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Avoiding Homeowner’s Insurance Claims

iStock_000013843783_LargeIf your home is damaged in a storm, you’ll certainly be grateful that you have homeowner’s insurance. But since your deductible – the part you have to pay before insurance kicks in to cover repairs – may be $500, $1,000, or more, you may still find yourself wishing you had never had to make the claim at all. Not to mention, if you make several claims on your homeowner’s insurance over the years, you may find yourself facing higher premiums or even dropped coverage.

Since it’s always better to prevent homeowner’s insurance claims when you can, follow these steps to protect your home from storm damage.

Clean your gutters regularly. The whole point of gutters is to route water away from your home. When your gutters are blocked by debris or ice, the water has to go somewhere. Unfortunately, it will often re-route itself through your home, causing water damage. So keep those gutters clean!

Maintain your trees. Storms can cause branches or even entire trees to snap and be on the lookout for weakened, dying trees. These are more likely to fall when weighed down by ice or pushed by extreme winds.

Wrap your pipes. If the temperature is set to dip below freezing, wrap or otherwise insulate exposed pipes. A burst water pipe can mean major water damage to your home, on top of the plumbing bill.

Make sure your heating system is working properly. If you’re going to be away from the home for a few days in the winter, leave your heat on rather than trying to save a few bucks by turning it off. This can also help to prevent frozen pipes.

Remove ice and snow, or even a collapsed roof.