nsider Tips Help You Avoid Home Insurance Claims


Trim trees away from the house and remove dead branches.

Overgrown trees can be a hazard in high winds. Branches that reach close to your home, or worse yet, touch it, are pathways for squirrels and other small animals looking for new places to live.

Repair steps and handrails.

Broken stairs and banisters can be a danger to you and visitors to your home. If they trip and fall, you’re exposed to an insurance claim.

Buy yourself a reliable backup power source.

When the power goes out, you’ll be dry and comfortable if you have a reliable backup power source like a portable generator. Follow installation and maintenance steps to ensure safety.

If you don’t already know how to shut the water off in an emergency, find out.

If your neighbor’s home is similar, ask if they can show you where to find the water shut-off valve.

Or, try these suggestions from Roto-Rooter on finding the shut-off valve.

Once you know how to shut off the water in an emergency, make sure everyone else does, too. Share this information with your children, the baby sitter and pet sitter.

Check the water pipes for leaks.

Look closely for cracks and leaks, have the pipes repaired immediately. Check the hoses going to the washing machine. If your washing machine hoses are rubber, replace them with steel hoses. Look for leaks in the hoses going to the back of the toilets, as well.

Remove combustible items that have migrated close to any gas-fired appliances.

Family members may have gotten into the bad habit of storing things close to a gas HVAC system, or a gas dryer. Move those items elsewhere to reduce your fire risk.

Make sure smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are working properly and check the charge on your fire extinguishers.

The winter holidays are the prime time for house fires. Update your detectors with Consumer Reports Magazine’s top-rated smoke detector, the Kidde Model Pi9010 Dual Sensor and the top-rated carbon monoxide detector, the First Alert CO615 Dual Power Carbon Monoxide Plug-In Alarm.