Owning a home can be rewarding both personally and financially, but it also comes with a number of risks. Three of the most common are burglary, fire and storm damage. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to help keep yourself, your family and your home safe. And for the events you can’t control, securing the right insurance protection is key.
1. House Fires
While the number of home fires in the U.S. has been trending downward for a decade, financial losses are up about 10%, according to the U.S. Fire Administration. In 2020, that amounted to 372,000 fires and about $8.6 billion in losses. Here are tips to help reduce the risk of a house fire:
· Heating appliances — especially space heaters — are major contributors to house fires. Don’t place them close to combustible materials such as draperies, bedding, clothing or paper.
· Don’t overload circuits, avoid running electrical cords under carpets where they can be damaged, and regularly inspect all cords and plugs for wear.
· The National Fire Protection Association has specific guidance you can read on installing and maintaining smoke alarms. Test your alarms monthly.
2. Home Burglaries
In 2020, the FBI reported nearly 1 million burglaries in the U.S. Take precautions to help avoid becoming the next victim:
· Install a security system. Researchers from UNC Charlotte found that 83% of would-be burglars check for a security system before breaking in. You may be able to score a significant discount on your homeowners insurance premium if you install a monitored system.
· Eliminate or illuminate dark hiding places. Trim hedges around your house and remove anything else that might provide cover for a burglar. Install motion-sensing exterior lights around the perimeter of your home.
· Don’t post on social media that you’re out of the house. While the majority of burglaries aren’t planned, telling people when you’re on vacation can be an invitation for trouble.
3. Storms and Flood
Although wind damage from hurricanes, tornadoes and other weather events can be catastrophic and may occur more frequently, flash floods caused the most property damage ($49.1 billion) between 2017 and 2021. To help protect your home and belongings from storm damage:
· Remove or secure outdoor furniture, sports equipment, flower pots and other items that could become airborne in strong winds and damage your — or your neighbors’ — house.
· Trim trees or branches that could fall on your home or damage neighboring properties. If you have large trees that are old and sickly, consider cutting them down before a storm blows them over.
· A standard homeowners policy usually doesn’t insure you against flood damage. Even if you don’t live in a flood-prone area, flood insurance is a good idea. According to FEMA, about 40% of the National Flood Insurance Program’s claims come from moderate-to-low-risk flood areas. Speak to a We Insure agent about obtaining affordable flood insurance for your home. And make sure you have adequate wind coverage if you live anywhere hurricanes can strike.
When it comes to homeowners insurance, all policies are definitely not created equal. That’s why it’s critical to get expert guidance to ensure you have the right coverage for your house and location — and that you’re not underinsured, given the current inflationary economic climate. We Insure will give you a fast, free, competitive quote from leading insurers in your area and help you source affordable, appropriate coverage to protect your home and belongings from fire, flood, storms, theft and other perils.
The information contained in this page is provided for general informational purposes only and may not be applicable to all situations. We Insure makes no guarantees of results from the use of this information.