3 Common Home Insurance Claims (And How To Avoid Them)

Your home insurance policy is in place to protect you, your home, and your loved ones--but, as with most insurance policies, it's something you hope you'll never actually need to use. Making a home insurance claim isn't the end of the world, especially if you don't make claims very often. However, recurring claims could result in higher rates. And, of course, you'll probably need to pay a deductible out-of-pocket, for most claims. With all this in mind, it's a good idea to be aware of some of the most common home insurance claims and how to avoid them.

House Fires

Sadly, house fires are relatively common causes of home insurance claims. Even a minor fire can do a fair amount of smoke damage, but the good news is that many house fires are completely avoidable with routine maintenance and precautions. Be on the lookout for signs of electrical problems that could post a fire risk in your home, such as flickering lights or a frequently blown fuse/circuit. You should also take time to replace your home's smoke detector batteries, at least twice a year, and test them regularly.

Slip-and-Fall Accidents

When a guest slips and falls on your property (regardless of the cause), he or she may have a case to file a claim against your home insurance policy. You can't prevent all slip-and-fall accidents on your property, but you can take preventative measures, such as applying salt to driveways and walkways when it's snowy or icy and making sure there aren't any obvious tripping hazards around your home.

Roof Leaks

Roof damage claims (especially leaks caused by storm damage) are very common. You can reduce your risk of running into roofing issues by scheduling a roof inspection annually and making preventative repairs as the need arises. If your roof needs replacement in the near future, you may even consider upgrading to a more durable roofing option, such as metal roofing. Some home insurance companies even offer substantial discounts for homeowners who upgrade their roofs to these durable options, as they reduce the likelihood of needing to file a claim significantly.

These are just a few of the most common home insurance claims and some tips on how to avoid them in your own home. While there's no way to guarantee you won't need to make an insurance claim this year, following these tips can help to reduce the chances. Review your homeowner's insurance plan to see what might be necessary for you.