Homeowners Insurance Claims Prevention Tips

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Your claims history is one of the few factors affecting your homeowner’s insurance premiums that you can actively manage.

Aside from pride of ownership and a natural desire to make your house a home you enjoy and appreciate spending time together with friends and family, keeping your home in good condition and taking a few simple precautions to prevent accidents, theft or damage from the elements will also save you money on your home insurance rates.

While some of these are common sense measures any homeowner knows are important, a reminder may be in order from time to time of the specific things you can do to help prevent the hassle and expense of having to file a claim against your homeowner’s insurance policy.

Read on to learn more about preventing home insurance claims to avoid paying deductibles and unnecessarily higher premiums to insure your home!

Winterizing Your Home Ahead of Freezing Weather

  • Most standard home insurance policies do not cover damage caused by frozen pipes if you have not taken reasonable care to prevent such damage, so if you live in a cold climate and leave your home unoccupied for more than a few days, drain plumbing pipes and shut off the water supply or arrange to have somebody regularly check to be sure there’s enough heat to prevent pipes from freezing
  • Insulate outdoor pipes, hose bibs and faucets with a faucet cover or wrap rags or insulating foam
  • Cover foundation vents during the colder months
  • On nights when you expect very low freezing temperatures, open cabinet doors below sinks to allow warm air to reach them, which can help prevent the possibility of frozen pipes; on extremely cold nights it is also a good idea to turn faucets on with a very slow drip
  • Insulate your home’s outdoor water meter box and seal the lid tightly
  • Cover and insulate any outdoor electrical pumps
  • Drain your swimming pool’s circulation system; if you let the pump motor run for longer periods during the winter you may damage it

Dealing with Moisture, Dampness and Mold Problems

  • If you live in a predominantly wet climate such as the Pacific Northwest, moisture and associate mold can present not only home repair problems but potentially serious health risks as well; check your policy’s provisions as some cover mold remediation while others do not
  • The most effective means of preventing mold issues is to avoid them altogether by preventing leaks and moisture-related problems in the first place
  • Regularly inspect your home for any sign of moisture indoors; if you find any mold do not wait to resolve the problem but immediately use bleach to clean the area thoroughly
  • Check your hot water heater at least once a year for signs of rust, deterioration, full overflow pans or clogged drain lines
  • A common source of moisture inside the house is broken appliance hoses; inspect hoses and hose fittings periodically; steel-reinforced hoses will last much longer when you do need to replace any
  • Bathtubs, showers, sinks, and toilets are also common sources of water damage and moisture problems in the home; check the caulking, which should be replaced every couple of years to ensure water-tight seals and repair any leaky fixtures, supply or drain lines immediately
  • Periodically inspect caulking around windows and doors for any signs of moisture and add or replace caulk as needed
  • Check attic spaces and ceilings for signs of water stains or insulation that may be moist
  • Use a mold inhibiting paint when painting the exterior of your home
  • Planting beds and soil should be kept clear of your home’s siding
  • Landscaping and lawn areas should always be sloped away from the sides of your home
  • Preparing for Storms and High Winds
  • Hire a professional arborist to inspect and properly trim large trees that might pose a threat to your home during high winds
  • If you live in an area subject to strong winds and storms, consider installing storm or hurricane shutters to protect windows from glass breakage and resulting damage to your home’s interior
  • Always be sure to store patio furniture like chairs, tables and umbrellas before a storm

Home Fire Prevention

  • Check your smoke alarm batteries regularly; a system with central backup battery power is best
  • Keep several fire extinguishers in your home and have them recharged periodically per the manufacturer’s instructions
  • Be sure you and your family have a well known fire escape plan and practice home fire drills periodically

Home Theft Prevention

  • Set up a neighborhood watch program with your neighbors
  • Consider installing a home security system
  • Keep all valuables stored in a fireproof vault. Keep cash, jewels and other highly valuable belongings in a bank safety deposit box rather than storing at home
  • Hire a professional to examine your home for obvious intrusion means like doors, windows and other entry points that could be modified to enhance security in your home

Eliminate Attractive Nuisances and Safety Hazards

  • Some items or features are considered “attractive nuisance” and care should be taken to alleviate such issues; for example a pool without adequate fencing and a locked gate around it could pose a hazard to small children
  • Keep your home free of hazards like gasoline, explosives or anything that could cause fire; if you do keep such materials in your home, be sure to store them safely
  • Steps, stairways, decks and high places should have adequate railings and non-slip surfaces to prevent accidents
March 22nd, 2008 by Local Fresh

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One Response to “Homeowners Insurance Claims Prevention Tips”

  1. Forex Trade Software on April 20th, 2010 10:52 am

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