How to Reduce Household Claims

Prevention really is the best policy when it comes to reducing the risk and cost of household-related insurance claims. Fortunately, thanks to new technology and the help of a few tried-and-true old-timer tricks, it’s easier than ever to prevent a small problem from growing into a major catastrophe. Following is a checklist to get you started:

  1. Security and Surveillance: Security comes in all shapes and sizes, including dead bolts, entry alarms, complete electronic household security systems, and even motion-activated lighting and recording devices that can be remotely controlled. Perform a quick review of the house and surrounding yard to ensure secure access at every entry point.
  2. Alarms and Alerts: Fire alarms are fairly standard in most homes, but far fewer people have taken the time to install other valuable alarms or alert systems that can save property and even lives. Carbon dioxide and natural gas detectors, radon detectors, water/moisture leak detectors, and even thermal leak detectors provide early notification of common household problems.
  3. Prepare and Practice: Flashlights, battery backups, automatic shutoff valves and other basic emergency equipment contribute little if members of the household don’t know how to use them. Have a process in place and practice age-appropriate responses for commonly encountered situations. Not only does having a procedure in place help ensure an orderly response during times of trouble, but it reduces the possibility of accidental injury and further property damage.
  4. Quick Fixes: The final step in reducing the risk of household claims is to ensure the safety and security of visitors and household members by doing a quarterly evaluation of property maintenance and quick fixes. Remove clutter and provide nonslip surfaces for steps and walkways, evaluate plumbing and electrical systems to ensure proper performance, and take care of any areas of the home that show signs of excessive wear or deterioration. Not only will proper maintenance reduce the risk of many common claims, but it keeps your home looking its best throughout the year.