No homeowner wants to have to file a home insurance claim, but sometimes due to our own lack of foresight, it does happen. The majority of home insurance claims, which boost the insurance rates, were from completely preventable accidents. If you know what to do, you can keep your premiums at a minimum and manage to keep your home safe, at the same time.
Some insurance claims are particularly common and can be prevented if you know what to watch for.
Pipes leaking or freezing can cause a lot of water damage in a short amount of time. Often, we don’t notice leaking pipes until they have already caused a lot of problems. The best way to prevent this very common issue is to inspect pipes on a regular basis and get them fixed immediately if you find any problems. Don’t wait for a major drop in water pressure to warn you that there’s a big problem, have a plumber check out any suspicions.
Frozen and burst pipes can be an issue during the winter in colder areas. If you are going to be out of the house for a while, be sure to set the thermostat above freezing and arrange for someone to check the place a couple of times a week while you are gone, particularly if there is a sudden drop in the temperature.
Most fires that cause damage to a home are due to poor wiring or a short circuit. Older homes are certainly more vulnerable to this issue, but any home can suffer from an electrical fire if they aren’t careful.
Regular inspections of cables and cords should be done every 3 months or so. Look for sockets that are coming loose, wires on appliances that may have been stripped or separated from the plug head a bit, and anything else. Wires should never be run under a carpet or across an area where they will be stepped on, since this can cause some serious problems with fraying and later cause a fire.
If you move into a new home, have an electrician do a complete inspection for faulty wiring, just to be on the safe side. Yes, it will cost you, but in the end, it’s worth it because you’ll have lower monthly home insurance rates.
Lamps, Christmas lights and other lights should be turned off rather than left on all night. The majority of electrical fires start during the winter, particularly during the holiday season.
You’ll want to make sure that your home is as secure as possible against thieves who could not only cause damage to your home, but also your family. Make sure there are locks on all windows and doors and install an alarm system.
An automatic light system can be a great safety item, turning lights on and off randomly throughout the house while you are away. Even if you tend to work late, this can be helpful, keeping the potential burglars in the dark as to when you actually get home. A predictable schedule puts your home at risk.
Keeping your home safe and secure is just common sense. You don’t want to suffer from any problems in the home, of course, but the added problem of having the rates for your home insurance rise is a big problem when things go wrong.
Take the time now to prevent these common issues and make sure that you schedule routine inspections and you should have no problems with your insurance. Most problems are completely preventable, so you’ll be covered when something unexpected happens.