Claims on your homeowner’s policy can follow you for years. Losses, especially those caused by water damage, can increase your premiums or make companies hesitant to take on the risk of insuring your home. With that in mind, consider these preventative measures that can help protect your home:
Centrally-Monitored Fire and Burglar Alarms – Professionally installed and monitored alarm systems go a long way in preventing losses. These systems can alert emergency services if a fire or burglary occurs.
Low Temperature Sensors – Frozen pipes can cause costly damage. Low temperature sensors activate your alarm system if the temperature in your home should fall below a pre-determined level. Heat your home to a minimum of 55 degrees to avoid freezing pipes. It also helps to let a faucet drip when temperatures drop below freezing.
Water Shut-Off Valves – If a pipe does burst, a water shut-off valve will instantly stop the flow of water into your home. This can significantly reduce the amount of damage caused. If the home will be uninhabited for long periods (such as a seasonally-used vacation home), consider having someone visit the house on a monthly basis to run water through all plumbing fixtures and check ceilings and walls for evidence of water damage.
Install a Backup Generator – Extreme weather can cause extended power outages. A backup generator can be used to keep your boiler and water heater running, reducing the likelihood of frozen pipes.
Contact an Arborist – Trees can be a beautiful addition to your landscaping, but can cause major damage if they fall on your home or knock down a power line. Have an arborist check the health of your trees, and prune back branches that are touching the house or power lines.
Regular Maintenance – Make sure that your home is in good working order. Test your smoke detectors monthly, and replace their batteries every six months. Inspect your home’s foundation, roof tiles, and siding for cracks or breaks that could let water seep into your home. Clean debris from rain gutters so that water drains away from your house, as intended.