Everyone in Oklahoma knows about insurance damage. We have more than our share with hail, tornadoes, ice, wind, earthquakes, wildfires and flash flooding. We all kind of live on the edge with Mother Nature wondering just how many hits our insurance company is going to take for us! We can work with you to advise you on ways to keep your costs down but today we are looking at ways you can be proactive and prevent a lot of claims and possibly keep from being non-renewed by and insurance company that might have paid two or three hail claims but that water claim was the straw that broke the camel’s back and you could have prevented it.
Here are 10 ways you can take precautions against possible claims:
1. Ice Dams– Make sure your gutters are free of debris in spring and fall to insure that water can run off the roof and down gutter drains. Take steps to keep a lot of snow from covering the gutter. Be safe and do not endanger your health by doing this from the roof. Use a ladder instead.
2. Washing Machine Hose– check the washing machine hoses for dry rot, cracking and tightening once a year. Hoses should be replaced every couple years. Water should be turned off to unit when not in use. A good way to ensure less leaks is to invest in a stainless steel hose versus rubber ones.
3. Refrigerator Ice-Maker Line– Often these lines become pinched and start to leak causing damage to the flooring material and cabinets. Check lines annually.
4. Valves to Sinks and Toilets– Older homes are susceptible to problems with fixtures and connections. Look for corrosion and rust around valves. If your home is over 20 years, consider having a plumber check and replace all connections and hoses.
5. Theft of Property from your Vehicle– Do not leave valuable items in plain view inside your vehicle. Use the trunk instead.
6. Dryer Fire– Clean the lint build up from under your clothes dryer at least once a year. The motor can ignite the lint when an accumulation occurs.
7. Candles– Never leave candles in a room unattended and be careful around pets and children.
8. Fireplace Ashes– Ashes can remain active for days and combust when fuel and air are introduced. Store in yard away from your home, or introduce water into the container to insure that the embers are extinguished. Be aware that even after the fire has died down that some sparks may remain active and can ignite or if a small amount of wood is left burning sparks can fly out igniting a surface area in the room. Always use a fireplace screen that keeps sparks from getting out.
9. Careless smoking– Always pay attention to how cigarettes are discarded. Do not discard in trashcans where other debris can ignite.
10. Kitchen Fires– The majority of fire losses originate in the kitchen due to food that is left unattended on the stove or the ignition of grease. Never leave a stove in use unattended. If a grease fire starts, put it out with baking soda or flour, NOT water, which will intensify the fire. It is a very good idea to have a couple of fire extinguishers in your home. Be sure to check them annually to make sure they are charged and working.
You can also link to this chart to help learn about drip protection. Don’t let it sneak up on you!!!