6 common home insurance claims (and how to prevent them)

No one really wants to file an insurance claim. It’s just up there on the list of Not-Fun-Things-to-Do, right along with going to the dentist and paying bills. While sometimes Mother Nature strikes with unwarranted ferocity, there are a few things you can do to prevent damage to your home and protect yourself from home insurance claims. We’ll explain six common home insurance claims and how to avoid them.

Common home insurance claims and how to avoid them

1. Fire.

Fire is scary. It can destroy a home without much trouble, and that’s why fires are among the most common and the most expensive home insurance claims out there.

However, there are a few simple things you can do to prevent a house fire and the resulting home insurance claim:

  • Make sure your smoke detectors have working batteries.
  • Be careful in the kitchen.
    • Don’t leave flammable items – for example, oven mitts, utensils, packaging from food – near the stovetop or oven.
    • Never leave cooking food unattended on the stove or in the oven.
  • Don’t use electrical cords that are broken or frayed.
  • Remember that water and electricity don’t mix.

2. Hail.

Hail damage can be disastrous, even if the hail storm only lasts for a few minutes. These tiny little (or maybe not so tiny or little) projectiles can punch holes in your roof and cause your shingles to take a real beating. It can also damage your windows and even the siding of your house. If you’re in an area that sees frequent hailstorms and you’re thinking about getting a new roof, you may want to think about using an impact resistant material. This will help protect your home from damage and help you get the most out of your new roof.

There are simple things you can do to prevent home insurance claims.

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3. Non-weather related water damage.

Ah, water damage. Water can wreak a lot of damage on an unsuspecting home, and certain types of water damage are covered by home insurance. Usually, the damage has to be considered “accidental and sudden” – for example, a pipe bursting or an appliance malfunctioning – for the damage to be covered. Prevent water damage to your home by being on the lookout for leaks. Look under your sinks to see if there are water spots, look for stains on the ceilings, etc.

4. Wind damage.

Strong winds can blow trees over, damage your roof, and throw stuff into your house. The following tips can help you avoid wind damage.

  • Make sure that all of your trees are in good health. Diseased or dead trees are dangerous because they’re not as sturdy as healthy trees and could fall in a high wind.
  • Move outdoor furniture inside.
  • Maintain your roof regularly to make sure it can handle the strain of a wind storm.
  • Secure your windows and doors.

5. Weather-related water damage/Frozen water.

Weather-related water damage is also a very common loss. We’re talking about water damage caused by heavy rain, melting snow, or frozen water that wreaks havoc on pipes.

Unfortunately, home insurance policies do not cover flooding. You would probably need to get flood insurance from the NFIP through an agent. So, if it rains really hard and your basement takes on an inch of water, you would have to have a flood insurance policy in order for the damage to be covered.

To prevent weather-related water damage…

  • Make sure water will flow away from your home. The ground should slope away from your home’s foundation for a good ten feet.
  • Clean your gutters and downspouts regularly.
  • Consider getting creative with your landscaping to prevent surface water flooding.
  • Take steps to prevent your pipes from freezing in cold weather.
  • Have your roof inspected regularly by a trustworthy professional.

6. Theft/Burglary.

Burglary is another common home insurance claim. No one wants to be the victim of a burglary – it can ruin your family’s peace of mind. There are, however, a few things you can do to prevent a home break-in.

  • Be sure to keep doors and windows locked, even during the day.
  • Check that you have plenty of outdoor lighting for nighttime.
  • Consider getting a home security system.
  • Keep your bushes and trees trimmed so that there aren’t any hiding places for potential burglars.
  • Don’t leave valuables in plain sight.

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The above are some of the most common home insurance claims. Of course, your risks depend on where you live and your home, which is why you need an insurance plan that will protect you from your specific risks. Our agents can help you create a customized insurance plan that’s tailored to you and your family. We’re here to help you get great coverage at a great rate. Get started with your home insurance quotes by filling out our online form or giving us a call today.