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Top Causes of Home Insurance Claims (and How to Avoid Them!)

Top Causes of Home Insurance Claims (and How to Avoid Them!)

Jun 05 2018

For many of us, our homes are our most expensive asset. That’s why we protect our homes with insurance, preventing financial hardship in the event that our homes are damaged, stolen from, vandalized, or deemed the cause of an injury.


However, even the most comprehensive home insurance policies don’t cover everything. For that reason, homeowners need to be proactive about what they can help prevent.


What are the most common causes of home insurance claims, and what can homeowners do to protect themselves? Read on for the details.


4 Common Causes of Home Insurance Claims


While there are many different reasons homeowners may need to file an insurance claim, insurance agents do spot certain trends. The majority of claims Grange Insurance Association receives are caused by one or more of the following:



  1. Water damage

  2. Theft

  3. Fire

  4. On-property injuries


Preventative Steps


How can you protect yourself from these types of claims? While this is not an exhaustive list, these practical tips will certainly help.


Water Damage


Earlier this fall, we devoted an entire blog about how to prevent water damage; below are some highlights:



  • Proactively fix leaks or cracks in plumbing pipes or appliances.

  • Ensure the seal and caulking around tubs and showers are watertight.

  • Safeguard against burst pipes by winterizing your home and installing an emergency pressure release valve.

  • Clean gutters at least twice a year.

  • Disconnect hoses when not in use.

  • Shut off your water main when you’re going to be away from home for extended periods of time.

  • Check your water pressure to ensure it’s not too high.

  • Watch your water bill for spikes.


Theft


Safeguard your home from burglary by:



  • Installing motion sensor lighting around your home.

  • Securing valuables in a home safe.

  • Investing in a home security system.

  • Keeping expensive items in the garage, away from public view.

  • Avoiding advertising any upcoming trips on public forums. While you’re away on vacation, work with your friends and neighbors to give your home a lived-in look, putting timers on lights and asking trusted friends to check in on your home periodically.

  • Avoiding hiding spare keys outside.


Home Advisor offers an even more comprehensive list of preventative tips, so be sure to review the full list here.


Fire


In order to protect your home from fire, be sure to:



  • Install smoke alarms on each level of your home.

  • Test smoke alarms every month.

  • Have your heating system serviced regularly.

  • Never leave burning candles unattended.

  • Prevent dryer fires by removing lint from the dryer filters after each use.

  • Avoid overloading electrical circuits.

  • Replace damaged or frayed electrical cords.

  • Store cooking oil far away from burners.

  • If using a grill, avoid fire hazards with these grill safety tips.


Falls on Property


You don’t want someone to fall or slip on your property. Perform a safety assessment of your home, checking for tripping hazards. Things to look out for include:



  • Loose floorboards, carpeting, or mats

  • Loose or missing handrails

  • Irregular or damaged steps

  • Clutter

  • Cables or electrical cords blocking walkways

  • Uneven walking surfaces


How Can We Help?


On behalf of Grange Insurance Association, we hope that you found these tips to be helpful. If you need help finding the right home insurance, we have recently won the ValChoice Award for “#1 Best Value” for Home Insurance across the Pacific Northwest. Learn more about this award and reach out to us with questions.


 

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