Mansell, Engel & Cole

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure

Information regarding the four most common types of homeowner insurance claims was released by Travelers Insurance and reported in a recent TIME article. The four types are: wind damage, water damage, fire damage and theft. 

While it is impossible to avoid all types of disaster – natural and otherwise – there are several ways that homeowners can work to avoid having to file claims in the first place. Dealing with an insurance claim, particularly a denied insurance claim, can be frustrating and costly. With these tips, you can help safeguard your home and decrease the likelihood that you will have to file a claim and experience an insurance claim denial. 

Wind damage occurs because of a force of nature that is completely out of a homeowner’s control. However, to some extent, you can mitigate risks to your property. This includes ensuring that you hire a roofer to do a roof inspection when you purchase a home, remove any trees or tree branches that could potentially cause property damage and pay attention to weather reports, particularly tornado watches and warnings that rip through Oklahoma. Something as simple as storing your patio set in a garage or shed during high winds can protect your roof, siding and windows.

Water is a tricky element – it is so incredibly necessary for life and at the same time, it can do an incredible amount of damage. Take a look around the perimeter of your house. Can you see where your land slopes toward the foundation of your home? In heavy rains, water can easily seep into your basement, causing serious water damage. You can backfill this area with dirt, rocks and other landscaping to prevent basement flooding.

When you purchase a home, make sure that the inspector looks at the wiring. Frayed wires can wreak havoc on a home, taking a small spark and turning it into a damaging and devastating house fire. Additionally, take a look at your laundry room. Dryer vents and lint filters are breeding grounds for flammable materials that can cause fires.

Theft can be prevented by installing a home security system, holding your mail at the post office if you will be out of town, alerting your neighbors to any vacations you have coming up and ensuring that your doors and windows are locked.

Even the most carefully prepared and astute homeowner can encounter wind, water, fire and theft. If you are dealing with one of these problems, the last thing that you need is to have your insurance company deny your claim. An experienced attorney who practices in homeowner insurance claim denials can be vital to you obtaining a satisfactory result to your claim. 

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