Here's a few tips to reduce the chances of the number one claim in property insurance...
I hear daily in the office as to why or why not insurance rates should or should not go up at renewal. The number one reason why rates should not go up from clients is that we have not had a hurricane in years and in many ways that makes a lot of sense.
But hurricanes are not the only claims people submit and as a matter of fact water damage is by far the most frequent claim we see. As homes age and in some cases even in new homes pipes, supply lines, dishwasher hoses, washing machine hoses, hot water heaters, toilets, icemaker supply lines, A/C Lines can break or fail and fill your home with water. These claims have exploded in Florida and cost insurers a ton of money. Insures will tell you about 70% of their processed claims are for water loses as homes age here in Florida.
Water claimscan cause a tremendous amount of damage in a home or business but there are a few things you or better yet a plumber can do to at least reduce your chances of coming home from the grocery store and having water running out your front door.
Again M&L strongly suggest that you hire a professional plumber to complete these easy and mostly inexpensive safe guards to your house.
1..Check Your Hot Water Heater…They do not last forever and most professionals believe they should be replaced every 12-15 years max. If you see rust, water on the outside or just signs of age get rid of it as it’s a ticking time bomb with a lot of water in it not to mention the water that will be filling it as it pours out.
2. Washing Machine Hoses…The supply hose to your washing machine carriers a lot of water to your machine. But if this hose gets old and breaks the water damage can be excessive. Check these hose on a regular basis and get it replaced if there are any signs of wear and tear. But be careful, as I have said not installing any of the above correctly can cause water damage so make sure it’s done correctly. Get a plumber.
3. Toilets…We all have them and use them but they can cause a huge water issue. Many toilets have a plastic plug on the bottom of the clean water tank that over time dries out and can fall out and release a tremendous amount of water in your home. When this plug falls out the clean water tank will also auto fill with water and never stop as the water is just pouring out the bottom of the tank. This could easily dump hundreds or even thousands of gallons of water in your home. Check this plug and the hoses going to the toilet and replace if you see any wear and tear or aging.
4. Ice Maker Hoses… Believe it or not that little hose that fills your icemaker can be very destructive if it breaks and even a small pin hole can release a lot of water. In the good old days these hoses were copper but had a tendency to bend or pinch so many years ago a plastic more flexible option starting being used. But they are a poly based hose in many cases over time they dry out and decay and can break from the heat behind your refrigerator. Of course this is another auto fill item so once that break happens it will not stop until the water is shut off as the ice maker will just keep running looking for water to fill it.
5. AC Systems …These should be maintained 2 times a year. Get those pipes cleaned and blown out to eliminate the chance of backup and property damage.
6. Check Under Your Sinks...Look for standing water, rust, wear and tear and replace any pipe/PVC that looks like it could be damaged or about the break. This is a cheap fix that can really pay off.
7. Install a Water Alarm Sensor…These are generally very inexpensive and can be life savers. Most hardware and big box stores sell them and if you have a water loss it can shut down your system or at least let you know there is an issue.
8..I Saved The Best For Last…KNOW WHERE YOUR WATER SHUT OFF IS ON THE OUTSIDE OF YOUR HOUSE!!!! This is huge. So many people have no idea while a water loss is happening how to shut off the water. You have a main water line going into your home that you can shut the water completely off.
FIND IT THIS WEEK
and let everyone in the house know where it is and how to shut it off.
I personally shut my water off every time I go away on vacation or business just to make sure I won’t come home to a pool in my house.
Really any pipe or hose that carriers water from one item to another needs to be a point of interest in your home and you need to keep your eye on them and have a professional replace it if it’s old or worn. I just cannot say enough by maintaining and replacing these few items above you can greatly reduce your chances of a water claim on your home. Claims are not ever fun but taking a weekend to make sure a few items in your home are in great working order can just reduce your risk of a claim and the frustration and the overall aggravation of any insurance claim.
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