Even with the best home, condo, or renters insurance filing a claim is never an enjoyable experience. At Safeguard Insurance our goal is to make sure your claim is handled fairly and promptly. However, we would rather avoid the entire process if possible. With that in mind, here are 5 preventable homeowners insurance claims and what you can do to avoid them.
- Washing machine water supply lines. Out of sight, out of mind right? The hoses that supply water to your washing machine are typically rubber and last about 5 years. Eventually, if not replaced, the rubber hoses will burst and flood your home. The solution? Upgrade to a stainless steel braided line that will last much longer. Also, consider a water detection alarm that will alert you within seconds if a leak is detected.
- Roof damage from tree branches. That beautiful tree in the yard that provides shade in the summer might have a sinister side. Any branches that hang over your roof can rub against shingles or tiles and cause damage. Or, a windstorm might break off a branch large enough to damage the roof when it falls. Prevent damage by planting trees at least 15 feet from your home and pruning any branches that overhang the roof.
- Electrical outlet fires. We all have those handy power strips plugged in around our homes. The magically turn 2 electrical outlets into 4, 6, or more. But, if overloaded, the power strip might get hot enough to ignite and catch surrounding furniture on fire. To prevent this type of electrical fire, use power strips only when necessary and make sure you are not overloading the outlet.
- Burglary, theft, and vandalism. Property crimes are frustratingly common and, in many cases, completely preventable. Burglars look for easy targets such as homes with open garage doors, property stored in the open, and poorly lit exteriors. Consider adding a security system, exterior lighting, and putting your stuff in a shed or the garage. Keep the garage door closed and exterior entrances locked, even when you are home. A dog can be a great deterrent – just be certain it is not overly aggressive.
- Slip and fall injuries. An injury that occurs on your property can turn into a nightmarish claim. Make sure concrete walkways are level, even, and free of any debris. Stairs should have secure handrails and anti-slip tape where appropriate. Have a swimming pool? Make sure it meets all local safety codes, is fully fenced, and has depth markings.