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5 New Year’s Resolutions That Will Protect Your Home

happy new year homeYour home maintenance probably did not make your list of New Year’s Resolutions this year, but perhaps it should have. Taking care of your home can be measured in dollars and cents when you realize that homeowners insurance claims could be denied if an insurer determines that the loss could have been avoided through proper maintenance.

Click on READ MORE below to see the the best resolutions to start with...


Have the washer and dryer inspected

Loose/Damaged Washing Machine Hose(s) - Alternating water temperatures, shaking machines and containment in low-traffic areas make this issue a common homeowners' insurance claim. Tip:  avoid loose or damaged washing machine hoses, replace plastic hoses at least every three years, and inspect frequently for irregularities. If possible, situate your machine in where you will detect water problems right away.

Washer or Dryer Fires – The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) warns that failure to clean these appliances is the leading cause of washer and dryer fires in the home. They advise to pay attention to the lint filter, the vents, the electrical outlets and manufacturers’ operating instructions among other things. See the NFPA’s Dryer Safety Tips for much more.

Arrange for cleaning and inspection of chimney

Did you know that a chimney fire can occur without anyone even knowing it? When it happens, it can damage not only the chimney but the entire exhaust structure for your fireplace or stove. These fires occur when the chimney is clogged with creosote and ash that disrupt the escape of the super-hot exhaust from your stove or fireplace. The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) recommends having a certified Chimney Sweep inspect your system annually and clean and repair as needed.

Don’t leave the garage door opener in the car

Consumer Affairs warns to never leave your remote garage door opener visible in your car. It is a red flag for thieves even if your car is locked. Burglars troll neighborhoods looking for easy marks. Since the door between your garage and your home is usually not as strong and often not even locked, they know they have easy access to your home.

Seeing the remote opener in the car parked in the mall parking lot, for example, could encourage a burglar to break into and even steal your car. Knowing they have easy access to your house, they would drive to your home (your registration in the glove box gives them your address) where they will steal your valuables at their leisure knowing that you are away.

Keep stairs and walkways clear and safe

To prevent slips and falls in your home, be vigilant about the condition of your stairs and walkways both inside and outside. This means clearing snow and ice from exterior areas and immediately wiping spills inside. Never leave items underfoot and don’t allow loose throw rugs or power cords to obstruct the walkways.

Keep bathtub and shower water-tight

The biggest cause of rotting wood in bathroom floors is the leakage of water from broken seals in the caulking around tubs and showers as well as grout around the floors. These materials don’t last forever. Over time, they dry out, crack and decay allowing seepage of water behind them

You can minimize or avoid this problem by assuring that all are wiped up immediately and never leaving the shower curtain or door open with the shower running. Using an exhaust fan to prevent condensation on the bathroom surfaces will help to reduce breakdown of the seals as well. Moreover, by inspecting the seals and repairing as needed, you’ll further protect against water damage.

Homeowners Insurance Tip

Did you add a new room, expand a kitchen or bathroom, or enclose a porch during the past year? If so, the increased value in your home would likely require a raise in your homeowners insurance coverage limits. If you have not yet spoken to your insurance agent about the changes, there is no time like the present to be sure that you are protected in the event you need to file a claim.

Here at our Laurel, MD agency, our highly experienced Community Insurance Services of Maryland agents are always glad to speak with you about any insurance needs. Why not contact us for a no-obligation policy review or to discuss your options.

Saturday, 14 January 2017 18:23

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