As a home owner, a comprehensive home insurance policy is your first line of defence against unexpected events. Luckily, even some of the most inconvenient and costly of disasters can be prevented or anticipated with a little effort and preparation. We’ve put together a few tips you can follow today that can help you avoid a serious problem later.
Water is a huge cause of insurance claims. It makes sense–water damage can occur due to a burst pipe, from heavy rain, snow thaw or a backed up sewer. Water can lead to many expensive problems around the house. Luckily, it’s not hard to prevent many issues.
- Take Care of Your Pipes – Watch what you wash down the drain–avoiding food and grease, especially. Consider a drain guard to keep hair from becoming an issue too.
- Maintain Your Sump Pump – This is the first line of defence keeping water out of your basement or crawlspace. A sump pump should be kept in good working order year round.
- Clean Your Roof and Gutters – At least once a year, check your roof and gutters to make sure water and thawed snow can move freely away from your home’s foundation.
- Seal Cracks in Foundation or Basement – If you have cracks, leaks aren’t far behind.
Understand that some home insurance policies do not include coverage for water that enters your house from an external source. Consider adding coverage if you think this could be a problem.
For more information on how to deal with floods and rainstorms, be sure to check out our guide here.
Hail and Wind Damage
Wind and hail damage can lead to serious problems around the house–particularly the exterior and your yard. A few ways to prevent some of this damage include:
- Securing all lawn decor, patio furniture, grills, and other objects, so they can’t be tossed around by the wind to damage your home.
- Have a professional inspect and maintain your roof to assure any damaged areas are quickly repaired before it gets any worse.
- Keep trees and shrubs trimmed to prevent dead branches from falling or damaging your home.
- Consider upgrading to storm windows in areas that are prone to powerful storms.
Refer to guide for dealing with windstorm for more helpful tips.
Fire is one of the most preventable causes of home insurance claims. To keep your home protected, don’t forget to:
- Install and test smoke detectors on every floor of your home–especially near the bedrooms.
- Don’t leave candles or other open flames burning when you’re not around to watch them.
- Avoid fires in the kitchen by turning pot handles away from the front of the stove.
- Have your fireplace and chimney inspected and cleaned by an expert at least once per year.
- Keep a fire extinguisher in your home and make certain to follow all maintenance guidelines to keep it in good working order.
- Prevent electrical fires at home by doing proper electrical maintenance and correctly installing electrical equipment.
Theft is a highly personal crime that can not only hit you financially but cause you emotional trauma too. Luckily, there are some simple and effective steps you can take to deter theft:
- Lock windows and doors when you will be away from home.
- Don’t announce (via Facebook or other social media) that you’ll be traveling–it can tip off potential thieves.
- Don’t keep a spare key under the doormat or “hidden” on property. It is easier than you may think for a thief to find it.
- Consider installing a security system or surveillance camera as both a deterrent and a way to catch a criminal in the act.
While you may not be able to prevent every disaster, following the above tips can go a long way towards avoiding a claim. In addition, make sure your homeowner’s insurance is up-to-date and designed with your home and family in mind. Reach out to us today and let us keep you protected!