Knowledge is power and Travelers has recently completed an eight-year study (2009 to 2016) of national claim data to compile the biggest threats to property owners. One thought behind this comprehensive study was to provide consumers the information to take preventative measures to protect, what for many, is their largest and most important investment…their home.
Without further ado, here are the findings.
#5: Theft. Break-ins account for 6% of the claims studied and this could be mitigated by increasing the security of your home. Installing deadbolts, window locks, timers on lights, and a security system are all great investments to protect you and your family. And remember to always lock your vehicles and remove any and all extraneous items that might tempt someone to break-in.
#4: Weather related damaged, 11%. As residents of New England, we are no strangers to the overwhelming damage that Mother Nature can deliver. This category includes roofs that leak; pipes that freeze and subsequently burst; and the dreaded ice dams.
#3: Hail. Hail accounts for about 16% of property damage claims and while it usually affects roofs, it can also damage sidings, windows, vehicles, etc. While it may seem as if you can’t protect against hail, there are steps you can take to minimize potential damage. First would be to ensure that your vehicles are moved to a protected area such as a garage or carport. Next would be to close all drapes/curtains over windows which would minimize interior damage should the hail break a window. That patio set that you just bought could be damaged by hail, so move those inside too. And if renovations are in your plans and you live in an area frequented by hail, there are building materials that are considered “impact resistant”.
#2: Water. Water is pervasive and relentless and accounts for 20% of property claims. These claims include plumbing, sewer and appliance leaks or failures that can spell doom for your interior. Preventative maintenance can save a soggy mess, so take the time to regularly check your plumbing and appliances. Consider installing a water sensor that will alert you to a potential flood in the areas they are installed. And it’s vital to know where your home’s main water shut-off valve is located so you can quickly cut the water supply with a flick of the wrist.
#1: Wind. Yes the mighty wind that blows accounts for 24% of property claims that can lead to downed trees, rip shingles or entire roofs from a structure, causing walls to collapse to name a few. And just like water, it’s impossible to stop the wind until the storm is gone. But you can take advanced measures to protect your property by trimming back trees and shrubs; inspect those trees too for any that may be dying and consider having them taken down professionally; securing your windows in advance of storms, whether manually putting up plywood or installing hurricane shutters; living in a hurricane area you can also retrofit your home to install roof/wall ties downs; wall to foundation tie-downs, etc.
As you can see, all of these situations can and have happened in our area and this is why it is critical to not only prepare your property but to make sure that your insurance is up-to-date and you have sufficient coverages. If you haven’t reviewed your insurance lately or may have had some life changes, give our office a call