Torrential rains and flooding continue to impact many parts of the country, causing a big jump in water damage claims. Mechanical breakdowns are also culprits when it comes to these types of losses. But there are many ways you can protect your home from these unfortunate events, including the following.
- Your home’s drainage system should be checked to verify that proper water drainage occurs. For example, gutter downspouts should extend the proper distance from the foundation.
- Your yard should be properly graded to slope away from your home to allow surface water to adequately drain. French drains can also assist in this process.
- A sump pump system should be considered in your basement to keep unwanted water out of this vulnerable part of your home.
- Periodically check your washing machine hoses since these hose failures cause millions of dollars of water losses each year. Hoses should be replaced at the first sign of wear. Consider upgrading to the heavy-duty wire mesh hoses or stainless steel hoses during this replacement.
- Ascertain the location of your main water shutoff valve. Water shutoff valves should be installed on water lines under toilets and sinks and water lines leading to outside faucets.
It is also a good idea to procure flood insurance, even if your home is not in a high-risk flood zone, as many of these losses occur in moderate- to low-risk flood zones. For high-value homes, also look into excess flood insurance available from private insurers.
Taking these precautions now, before disaster strikes, will help keep your home safe from damage and decrease the need for expensive repairs.
Copyright 2015, International Risk Management Institute, Inc.
Stafanie, CPCU, API
Personal Lines Underwriting Specialist