Life happens. Even with the best of intentions, maintenance plans and insurance coverage, the occasional unavoidable crisis will present itself.
Life happens. Even with the best of intentions, maintenance plans and insurance coverage, the occasional unavoidable crisis will present itself. When people think of homeowners' insurance claims, they often associate it with major disasters such as wildfires or tornadoes. In these scenarios, there's not much that policyholders at ground zero can do to avoid disaster. But the reality is that many losses are entirely preventable. Previously, 5.7 percent of insured homes had a claim, according to ISO. Property damage from water is the most common homeowner’s insurance claim, followed by wind and hail, fire and lightning and theft, which all combined accounted for 98.1 percent of those claims.
Here are five examples of common homeowners' insurance claims, followed by a practical tip for reducing the likelihood of having to file.
Loose / Damaged Washing Machine Hoses
Alternating water temperatures, shaking machines and containment in low-traffic areas make this issue a common homeowners' insurance claim.
Tip: Replace plastic hoses at least every three years and inspect frequently for irregularities. If possible, situate your machine in a more visible (or at least audible) area.
Bath Tub / Shower Grout and Edge Leaks
Small leaks and slight decay may not seem like a big deal, but that water has to go somewhere - and it's usually right into your floors and walls. Over time, this can lead to major repairs in plumbing, carpentry, etc. More often than not, these repairs are not covered by standard homeowners' insurance policies.
Tip: Water that flows into your bath or shower needs to stay there, or travel down the drain. Close doors and curtains. Frequently inspect and repair seals, calling in a professional when in doubt.
If you've never experienced problems with toilet leaks or overflow, you're in the minority. Consistent attention is key to sparing yourself and your family thousands of dollars in damages.
Tip: Toilet wobbling? It might not be properly installed. Experiencing a leak? Call a qualified expert immediately. Don’t push it off until “later,” as that may be too late.
While tougher to identify than toilet or shower cracks, the water and plastic lines that extend from your fridge can cause extensive kitchen damage in short order.
Tip: If you're comfortable or handy, check the lines regularly for kinks. If uncertain, contact an experienced professional.
Most homeowners' insurance policies will provide coverage for roof deterioration caused by unpreventable triggers, such as vandalism or fire. That's not going to be much help when it's time to repair a roof brought down by nagging leaks.
Tip: Basic roof maintenance, such as gutter cleaning and shingle replacement, is key to a longer life. But don't try to stretch your roof past its time.