Water Damage – A Claim Nightmare

Did you know that one of the most damaging claims you can have on a homeowners policy, is also preventable?

Water damages to the interior of your home is likely the homeowner insurance claim you will experience. Statistics show that there is almost a 70% chance you will experience some type of water damage claim, large or small. One statistic, which is extraordinary, is that the EPA estimates that over 25% of homeowners have a water leak to which they are unaware. Scary isn’t it?

Water damage claims can make you home unlivable and in the long run can also bring on hidden mold damage. Mold damage is usually not covered under a homeowner’s insurance policy. There are steps you can take to prevent and minimize the chances for a water damage claim coming from leaking or burst pipes. Many water damage claims occur when your home is unoccupied for a period of time.

Here are some tips for both cold weather and warm weather areas:

  • Insulate your pipes which are most exposed to cold temps
  • Turn off water supply to your washing machine, icemaker, toilets and other bathroom fixtures
  • Install a leak detection system – there are many in the market today. These devices will automatically turn off the water supply should a leak be recognized, perfect for secondary or vacation homes
  • If you have a sump pump test it throughout the year
  • Turn off water to the house and drain pipes if you will be gone for an extend period of time such as months
  • Check you hose fittings to your washer – metal fittings are preferred
  • Shut off supply line to any water softener
  • Replace the water heater per mfg recommendations – may leaks occur due to faulty water heaters

Yes, water damage claims from pipes or internal fixtures are covered by homeowner’s insurance, but put up with the inconvenience and the indirect costs associated with a water damage claim. Any ounce of prevention is always preferred.


A Big Mistake Made by Homeowners

What do you think is one of the biggest mistakes that homeowners make? Not keeping a home inventory! You might say “I’ve never made a home inventory!” or “I don’t know anyone who has a list of all of their belongings!” Well, we are here to tell you that a lack of home inventory could cost you a large amount of money.

This might be hard to do, but picture a fire destroying your entire home. You call your insurance company to file a claim on your Hilton Head homeowners insurance and the adjustor asks you for your list of personal property in the home. If you haven’t made your home inventory list, you are going to have a difficult time reconstructing from memory a list of every single item that you own. This, in turn, means that you will not receive reimbursement for everything to which you are entitled. A home inventory list could also speed up the process of your claim and get you back on your feet quicker.

At Beacon Insurance Group, we highly suggest that our clients create a home inventory. Use a smartphone to take pictures or videos and email them to yourself and someone else so that they can be kept “on file.” There are also several applications that you can add that will help you create the home inventory and keep it organized for you. We have used “Know Your Stuff” from the Insurance Information Institute and you can organize items by room, add photos, add price of the items and insert seriel/model numbers. With this app, you also get free online storage so you can access your inventory anywhere, anytime.

A home inventory is your only backup in a time of loss, so prepare yourself now so you don’t have to deal with the hardships later.