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Water Damage To Blame For Higher Insurance Rates
Many Americans have noticed a rise in their home insurance rates lately, and are no doubt
wondering what’s behind it all. Rising home values are one culprit, not necessarily the price a home would bring if it were put on the market, but rather the cost to rebuild it and replace the contents.
The main driving force behind these higher rates, however, is water damage, which accounted for over 20 percent of loss claims a decade ago and has risen to nearly 40 percent as of last year. Fire damage claims come in a close second, at 37 percent. Losses as the result of theft come in a distant third at 10 percent. The total paid out last year in water damage claims amounted to more than $124 million, with the average claim amounting to right at $14,000. According to
leading industry experts, one of the reasons for the rise is the increasing number of finished basements, most of which have bathrooms, kitchens, and expensive electronics or appliances that may be damaged by water. Flooding in your home may be one of the most expensive problems you can face.
Mother Nature herself may also be partially to blame, with the recent proliferation of
natural disasters and severe weather events. The heavier the rain in a given area, the greater the likelihood for water damage to occur. Urban sprawl is also listed as a reason for many of these new claims. With more and more subdivisions being built, there is correspondingly less space for adequate runoff. The end results are overworked sewers which lead to backup, flooding, and water damage. The good news is that many water damage claims are perfectly preventable, simply by taking a few steps to head off the problem before it occurs.
- Keep your roof in good shape and consider adding a vapor barrier whenever you replace shingles. It will give you an extra layer of protection from the elements.
- Have a backwater valve installed in your basement. It is designed to close automatically if your sewer backs up, preventing a potentially messy (not to mention smelly) situation.
- Make sure the landscaping slopes away from your house for a distance of no less than ten feet. Once the ground is saturated, the excess will have to go somewhere, and you want to make sure it goes in the correct direction.
- In the event of snow, shovel excess away from doors and basement windows. When it melts, again, it will have to have somewhere to go.
It also is advisable to check your homeowners’ policy to determine what is and is not
covered when it comes to water damage. Some providers are choosing to cover less and less, and you don’t to
find this out when it is too late. You should also have the number for a local, IICRC certified water damage restoration professional. Certification by an industry leader such as the IICRC will assure 24/7/365 service, the latest in equipment, tools, and procedures, as well as a fully trained staff of technicians able to carry out all aspects of your water damage needs. Water extraction, drying, carpet cleaning, mold remediation, and structural repair and restoration are among the services offered by your local IICRC professionals.
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