As we gear up for the fall season, there is maintenance you can do around your home to help avoid a liability insurance claim. There are a few claims that increase in the fall, and it’s important to take these precautions to protect the well-being of your home and your financial assets. Below are five house-keeping items you can do to protect your home and minimize the chance of a liability accident.
Clear Out The Leaves
We all love to bask in the crisp weather and enjoy the leaves changing colors, but as soon as the leaves have fallen it’s important to pick them up. Removing leaves from your walkways, driveway, and front porch is imperative because when leaves become wet, they can become slippery and turn into a huge liability hazard. The delivery driver or a visitor could slip, fall, and seriously hurt themselves on your property, which could lead to an insurance claim or a lawsuit.
If you notice a rotten or dead tree in your yard, call an arborist to take a look at it. An uprooted tree or dead branches are a liability that can lead to damage to your home.
Close Up Your Swimming Pool
Having a swimming pool on your property is a big responsibility and maintaining the proper upkeep is crucial. By keeping up with routine maintenance, you’re ensuring your pool stays in good condition and will reduce damage from normal wear and tear.
Begin by intensively cleaning the pool and remove all of the leaves and other debris from the water. Leaving debris in the water can cause it to sink to the bottom and leave stains. It can also clog up your drains that could lead to more serious issues.
You’ll also want to clean the filter of your pool because it will help the filter function properly. You should also consider balancing the pH level in the water to maintain sanitation while you are not using the pool.
Lastly, you should consider covering your pool during fall and winter to protect your pool and maintain the appropriate water level. This can also help keep people out of the water and help you avoid a liability accident.
Swimming pools are a fun luxury, but they also can be a huge liability if someone is injured while using your pool. (Whether they have permission or not.) Brush up on your homeowners insurance policy with an agent from TGS Insurance. Someone on our team will clarify and help you better understand the exclusions and endorsements on your policy and ensure you’re fully protected for any event.
Water Damage Preventatives
Fall can sometimes be a heavy rain season leading to water damage to your home and property. After a busy hurricane season, it’s probably best to get your roof inspected by a professional to see if there is any damage or missing shingles. If damage to your roof is found, it’s imperative you have your roof repaired as soon as possible to avoid leaks or other costly problems. Your homeowners insurance may offer some financial assistance, so it’s best to check with your insurance agent to see what’s available.
It’s also important to clear out gutters and downspouts to make sure the water has a clear path for drainage. Check out the natural drainage patterns around your home. You might need to purchase additional drainage tools like a French drain system, downspout extensions, or rain barrels to guide water away from the foundation of your home.
You’ll also want to make sure your windows and doors are well insulated because if not, a heavy rainstorm can bring water into your home. Also, when the temperatures drop it can bring cold air into your home, forcing your heater to work harder resulting in a massive energy bill.
Pay attention to temperature drops and your water pipes. When the weather gets to freezing temperatures your pipes may need extra insulation to avoid them from bursting. You can check out our article on how to prevent common claims in the fall here.
Prevent Home Fires
Home fires can start in various ways, but there are easy ways to lower the risk of one happening.
- Regularly inspect your smoke detectors to make sure they still work and change batteries if needed. Consider checking your fire extinguishers and make sure they aren’t expired and located in an easily accessible place.
- Be sure to clean out the lint trap in your dryer as well as the exhaust vent. Cleaning around your dryer every so often never hurts either. This is one of the leading causes of house fires!
- Have a professional inspect and clean your heating system, as well as always change your furnace filter monthly basis.
- Have a professional inspect and clean your fireplace and chimney. For new homeowners who have purchased an older home, this is highly recommended because you can’t say for certain when the last time your fireplace and chimney were inspected, so it’s best to go ahead and get it done as a precautionary measure.
- Clean out your garage and properly store gasoline, paint, caulk, and firewood because many house fires start in the garage.
Inspect Around Your Property
Walk the perimeter of your fence line to see if there are any loose pickets, posts, or rails. Be sure to get any repairs needed as soon as you can because the damages could get worse after a freeze or storm, or even turn into flying objects.
Take a look at your driveway to see if there are any big cracks or ruts that could cause someone to trip and fall. In addition, during the colder months water can get into those cracks and freeze, causing the cracks to get bigger and expand. So what was once a small problem has now amplified. Take the time to fill those cracks so they don’t become a liability or more expensive issue.
The weather may not be as harsh as winter, but fall does have its own liability risk. Taking extra precautions around your home is a great way to lessen an accident and the insurance claim that follows it. Something to remember, some claims could be denied should they be deemed “preventable” by basic home maintenance. So in the event you need to file a claim, you’re more likely to get your claim approved since you can prove that you took the cautionary measures from preventing something from happening.
Whether you’re looking to add maximum protection to your home insurance policy or clarify what coverages you have, our team at TGS Insurance is here to assist you and your insurance needs! If you get in a situation where you need to file an insurance claim, we will handle everything from start to finish. Head to our website to get your instant, hassle-free insurance quote, or talk to an agent and see why thousands of Texans are using TGS Insurance!