Homeowner’s Checklist: How Home Maintenance Can Help You Save on Insurance
To keep your homeowner’s insurance premiums as low as possible, there are many things you can do to avoid high costs. You already know that proper care and maintenance will go far in preventing costly claims. But sometimes it’s good to have a checklist as a reminder of what you can do before it’s too late.
When it Comes to Homeowner’s Insurance, Prevention is Key
If an unavoidable event happens beyond your control, you can rest assured that your homeowner’s insurance policy will likely cover it. This includes things like a natural disaster or vandalism. But remember, before you make a claim, your insurance company is going to look to see whether or not what happened could have been prevented. That’s why you need to get out ahead of a disaster before it’s too late.
Maintain Your Roof
The average cost to replace a roof is about $9,000. If you make a claim of roof damage, your insurance company may not cover it if you haven’t been maintaining your roof. It’s best to take care of any repairs as soon as you see them. Do regular maintenance checks—look to see if there are any uneven areas or cracking. Check that you don’t have any wildlife trying to make a home or nest under the overhang. If you decide to replace your roof, it’s recommended that you get asphalt shingles. These are thick and durable, and they last 15 to 30 years. The other types must be replaced more frequently, such as composition shingles, which last 12 to 20 years. Wood shingles last 20 to 25 years.
Check Your Gutters
We’re getting into the season of severe storms and melting snow. That’s why you need to make sure you have a proper gutter system. To maintain your gutters, check for debris, especially after a storm. Be sure to clean out all the leaves and other obstacles that can obstruct the flow of water. Is it time to replace your gutters? Check how long you have had them. Unlike with roofs, it’s hard to estimate the lifespan of gutters, because it depends on the weather. But the average lifespan for galvanized steel and aluminum gutters is 20 years. Copper is much more durable, lasting 50 years.
Insurance companies will only cover mold remediation if the mold was sudden from a natural disaster like flooding, or in a place the homeowner didn’t see, like the attic crawlspace. That’s why you need to stay on top of any potential mold growth. Mold grows best in humid places, like the bathroom. So be sure to have proper ventilation, and during times of high humidity, use a de-humidifier, which will discourage mold growth. Repair all leaks immediately, from a leaky roof to a leak in the laundry room. If you’re thinking of remodeling, consider using materials that don’t absorb water, such as laminate or tile flooring. But if you should discover any signs of mold—blackish green patches on the ceiling or a musty smell—have a professional look at it immediately. The key is not to let it grow too much until it gets out of hand. Then you’ll be left with a costly bill that insurance won’t cover.
Got a question about your Homeowner’s Insurance policy? It’s always a good idea to meet with professionals, like the ones at Zawada Insurance Agency to go over your specific insurance needs. Talk with us today!
Zawada Insurance Agency, Inc. is a family-owned and operated independent insurance agency, located in Worcester, Massachusetts, serving central Massachusetts and beyond.