your debit and credit card activity will not appear as if used for fraudulent out of state purchasing. Provide your bank with your contact info. Enroll yourself in online banking for payment ease.


 PRIME Insurance is focused on your insurance needs, wherever you are. Providing NJ homeowners insurance and out-of-state home insurance, as well as all forms of nationwide coverage that include auto insurance, business insurance, umbrella insurance, general liability insurance, travel insurance and more, PRIME is your one-stop center for protecting all that matters.

Contact PRIME at, email PRIME at PRIME [at] primeins [dot] com or telephone PRIME at 732-886-5751.

Before you know it, winter will be upon us and the snow will begin to fall. For snowbirds – folks who opt to run to the warmth of balmy climate – making the right preparations can make the difference between having to file a home insurance claim when they return or not.


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