Do you know your home’s biggest risks? You may be surprised…

November 19, 2013

Blog

What are the words that come to mind for you when you think about your home?Most-Expensive-Homeowners-Insurance-Claims

Family.  Safe.  Relaxation.  Sanctuary.  Peace.

The other thing that also may come to mind is the fact that your home is one of your biggest assets.  In addition it is also one of your biggest liabilities.

In the infographic above you can see a breakdown of the most expensive home insurance claims that affect homeowners.

Now, some of these are natural disasters that you can do nothing about.  But let’s talk about a few of them where you can better protect yourself by taking a few steps…

Fire/Lightning/Debris Removal

A house fire can cause a tremendous strain on a family. The good news is there are things you can do to reduce the chances of a fire. The first is to regularly clean your dryer vents reducing the fire hazard of line buildup. It is also a good idea to have your electrical wiring checked periodically to make sure there are no potential fire hazards. It is also recommended to regularly change the batteries in smoke detectors so if there is a fire, it can be detected early. To protect from lightning as much as possible, make sure to have electronics connected to good surge protectors.

Bodily Injury/Property Damage

Liability is another major concern that comes along with owning a home. There are some things you can do to reduce your exposure. The first is to make sure any swimming pool or trampoline you own is fenced. It is also a good safety practice to have a handrail anywhere there are three or more steps. If you have a pet, try to avoid putting them in situations where they may feel uncomfortable or threatened.

Water Damage and Freezing

Water can cause major damage to a home. One good maintenance tip is to make sure your gutters are clean and water can easily flow away from your home. Also check any visible pipes to make sure there is no damage or wear that could lead to a leak. Frozen pipes can also be a major source of damage. If you will be away from home during cold months, make sure to have your thermostat set where heat can kick on at a low level to avoid freezing of pipes. A backup generator can also be invaluable if there is a lengthy power outage.

Credit Card Fraud

Identity theft can be very costly and aggravating. There are a couple of things you can do to make yourself less of a target for identity theft. The first is to shred any documents with personal information. It is also a good idea  to make sure you have online passwords and pin numbers that would not be easy for someone else to guess and regularly change and update them.

Still…the only way to protect yourself if anything still does happen…or anything happens that is out of your control…the only thing that will protect you then is your homeowners insurance.

Between 2005-2009 homeowners claims averaged $7,876.  Homeowners insurance protects you from these costs by providing coverage for many unexpected events and catastrophies. Many companies offer coverage endorsements to even covery exposures such as identity theft.

For any questions please call Bob Oetting & Associates at (217) 345-7063 or emaill us at oetting@consolidated.net and we’ll be happy to help.  Be safe out there!

 


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