Homeowners insurance plays a big role in ensuring that your home is protected from serious, unexpected losses from storms, theft, personal injury claims and other damages that can cause serious financial setbacks. When used as intended – to protect against unanticipated losses – a homeowner’s policy is one of the best risk management tools you’ll ever have.
Unfortunately, many homeowners approach insurance as a barrier against all sorts of claims that, with a little preventive maintenance and proactive housekeeping, could have been avoided altogether. As a result, their premiums can rise considerably, and in some cases, their carrier may decide to discontinue their policy.
Insurance is a risk-based business, which means your premiums are based on a risk profile that’s determined by many factors, including the number and size of the claims you’ve made in the past. Homeowner’s insurance is not designed to protect against damage that occurs as a result of regular wear and tear or delayed maintenance, and premiums go up when it’s used to offset the costs of those damages.
To avoid premium hikes, you need to perform all those little housekeeping and maintenance tasks that can help prevent damage from regular wear and tear, like roof leaks from worn shingles, structural damage from rot or insect infestation, or water damage from worn-out washer hoses or rusty hot water tanks or pipes. With sunny spring weather on the horizon, now is a great time to take on those housekeeping and spring cleaning tasks you’ve been putting off so you can avoid insurance claims in the coming year. To get you started, here are six critical tasks to put on your spring cleaning list:
- Check your property. Walk around and look for signs of winter damage, like branches on your roof, loose gutters, missing roof shingles and other types of damage that occur as a result of winter winds, freezing temperatures and dry air.
- If you have large trees, schedule an appointment with an arborist to have branches trimmed so they don’t fall on your home or outbuildings.
- Carefully examine your trim as a regular part of your housekeeping duties, looking for missing or chipped paint or signs of rot that can let water leak in behind your walls.
- Inspect your washer hoses for bends or worn spots that indicate a need for replacement.
- If you don’t have splash guards under your downspouts, now is the time to buy them. They help divert water away from your foundation to prevent leaks.
- Carefully check your foundation for signs of insect infestation: look for webs, cocoons and termite tunnels, and schedule an exterminator inspection for added peace of mind.
Review Your Policy
Spring isn’t just a good time for regular preventive maintenance – it’s also a good time to review your homeowner’s policy to make sure it’s customized for your specific needs. Give us a call today at (209) 847-3065 to review your policy.