Sometimes we just feel that it’s just bad luck to have a homeowner’s insurance claim. That could be a correct assumption but there are ways to reduce your probability of having a home insurance claim. Per the Insurance Information Institute (III.org) 5.3% of insured homes in 2014 had a claim. Ranked by claim’s frequency, wind & hail tops the list. This can be a claim from a hailstorm or wind caused by a thunderstorm, tropical storm, hurricane or winter storm. Water damage and freezing comes in second and then vandalism, theft and fire losses. Although wind and hail claims are more frequent, fire losses are the costliest.
So, are there ways to reduce the probability of having a claim?
Yes, and these are our top five….
1. Washing machines – I’ve written about this before. The hoses to your washer could be old and just ready to burst. Check the hoses and spend a few dollars to replace them if you think they’re old. I always recommend paying a few extra dollars and buying the hoses that have a metal mesh on the outside or ones that are rated to be heavy duty. It’s no fun to come home to a house full of water after the hose breaks.
2. Refrigerator – Aha… The water line to your ice maker is a leading cause of claims. You may not know for years that the line is leaking until your refrigerator is ready to fall through the floor. Maybe that’s a little overboard but you get the picture.
3. Roof – Shingles should last 20 years or more but that depends on maintenance. Letting leaves sit on the shingles in valleys and ridge areas will harm your roof and may cause a leak.
4. Hot water heater – Probably my all-time favorite is the hot water heater located in the attic and with no drain pan in case it leaks. If this is your house, then it’s time to get the hot water heater checked and have a drain pan installed.
5. Electrical fires – You know those extension cords or plugs that you have a bunch of stuff hooked up to? Yeah. Those are a fire hazard. Don’t overload an extension cord or plug. If a wall plug or any cords look suspicious then replace them. Loose wall receptacles, loose wires or loose light fixtures need to be fixed sooner rather than later.
These are just some of the things you can check and correct to prevent claims. Naturally we don’t have control over mother nature and a hailstorm or hurricane wreaking havoc to your home. But even with those you can reduce the severity of a potential claim by having your roof checked yearly by a licensed roofer or engineer.
Owning a home in Charleston is a huge responsibility and the cost to keep them up can be rather expensive but by keeping a watch on these five things you can do to reduce the probability of a claim at your house. You could save your property and even save a life.
December 21, 2016