You buy your home and meticulously care for every inch of your property. You pay close attention to details and know instantly if something looks or feels off. You make immediate repairs and thoroughly restore the property when damage occurs. If only it were this easy. Unfortunately, freak accidents happen and no matter how lovingly you care for your home, disasters do occur, whether natural or caused by wear-and-tear. This can be especially inconvenient when it happens to your rental property, displacing your respectful tenants and interrupting their daily lives. West Haven property management experts at RPM Southern Connecticut compiled a list of the top reasons that homeowners file insurance claims, and what your can do as a landlord to prevent it from happening to you.
Top 5 Reasons Homeowners File Insurance Claims
Windstorms account for a whopping 24 percent of all losses filed by homeowners, according to a study conducted by Travelers Homeowner Insurance over the course of eight years.
- Quick Fix: In an effort to protect your home against windstorm damage, the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety (IBHS) suggests homeowners prune overgrown trees to prevent them from falling or crashing into your house. IBHS says tree damage from windstorms causes hundreds of millions of dollars of damage each year. Property management West Haven companies have also found that securing any patio furniture or items that could become flying debris, listening to local and weather radios, and staying indoors can also protect you and your home.
- Permanent Fix: If your home is located in an area of the country that receives high wind advisories or warnings, The IBHS FORTIFIED Home program could be the answer you are seeking. A FORTIFIED home is a building standard that protects homes against high winds and damaging hail and can be achieved on new or existing homes. FORTIFIED homes often include the taping of roof deck seams, anchoring of porches, carports and other attached structures, and anchoring the roof structure to the exterior wall, and the wall to the foundation.
Non-Weather Related Water Damage
Non-weather related water damage makes up 20 percent of homeowners claims. These particular claims are not weather related damages, but are caused by leaking pipes, air conditioning units, faucets, refrigerators and washing machines.
- Quick Fix: The top property management West Haven company, RPM Southern Connecticut, conducts routine inspections of homes for any signs of leaking pipes, showers, toilets, or appliances. Remember that warped sheetrock and flooring is a sign of water damage, even if you cannot visibly see water leaking. Leaking pipes within a wall can cause mildew, mold, and thousands of dollars of damage if undetected or unreported. Locate your water shut off valves and place drains near your washing machine, furnace and air conditioner.
- Permanent Fix: Consider purchasing a smart home water sensor that detects the presence of water in case of a leak. These can be purchased for $20 to $35 online or at your local home improvement store. Place them near the refrigerator, heating and air units, washing machines, and toilets. There are also products that can automatically shut off your main water supply if water is detected.
Hail accounts for 16 percent of homeowners claims. While some areas of the country, like the midwest, are more susceptible to hail damage than West Haven, property managers should not let their guards down.
- Quick Fix: A few proactive steps that homeowners can take include parking your vehicle in covered parking, bringing all patio furniture into your garage or house, and paying attention to the local weather and weather radio.
- Permanent Fix: The IBHS has complied information regarding hail-prone counties in the United States so homeowners can determine if they live in a hail-prone area. If you do, the IBHS has a FORTIFIED plan that gives you an impact-rated roof covering.
Weather-related Water Damage
Weather-related water damage from melting snow, ice dams, or flash flooding makes up 11 percent of homeowners claims with Travelers Insurance Company.
- Quick Fix: Learn how to identify and remove ice dams from your roof and remove dead leaves and debris from rain gutters to prevent roof leaks. Property management in West Haven takes proactive steps by clearing out gutters annually to prevent flooding during rainy season.
- Permanent Fix: For homes located in cold climates, Travelers Homeowners Insurance recommends that homeowners insulate their attics and install a waterproof membrane under roof shingles to prevent water from entering the house if an ice dam forms. Pipes can also be insulated to prevent them from freezing and bursting.
Theft accounts for 6 percent of homeowners claims. Whether your home is owner or tenant occupied, theft is a scary incident.
- Quick fix: If you plan to leave your house for vacation, invest in a light timer so it appears you are home, ask a neighbor to take in and put away your garbage cans on trash pick up day, lock all windows and doors, and prune large trees that have branches that reach windows on the second story to prevent someone from climbing up and in through a window.
- Permanent Fix: They are a bit costly, but home security systems are proven to deter burglars. A study conducted by the Electronic Security Association found that 83 percent of burglars look for signs of a security system before breaking in, and 60 percent are actually deterred from the house if they know it has a security system. Security systems often come with cameras, motion sensors, glass break sensors, door and window open sensors, and even monitoring services. If springing for an alarm service does not fit your budget, West Haven property management companies have found that deterring burglars can also be accomplished by pruning overgrown trees, placing a see-through fence around the front of your property, and keeping it well-lit.
Why Property Management in West Haven Cares
At RPM Southern Connecticut, we care about your investment property. We want to see you succeed and have you as a long term client. Let us protect and manage your house, the same way we would care for our own. Call us today.