• Mark Dunford

10 Homeowner Tips

When we meet with clients and discuss their home insurance policies, I am often asked about tips on how to save money and ways to avoid claims. Avoiding claims will save you time and money, not to mention being inconvenienced and having the headache of repairs. Here are a few tips that we often share with our clients;

  1. Be aware of your deductible. I am not a fan of an extremely high deductible, but increasing your deductible is one way to save a little on your premiums each year. Make sure you are getting all the available discounts. For example, if you bundle your home and auto policies you can save on both policies’ premiums.

  2. Make sure you are properly insured. If you are overinsured you are paying too much in insurance premiums. If you are underinsured you are setting yourself up for a financial disaster should you have a large claim.

  3. Make sure that vines and trees are not touching the house. When the winds blow, tree limbs can cause plenty of damage to your roof and siding. Vines that grow near your home can make their way into your siding, causing openings that will let moisture in that can lead to more damage.

  4. If you have a sump pump in your basement, consider installing a battery back up system. If the power goes out in a heavy rainstorm, the battery back up could save you from having water in your basement.

  5. Turn those hose bibs off when winter rolls around. Frozen pipes can cause plenty of damage.

  6. Does your home insurance policy include coverage for service lines? Those underground water, sewer, and electric service lines that run from your home to the supply are not usually covered by insurance policies. Nationwide has added that coverage endorsement as an option.

  7. Have you taken a look at your roof lately? Missing shingles can lead to interior water damage. If not repaired you may have more come loose later. Take a picture with your cell phone that you can zoom in for inspection.

  8. Make sure your gutters and downspouts are free from debris and directed away from the house. Moisture can be costly.

  9. If your home is on a crawl space, inspect it periodically for moisture and mold. Make sure your insulation is intact and not moist. If you have wet insulation you have a leaking pipe. Did I say moisture can be expensive?