You purchase homeowners insurance to protect yourself from the financial hardship that a total loss could bring. Yet most losses that occur are minor losses that could have easily been prevented through a program of regular preventive maintenance.
Below are some tips to help you get started on your own home preventive maintenance program that will reduce the chance of a minor loss occurring:
Everyday Loss Prevention
- Remove lint from clothes dryer after each use.
- Store hair dryer only after it has cooled down.
- Do not leave candles unattended. Make sure they’re in a safe location while in use.
- Do not leave space heaters unattended. Ensure they’re powered off after use.
- Do not leave an in-use fireplace unattended.
- Never leave coffeemakers, irons, toasters, or other small appliances that are in use unattended.
- Properly extinguish smoking materials. NEVER smoke in bed!
- Purchase surge protectors for expensive electronic equipment such as computers, home theater systems, or hi-fi equipment.
- Check air conditioning/heating system air filters and replace as necessary (m).
- Inspect fire extinguishers to ensure they’re fully charged (m).
- Inspect main circuit breaker or electrical panel (q).
- Check for cracks or separations in caulking around bathtubs, toilets, and faucets (m).
- Look at the hoses connecting toilets and sinks to ensure no cracks or leaks (m).
- Clean or replace dirty range hood filter (q).
- Check refrigerator or icemaker water lines to ensure no leaks (m).
- Look for water leakage around water filter tanks and connections (m).
- Inspect hot water heater’s exterior seams, drip pan, and water connections to ensure no leaks (m).
- Check dishwasher and washing machine hose to ensure no cracks, splitting or leaks (m).
- Check dryer vent for lint blockage (q).
- Inspect the roof and replace damaged shingles.
- Ensure that the flashing around chimney systems is sealed.
- Have chimney professionally cleaned.
- Check siding for signs of deterioration caused by rot, mold, or insects.
- Check and clean all gutters and downspouts, if necessary.
- Recaulk windows and doors.
- Check and repair or replace weather stripping on exterior doors.
- Check exterior painted or stained surfaces and refinish as needed.
- Inspect grout around any tile floor and touch up.
- Trim all trees that could cause water damage to the siding or roof.
Source: “Preventive Home Maintenance” by Donna Glover, Rough Notes Magazine, October 2003 issue
If a Loss Does Occur…
Insurance is something you purchase hoping you never have to use it. However, if you do have a loss, here are a few points to keep in mind:
- Before something happens – be prepared.
- Keep a list of all the contents in your home, and put it somewhere safe not in the home. There are two easy ways to create this list:
- Check with your agent for Central’s Household Inventory booklet. This booklet is a helpful guide to listing all your personal property.
- To create the list electronically, go to www.knowyourstuff.org and download the free home inventory software.
There are Several Ways to Report a Claim:
- Report a claim to your agent.
- Report a claim online by going to www.eebins.com and clicking on “Report a Claim”.
- Report a claim by phone:
- Call 512-869-1511 during regular office hours (between 8:00 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. Eastern Time) Monday through Friday.
Article Source: http://www.central-insurance.com