Owning a home is a wonderful challenge. The keyword here is “challenge” because while your home will provide you with many things including shelter and comfort, it is your responsibility to maintain it. In the same way your home protects you, you’ll need to protect your home against a variety of things which is what makes homeowners insurance so important.
A homeowners insurance policy will protect you against many different perils, however, a standard policy won’t cover everything. Even the perils it will cover you against may be mitigated or prevented by regular maintenance and taking the right steps to get the most out of your home. You may also be able to decrease the amount you pay in home insurance premiums all while helping your home stay protected.
No matter which brand you choose or how well you maintain them, appliances are going to break. Your home insurance policy might protect you from certain perils that can harm or destroy your appliances but general wear and tear is not one of them. You’ll need to rely on your appliances’ warranties and for next-level coverage, you’ll need a home warranty. A home warranty can cover you in ways other forms of protection cannot. Homeowners insurance is always important as a fire could happen, however, your dishwasher eventually will break no matter what, it’s only a matter of time. Be prepared and invest in a home warranty that compliments your home insurance coverage.
Depending on who you ask, you’ll want to get your roof inspected twice a year, once a year, once every two years…there are many opinions. These suggestions vary for a number of reasons and one of the main ones is that it depends on where your home is located. A home that is dealing with frequent hail storms and near a variety of trees will likely require more attention than a home subjected to milder weather and fewer trees above.
Texas is home to a number of extreme weather events. In the aftermath of such events, damage can befall your home and roofs tend to take the brunt of this. Following harsh weather such as hail storms, hurricanes, and tornadoes, having a roof inspection can help you mitigate your loss and restore your home to its full glory.
Your roof is important and one of the first lines of defense against the elements protecting you, your valuables, and critical components of your home’s structure. Failure to maintain your roof can lead to various problems including water damage from a leaky roof. Your insurance provider can even drop you as a client or deny a claim if your home’s roof isn’t maintained. No matter how often you have it inspected, just be sure you follow a routine that keeps your home protected. Contact a local roofing company for the best-personalized suggestion for your area.
Regular Termite and Pest Control
Pests are disgusting, they bring diseases, and some can even destroy your home. Extermination is important when they are present but preventative measures are the best way to go. Spraying for pests twice a year, typically in the spring and the fall, helps keep such annoyances at bay. For infestations or serious problems, contacting a professional is your best course of action. Handling chemicals of any kind should always be approached with caution and used as directed, but maintaining a pest-free home is important for everyone. Sadly, if you do find yourself dealing with such issues, don’t expect your homeowner’s insurance policy to cover it. Again, as a homeowner, you have a responsibility to maintain your homes and this is not a peril your provider will consider warrants a claim under a standard home insurance policy.
Security Systems and Cameras
$4,328 per claim is the average amount for a theft-related loss, according to the Insurance Information Institute (III). Research suggests that as much as 60% of burglars are deterred by the presence of a security system. These statistics should not be lost on homeowners, and they are certainly not lost on insurance companies. Having a security system with alarms and cameras can help protect your family by preventing a break-in before it even happens. You can also save money on your homeowner’s insurance premiums as many providers deliver discounts for such home features.
Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Fire-related claims are among the rarest in the insurance world, but they are also some of the most expensive. Homeowners who have lived through a fire know the harrowing experience it can be, even if everyone escapes unharmed. Things can be replaced but that doesn’t make it easy. You’ll need to restore a large number of items and your home, possibly find temporary housing, and deal with the emotional stress of it all in the process. Operational smoke detectors can help homeowners stay safe, limit damage, and alert firefighters quicker.
Carbon monoxide detectors can also help protect your household from a deadly and silent killer. According to the CDC, hospitals will receive visits from 50,000 Americans each year for accidental carbon monoxide poisoning. Unfortunately, 430+ Americans die from these perils each year. Having these detectors in place can help you keep everyone safe and even receive insurance discounts depending on your provider.
Storm Shutters and Hurricane-proof Windows
Windstorms of all shapes and sizes can cause harm to your home and often do by affecting your roof. Another vulnerability is your home’s windows. A busted window can lead to even more damage in the form of water damage, mold damage, and infestation. Having storm shutters and hurricane-proof windows can add style, functionality, and value to your home all at once. Again, such home improvements can help you save money on homeowners insurance premiums. This is because insurance providers assess clients by the amount of risk they pose with homeowners that express more risk receiving higher premiums and those with lower levels of risk receiving lower premiums. By lowering your risks through home improvements, you can be rewarded with savings as well as increased protection.
Schedule Routine HVAC Cleanings
The Lone Star State ranks fourth in the United States in terms of the hottest states in America. Our air conditioners work overtime and no matter where you are, you’re going to need your HVAC unit working to keep things feeling right. Texas is also diverse and there are many homeowners who are in need of warmth during the colder months. No matter how you slice it, if you are a Texan, your HVAC is working hard for you and you’ll need to devote a little extra TLC to make sure it lasts as long as possible.
HVAC technicians are available to perform routine maintenance and cleanings on your units throughout the year. Many offer services in both the spring and fall seasons to prepare for the changing of weather and more extreme temperatures found in both summer and winter. By allowing a professional to have eyes on your unit and to maintain it in the process, you can add years of life to your HVAC system and prevent small problems from becoming large ones.
Chimney Sweeps Prevent House Fires
An annual chimney sweep is a great way to prevent a house fire. You may not think of it much, out of sight out of mind, but the inside of your chimney is an important component of your home to keep your household safe. Small animals and debris can often find their way inside causing fire hazards for you and your home, but the real hidden killer is creosote. Although it may seem like harmless black soot, this tar-like substance is very flammable and can start a fire that can destroy your home and endanger your family. Having your chimney and fireplace inspected and cleaned annually helps reduce the number of flammable materials that reside inside, discover small structural problems before they grow, and keep everyone safe all the while.
Elevate Your Home
Flooding might not affect you today, but what the future may hold is hard to tell. As many as 1 in 4 flood insurance claims come from homeowners that reside outside of “high risk” areas. Flood insurance is necessary to cover flood events as a home insurance policy will not, and if you have concerns about your home flooding, coverage is important to help you restore any losses. Preventing potential losses in the first place is also a viable option. Elevating your home through a local professional contractor can be a costly endeavor, but it can help you avoid one of the worst types of losses a homeowner may have to face.
Additional Insurance Policies May Complement Your Coverage
Home insurance policies come with policy limits. These limits are in place to help keep your coverage affordable while still protecting you against important potential perils. When you face a loss so great that these policy limits are met, this can be a scary place to be. Restoring your home in the aftermath can prove to be costly and hectic. This is where endorsements and supplemental policies come into play:
- Umbrella insurance policies can be there to protect your financial interests and assets when facing substantial losses due to liability.
- Specific insurance endorsements can help you cover more. This can range from scheduled property coverage for highly valuable possessions in need of more coverage to water backup coverage for sewer issues and drainage concerns.
Each home is unique and this will create different scenarios for each homeowner. Your best bet is to speak with an insurance agent to discuss your potential risks and approach your coverage on a more personal level. Here at Freedom Insurance Group, we help homeowners like you protect their interests at an affordable rate.
The problem with insurance is that too often homeowners will overpay for coverage they may never need or receive coverage that won’t be able to cover them during a time of loss. We eliminate this problem by shopping your coverage needs through over 25 top-rated insurance brands to receive the lowest possible price for the exact protection you need. On average, our clients save 40%. Give us a call or use our online home insurance quote tool for free to see how much you could save.