Did you know wind is the most common cause of homeowners claims? Data from Travelers spanning the last five years found that wind accounted for 26% of claims year-round. Since wind damage is so common (and destructive), wind coverage on your homeowners policy is essential. Pruning your trees and reinforcing your home’s structures and windows is also key to preventing severe wind damage.
Non-weather water was the next most common risk, at 23% of home claims. And in the fall, it is the most frequent claim! Non-weather water damage involves plumbing, sewer, or appliance leaks and failures. The best way to prevent this damage is to inspect and maintain all appliances that use water regularly. This includes air-conditioning systems, water heaters, bathtubs, refrigerators, pipes, and hoses, to name a few. Also, make sure the main shut-off valve for your main water supply is functioning properly.
Hail made up 18% of home claims year-round, followed by weather-related water at 12%, like frozen pipes and leaky roofs. Of course, weather is uncontrollable. Being prepared against weather-related damage means being protected — which means having adequate coverage on your homeowners policy.
Don’t put off your home inventory list any longer! If there is an accident or robbery, you will need to give your insurance provider this list to guarantee complete coverage on your belongings. This list should include all household items and personal belongings.
Here are some quick tips to get you started:
Start simply with a list of rooms you need to work through. Then, head to your first room!
Describe each item’s make and model, value, and any other unique factors. Serial numbers are helpful identifiers for appliances and electronics.
Save documents like receipts and appraisals for proof of value on more expensive items.
Check with your agent to see if you need additional coverage on valuable items like jewelry or collectibles. This could mean an endorsement or an additional specialty policy. More on that here.
Consider making a digital record by taking pictures or videos of your belongings. This can save you time and guarantee that you don’t miss an item!
Building this list may take a while, but ensures true coverage.
According to the Insurance Information Institute, the average dog bite insurance claim is $44,670. Homeowners insurance is responsible for covering dog-related injuries, so some carriers have lists of “banned dogs”. What does this mean? These companies will not provide coverage if the customer owns one of the dogs on their list, as they believe these breeds are liable to cause injury. These lists are often hidden from consumers’ view, but Forbes Advisor gathered data on 42 of these lists from different homeowners insurance companies.
Doberman pinschers, pit bulls, and rottweilers are on 100% of these 42 lists of banned breeds.
Chow chows are on 95% of the banned lists.
Wolf dogs, canary dogs, and akitas have the next highest frequencies of being banned — all three are included on over 75% of the banned lists.
Some other insurers will allow all dogs, while others decide whether or not to cover the dog based on if they have a history of violence.
In Massachusetts, there is no legislation forbidding insurance companies from discriminating against certain breeds.
Nevertheless, dogs are a wonderful addition to the family and not all “banned” dogs are dangerous. Give us a call if you plan on bringing a new dog home! We will review if your premium may change and can give you quotes on pet insurance.
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