4 common home insurance claims and how to prevent them

In this article, Wasim Bux from home and car insurance provider iGO4, investigates four common home insurance claims and how you can prevent them to keep your premiums affordable.

Having good home and contents insurance policies is essential for almost every homeowner, as they can help you cover the potentially high costs of major repairs to your home. However, each time you claim, the premiums you need to pay are likely to go up. This means that, if your home suffers from regular problems, you could end up shelling out more and more.

The four costliest domestic insurance claims in the UK are weather damage, escape of water, fire, and theft, according to figures from the Association of British Insurers. Here, we'll look at what they are and steps you can take to prevent them.

Weather damage

Britain is no stranger to stormy weather, and winds, rain, snow, and hail can cause all kinds of damage to your property. There isn't anything that can be done to stop a storm, but you can minimise the risk to your home by taking some precautions.

Your first port of call should be your roof, where any loose tiles should be replaced, and any holes should be properly repaired. This will prevent tiles from flying off and causing further destruction, and will also keep the weather from damaging the interior of your home.

If you have any loose objects outdoors, you will need to make sure they are secure. Ornaments, plant pots, and patio furniture can cause a surprising amount of damage if the wind catches them and blows them against your home. In extreme weather, you may need to shield any at risk windows and doors by covering them with plywood.

Escape of water

When water leaks out into your home, it can cause major problems, especially if you don't notice it straight away. Whether it's a burst pipe or a broken appliance, water damage is often unavoidable and typically occurs out of sight, which can make it hard to spot quickly.

Look out for damp and mould on surfaces, as this can be caused by a leak. You can minimise the risk to your home by carrying out regular checks on your pipes and appliances, to make sure there is no leakage. Take extra care in winter, when frozen water can expand and cause pipes and hoses to crack and burst. If you do spot an issue, it's best to turn off your home's water supply to cut the flow.

Finally, avoid pouring grease and oil down the drain as they can build up and stop the flow of water. Regularly use drain cleaner to pre-emptively break up any blockages.

House fire

As well as potentially being deadly for you and your family or co-habitants, a fire can cause untold structural damage to your home. A house fire can be caused by many things, which makes them hard to anticipate, but you can certainly take measures to greatly reduce the risk.

Make sure that you have smoke alarms fitted around your home to provide full coverage, check that they are working on a regular basis. It's wise to have firefighting equipment, like an extinguisher or fire blanket, on hand and ready to use in an emergency.

If you have children, make sure that matches and lighters are far out of their reach and in a safe location. Take extra care if you have candles or smoke cigarettes indoors, making sure they are fully extinguished away from any flammable materials.

Maintaining and taking care of your home appliances can also help: for example, ensuring the filters in washing machines and tumble dryers are clear or ensuring electric blankets are switched off and stored away when you're not using them.

Theft

It's a nightmare scenario for any homeowner: returning to your property to find it has been broken into and your valuables have been taken. Not only is it an invasion of your private space, but it can be a costly task to repair damage to windows and doors and to replace any items. Thankfully, your home insurance will cover most of it, but it can really raise your premiums, too.

You can minimise the threat of theft and burglary by making sure that your home is as secure as possible. Investing in a security system to monitor your home is a good first step, as an alarm will alert you to the presence of any intruders. Don't forget to fit any garages or sheds with a strong and reliable lock, as they are just as likely to be broken into as your house.

Take great care not to broadcast if you're travelling away from home on social media, and double check you've locked all your windows and doors before you set off. You can even install timers on your home's lights to make it appear as if you're at home.

Follow the advice I've given you in this article and you are sure to reduce the risk of your home being struck by these issues. This way, you can make sure your insurance premiums will always stay low.

 

January 10, 2018

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