After a winter of record snowfalls in many parts of the country, we’re now seeing a flurry of spring blizzards and thunder storms. When the spring melt comes, many experts are predicting unprecedented flooding. Severe weather and its aftermath is just one of the most common causes of homeowners insurance claims. There are several others. Knowing your risk exposure and preparing for it can prevent claims and help you save on your homeowners insurance.
Water Damage. This is one of the most common homeowners insurance claims and among the most costly. And it isn’t typically covered by your standard homeowners policy, regardless of the cause. Generally, you’ll need a separate policy or rider to cover water damage. In addition to actual flooding, ice dams on roofs, burst and leaking pipes, burst washing machine or dishwasher hoses, overflowing toilets and tubs, and leaking ceilings can all cause thousands of dollars of damage.
Wind and Hail. You can’t stop the weather, but you can lessen the impact with hurricane clips on roofing, storm doors and windows, stowing patio furniture and other potential projectiles when storms threaten and keeping tree limbs trimmed. One source says the average claim, not counting deductible, is over $6,500 for wind and hail damage.
Lightning. Not as common but capable of causing extensive damage from resulting fires, the average claim for lightning strikes can top $19,000! The simplest prevention is properly installed lightning rods. You can also takes precautionary steps when thunder and lightning storms are forecast by unplugging non-essential electronic equipment and using surge protectors.
Fire. Make sure you have sufficient homeowners insurance coverage to replace your home and belongings. Then prevent fires by checking for frayed electric cords and overloaded connections. Keep fireplaces cleaned and in good repair. Avoid dangerous placement of open flames and space heaters.
Accidents. If someone slips and falls while on your property, you’re liable. Keep steps and walkways in good repair and free from ice and objects that can cause trips, such as toys and tools.
Dog Bites. Man’s best friend can also be a big liability if he bites someone on your property. If you have a dog, consider increasing your personal liability coverage.
Make it a practice to review your homeowners insurance policy at least once a year. You can shop for competitive quotes from top insurers on this site.