When you buy home insurance, you are always looking for tips from other homeowners who have had insurance for a long time. This article presents tips for insuring that you have the protection you need and ways of ensuring that your premiums do not take an unexpected jump when it comes time to renew the policy.
Dog Bite Liability
Owning a dog can affect the rate of the premium you have to pay for insurance. It also depends on the type of dog you have. For example, a pet poodle may not make any difference in the insurance policy, but a larger dog, such as a German Shepherd or a Doberman, may cause a significant rise because of the possibility that a guest in your home might get bitten. It doesn’t matter if the guest aggravated the dog or not. Any injury to anyone on your property is your responsibility. You should look into having dog bite liability included in the policy because if you do not reveal that you have a large dog, the company could refuse to pay the medical bills that a court case will force you to pay.
The insurance industry reports that there are increases in the amounts paid out due to dog bites. If you own a dog, you have a responsibility to ensure that it is properly trained and avoid situations where the dog may bite someone. If the animal doesn’t like strangers, you should have a room where you can keep it when you have company. If your dog does bit someone, you could be faced with huge increases in your premiums and even cancellation of your policy.
Surviving Severe Cold Weather
There are ways that you can survive cold weather without incurring any damage to your property or having any suits brought against you for injuries sustained to anyone on your property. You should always ensure that your walkways and the sidewalks in front of your home are free of ice and snow. If necessary you should spread salt to break up the ice to keep it from being slippery. Clean out the gutters and make sure there is no ice or debris that could cause them to block up and cause water to seep into the home. Always make sure that your pipes are well insulated for the cold winter months to keep them from freezing. When they thaw they can burst causing a lot of water damage and therefore a claim on your insurance, in addition to the inconvenience.
If you use a fireplace or a wood stove, make sure that you have the chimney cleaned out before you start to use it each year. Close off the flue in the fireplace when you are not using it. If you have to leave home during the winter months, always have a neighbor who can make regular checks to ensure that everything is fine inside the home.
If you like to barbeque, always ensure that you are a safe distance from the home or patio railings. This keeps any open flame from accidentally catching the house n fire. When you have company over, you should always do the grilling yourself, so that you will not have to contact the insurance to pay the medical bills of a guest that gets burned. When you purchase the barbeque, always follow the directions when you put it together and have a certified tank for the propane. Turn off the propane when you are finished the grilling.
Always use gas grills outdoors. Using them indoors increases the possibility of fire or explosion because there is not adequate ventilation if enough gas builds up.
Having a home security system actually gives you a discount on the policy premium. It is of no use though, if you do not have it turned on or if you do not do regular checks to make sure that it is working properly. Such a system provides you with monitoring of your property 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It is not just for burglaries, as many of the systems can alert you to fire and smoke, earthquake or flood and carbon monoxide.
You should always store your lawnmower in the shed when it is not in use and to make sure that a child cannot accidentally start it if it’s an electric or riding model, you should always remove the key when you store it. When you are using the lawnmower, you should always turn it off and wait until it cools down before you refuel. Spilling gas on a hot motor can result in an explosion or fire. If you are close to the house when this happens, the results could be disastrous. Always store the gas for the lawnmower in an appropriate container away from the house and when you are mowing the lawn use appropriate footwear. Make sure there is no one near the lawnmower when you are using it so that they do not get hit accidentally from the small rocks and pieces of debris that fly away from the blades at high speed.
One of the main things about practicing pool safety is to never leave children unattended in or around the pool. In order to keep people from using the pool when you are not around, you should have a high fence around it, so that no unauthorized people can get in and use the pool. You also have to make sure that the gates latch on the inside. Even if someone uses your pool without your permission and an accident happens, you can be held liable because it was not properly secured.
Make sure that a professional installs the pool so that it complies with safety standards. Do not rely too heavily on flotation devices when you have guests that are not swimmers and make sure there are no toys floating on the surface when there are small children around. The toys can attract them to try to reach for them and accidentally fall into the water. When the pool is not in use you should have a cover over it so that no one can accidentally slip and fall into the pool. Always store the chemicals you have for the pool in a safe area, away from children.
Protect Your House from Mold
Mold growth is often the result of water damage and infiltration of moisture. In order to protect your house from mold you should do everything to can to eliminate moisture in the home. This means that you should seal any windows and door that allow moisture to seep in. Sometimes water seeps in through cracks in the basement and then mold builds up. You should always keep the basement floor dry and the walls well insulated. If you discover mold, you should take immediate steps to remove it in order to keep your home free of damage.
The basement is often an easy target for mold to develop. You should make sure that there are no leaks and use good insulation for the walls.
Protecting Your Bike from Theft
If you use your bicycle a lot, you should always have a reliable lock so that you can lock it on safely when you are not around. Many people do take their bike indoors as soon as they return home from a bike ride, but many children often leave it lying on the lawn or in the driveway. You have to teach the children how to use the locks and caution them to put the bike away, either in the storage shed or the basement when they are finished using it. Registering the bike with the local police is also a way of ensuring that you may get the bike back if it gets stolen.
Remodeling Your Home
When you are remodelling, you should let your insurance company know. You should increase the value of the coverage to reflect the amount of money the remodeling project is going to cost. If you are building an addition to the house, it will be too late to wait until it is finished to change the insurance policy, because if the home happens to be destroyed before the work is done, the insurance company will not cover the cost of the addition.
You also have to make sure that the contractor you choose has insurance in the event of an accident happening as a result of equipment failure or some other reason that is the contractor’s fault. If the insurance the contractor has is not sufficient you may have to fill the gap with increased protection of your own.
Winter Weather Preparation
The elements of winter weather can have devastating effects on a home and cause accidents to happen where you have to file a claim with your insurance. If you prepare your home for winter, you should not have any worries. The first thing you should do before the cold weather arrives is to make sure that all the gutters and drains are free from debris that can clog them up and back up the water into the house. If you have any trees on your property, inspect them and remove any dead trees or branches that can topple easily in high winds and cause damage to windows or the outside of the home.
Check the insulation in the home and seal any leaks you find around windows, doors, and in the basement. These leaks can let in moisture that may lead to a build up of mold or even destroy the walls and ceilings. Make sure that the water pipes are well insulated to prevent them from freezing. Fix any broken steps or railings on the outside of the home, so that no injuries can happen as a result.
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