by Emily Kaminska
For those facing coverage issues arising from damage caused by cold weather and frozen pipe bursts, this article will provide an analysis of common reasonable care to maintain heat provisions, highlighting principal cases addressing the issue across various jurisdictions in the county.
Many courts have enforced “reasonable care to maintain heat” provisions. Issues regarding an insured’s duty to use reasonable care to maintain heat often impact landlords and individuals who own unoccupied properties. Generally, insurance policies exclude coverage for damage resulting from an insured’s failure to use reasonable care to maintain heat within the property. Understanding the factors considered when determining whether an insured used reasonable care to maintain heat within a property is equally critical throughout the winter months, when the risk of loss due to issues such as frozen pipes increases, as it is during the warmer months, when coverage disputes frequently culminate.