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What’s the #1 Cause of Homeowners’ Insurance losses?

WATER DAMAGE!  In fact, one of the nation’s largest insurers reports it’s the driving factor behind over 40% of all homeowner insurance claims among their policyholders.   Here are several leading causes of interior water damage & loss prevention maintenance tips:

Water Heaters – Over 75% of water heaters fail before they are 12 years old. Check the life expectancy & warranty for the water heater in your home and replace accordingly. Inspect valves to insure proper operation & use ball valves instead of gate valves whenever possible. Proper maintenance should include flushing sediments, especially if hard water is present which will increase life expectancy.

Sinks – Faulty plumbing accounts for nearly half of all water damage claims.  Make sure your plumbing lines are in good working order. Inspect area beneath sinks every six months. Verify all connections are secure & there is no evidence of corrosion or dampness to the area or pipes.  Look for kinks in copper or plastic lines & inspect shutoff valves to make sure they are operational & will turn off the water.

Washing Machines – More than half of claims involving washing machines are due to water supply hose failures.  Start by only using the machine while someone is home for the entire cycle. Check hoses for cracks, kinks and blisters at least every six months.  Replace hoes every five years – preferably with reinforced braided stainless steel hoses.  If you plan to leave your home for an extended period of time, turn off the hot and cold water supply valve to reduce risk of failure while you’re away.

Leak Detection – As an added measure of protection, install a whole house leak detection system or shut off system.

Before you incur water damage, contact your homeowner insurance agent to review your insurance coverage and examine your loss prevention options.  Of course accidents do happen so should you experience water damage, immediately turn off the supply of water when safe to do so and protect your property from further damage. Then contact your homeowner insurance agent or insurance company to report a claim.  The sooner mitigation begins, the less costly and destructive the damages will be.

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