1. Storm damage
Beautiful one day, stormy the next – Australian weather can do anything at any moment, and homes and properties can suffer.
Storms can bring strong winds, rain, lightning, hail, snow, dust or flash flooding. This can cause damage to windows, overflowing stormwater drains, erosion and landslides, falling trees and branches, or electrical surges.
Steps you can take to protect your home against storm damage include:
- Keeping an eye on weather forecasts and warnings in order to be prepared.
- Carefully maintaining your property – including keeping trees properly trimmed, gutters clean and the roof well sealed.
- Securing any loose items outside the home.
- Checking your insurance policy, as not all home insurance policies cover storm damage. If you live in a storm-prone area, or are concerned about the risk of storms, check your policy to make sure you’re covered.
2. Break and enter
Having a home broken into is a heartbreaking occurrence for anyone. Beyond the theft of precious or expensive items, your home may be vandalised by careless, frightened or just plain malicious invaders.
Here are some suggestions for making your home a less attractive target:
- Deter burglars with dogs, a functioning alarm system, sensor lights, lights on inside the house, security grilles on windows, the house being visible from the road and gates on the property.
- Lock it if you leave it – and don’t leave your spare house keys inside.
- Stay on friendly terms with your neighbours, especially those who are home during the day, and don’t post on social media about going away on holidays.
- Check what your insurance policy requires for you to be covered for theft – some policies, for example, are void if the house is left unlocked or alarm systems aren’t turned on.
3. Water damage
Water damage can come from inside your home (e.g. from leaky bathroom fittings or appliances) just as easily as from outside (e.g. from heavy weather or burst water pipes). It can be difficult to detect, at least initially, and can cause damage that’s difficult and expensive to repair.
To help reduce the risk of water damage in the home:
- Do an annual check on washing machine hoses, fridges and dishwashers, keeping an eye out for cracks and leaks.
- Have heating and cooling systems serviced regularly.
- Keep an eye on the caulking around baths and showers, getting a professional in to replace or repair any cracks.
- Check your insurance policy to find out what types of water damage and associated costs are covered.
Many of these suggestions may seem like common sense, but it’s remarkably easy to neglect them in our busy day-to-day lives. Don’t be caught out – an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and just might save you considerable time, hassle and expense.
Written by JTS Insurance Solutions