How To Avoid Claims and Higher Home Insurance Rates

28 Aug

Maintaining your home and performing preventive maintenance is a necessary expense for homeowners and delaying it can end up being more expensive in the long run. 

A recent survey by Nationwide Agency Forward survey of U.S. homeowners found that many homeowners are delaying or simply not performing preventive maintenance on their home before it becomes a major issue.

The Nationwide Agency Forward survey found that in addition to not maintaining their home a shocking 26% were unaware that delaying home maintenance can impact their homeowners insurance. 

Insurance policies require homeowners to perform preventative maintenance on their home and repair any issues before they become a major problem. If a homeowner fails to do this, their insurer may deny a claim in the future if it involves unrepaired damage. Delaying home maintenance is never a good idea and is definitely not the best way to save money.

The survey found within the past year, 44% of homeowners responded that they have delayed performing routine maintenance tasks. In addition, 31% said are delaying necessary renovations and repair. Rising prices are a major reason that homeowners are delaying repairs with 78% of these individuals saying they have deferred necessary maintenance due to inflation and skyrocketing prices.

Some of the more common types of maintenance that are being delayed include major issues such as roof repair or replacement and kitchen and bathroom remodels. Delaying the replacement of a roof can result in water leaks and other damage which can result in a denied claim. 

The survey also found that baby boomers were much less likely to delay home maintenance (38%) than Gen Xers (50%) and Millennials (52%).

“As a homeowner, it’s important to protect your property from further damage when there is a known issue,” said Beth Riczko, Nationwide’s President of P&C Personal Lines in a recent press release. “When a claim is filed, there are many factors reviewed during the investigation that may impact whether the claim is covered, including if the insured followed policy conditions. For example, when shingles are damaged on a roof and aren’t repaired causing interior damage, there could be coverage impacts.”

Rising costs are not just resulting in delayed maintenance, homeowners are also reducing their insurance coverage. The survey found that 71% of agents reported that customers are reducing their homeowner’s coverage to save money. 

Despite reducing coverages, homeowners are convinced their home is properly insured. According to the survey, 87% of homeowners felt their homes were insured for the right value. However, a large number were still concerned their policy might not cover certain types of damages or incidents (54%) and 47% were worried that they may not have enough coverage in case of a major loss or catastrophe.

“Homeowners should assess coverage needs and determine if they have enough coverage to reflect rising repair costs due to inflation,” said Riczko in the recent press release. “Taking proactive steps not only protects their investment but also provides peace of mind knowing they are better prepared for any challenges that may arise. It’s good practice to do an annual coverage review with your agent, to go over any updates or changes to your home or belongings and craft a policy that provides adequate protection.”

One of the best ways to ensure your home is properly protected is to talk to an agent. The survey found that the majority of homeowners are aware of the basic coverages such as fire (89%), liability (83%) and personal property replacement protection (79%). However, many homeowners find the full range of coverages available confusing. An insurance agent can explain the various coverages as well as advise you on the proper amount of coverage for your particular home. 

Get Home Insurance Quotes Today! – And let us help you get the right home insurance coverage you need for a great price. Easily review rates and coverages! Speak with a licensed home insurance professional online or over the phone.

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