Owning a home is a dream for many, but the reality isn’t always so idyllic.
You may be faced with many unforeseen events that threaten your safe haven, which is where homeowners insurance comes in. By looking at some of the most common claims, you may better understand how you can shield your home from these potential risks.
1. Wind and hail
Strong winds and hail from tornadoes, hurricanes, and thunderstorms can unleash a barrage of destruction on your home, including roof damage, broken windows, structural compromise, and more. It’s not surprising, then, that it’s the top insurance claim from homeowners each year. Thankfully, homeowners insurance can be your ally in these unfortunate circumstances, offering a chance to restore your dwelling to its former glory. When you do have strong winds and hail, walk the perimeter of your home and inspect for any new damage. By catching an issue early, you may help prevent any further damage to your home.
2. Fire and lightning damage
The devastation caused by fires and lighting can be catastrophic, which makes them some of the most expensive claims a homeowner can file. Not only do these events pose a physical threat to your home, but they can also lay waste to your belongings. Make sure your smoke detectors are functioning properly (and promptly replace any that aren’t) and store a fire extinguisher in an easy-to-reach location. Further, clean out your dryer vent at least once a year to help prevent a house fire.
3. Water damage and freezing
Water damage claims generally involve burst pipes from freezing, leaky roofs, malfunctioning appliances, and plumbing mishaps, as well as subsequent mold growth that may occur. The pervasive nature of water damage can wreak havoc on your home’s structure and possessions, especially if it remains undetected for an extended period of time. Though homeowners insurance can help mitigate the financial burden that you may otherwise have been left with, it may not address the underlying cause of the damage, such as the burst pipe itself. Talk with your provider to better understand what may or may not be covered.
4. Property damage
This is a broad category encompassing a variety of incidents, including a tree falling on your roof, vandalism, and a baseball breaking through your front window. These miscellaneous occurrences can obviously have an impact on homeowners, but insurance can help close the gap, making these random ordeals less costly to you. You can take proactive steps to help make your house less susceptible to these incidents, such as trimming branches that hang over your roof and installing security lights along the front and back of your home.
Homeowners insurance isn’t solely for protecting your property—it can also guard against potential liabilities. If someone is injured on your property, such as from a fall, and you’re deemed legally responsible for any subsequent injuries, liability coverage can help cover medical expenses and legal fees. Though these claims aren’t that common, they are rather costly, averaging tens of thousands of dollars per claim.
Theft and burglary are unfortunate realities that homeowners have to confront. The violation of your personal space, coupled with the loss of cherished valuables, can be emotionally distressing. However, homeowners insurance provides a protective umbrella to cover each, offering compensation for stolen items and aiding in repairing any physical damages to your home that may have occurred during a break-in. You can help further protect your home by installing a security system, which may even get you a discount on your monthly premium.
As a homeowner, be sure to take the time to talk with your provider so you can better understand your policy, its coverage, and its limitations. This can help you not only safeguard your home and belongings but also ensure you have the necessary information should you need to file a claim.