We’re approaching what many call “the most wonderful time of the year,” and homeowners need to be mindful of potential insurance risks that increase during Christmas and winter. The last thing anyone wants to worry about is winter property damage to their home or needing to file a claim for theft. Save yourself the headache now by taking action to reduce these wintertime risks.
Install a Home Security System
The holiday season has some of the highest crime rates, with larceny and robbery up by at least 20%. If you’re opting to go digital this year and avoid the crowds, you may shop online and have your purchases delivered to your door, leaving unattended packages at risk to porch pirates.
We recommend that homeowners consider deterrent devices such as a home security system to prevent theft and save as much as 15% off their home insurance premium!
Related Reading: Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Stolen Packages?
Keep Your Gutters and Drains Clean
Maintaining your home is hard work, but it’s essential to keep your insurance risks down. One of the biggest things you need to do? Clean out those gutters. Clogged gutters can cause many issues, but roof leaks are one of the biggest (and most expensive). If your gutters cannot drain properly, your shingles can soak up any excess water causing leaks into your home. This can then lead to mold growth along with water damage. If you live in an area where snow and ice are common, these can cause similar issues. A good rule of thumb is to clean your gutters out twice a year. This is just one way to reduce winter property damage.
Inspect Your Roof
Your roof is one of your biggest shields from the outdoor elements and takes a beating regularly. It goes through a lot, from the summer’s heat to snow and ice. Ideally, you should inspect your roof twice a year. While cleaning the gutters, check your roof for any holes and damaged shingles. Also, be on the lookout for cracks and leaks in the flashings and assess normal wear and tear.
If temperatures drop and you start to see ice dams on your roof, go in there with a blunt mallet and some ice melter (not rock salt) to break it down. Clearing this early will save you from filing a home insurance claim and any further damages! If you’re not comfortable being on your roof, call a professional to come out most offer a free inspection.
Set Up Home Automation Features
Smart homes are becoming ever more common, and some devices can save you money every month! One of the most notable reasons to equip your home with smart devices is to save on utility costs. For example, some smart thermostat devices, such as the Nest Learning Thermostat, can save you up to 12% on heating costs.
Setting up a smart home can help you save on home insurance costs. Carriers like State Farm offer their policyholders incentives for installing connected devices- be sure to talk to your insurance agent about what discounts are available to you.
Practice Fire Safety
More house fires are reported during the winter than in any other season. It’s primarily attributed to heating equipment, candles, cooking, and holiday decorations. To minimize your fire risks at home, make sure you:
- Own a fire extinguisher (and know how to work it)
- Install smoke alarms
- Test smoke alarms regularly
- Keep candles away from flammable items
- Don’t go to sleep with a space heater on or keep anything within three feet of it
- Don’t ever leave cooking unattended
- Clean out your dryer’s lint trap
- Avoid using extension cords with anything that produces heat or cold air
- Dispose of ashes safely if using a fireplace
Stay smart during winter and keep your risks low by taking preventative and thoughtful measures to keep your home and your family safe!
Protect Your Home with TGS Insurance
You can prepare for everything, but sometimes winter property damage happens, so you have home insurance. At TGS Insurance, we provide each client with a home insurance policy that’s been perfectly crafted with their coverage needs and budget in mind. We don’t believe anyone should ever have to overpay for great insurance, which is why we shop every policy through our bank of 35+ A-rated (or better) carriers to find the best market offers. Stay stress-free this winter season and get insured with TGS Insurance!
See why over 15,000 Texans trust TGS Insurance with their insurance needs! Click to get your instant, hassle-free quote today in under 15 seconds or less using just your address. Yes, it’s that easy.