Regardless of your home’s location, be it on the coast, a flood-prone area or inland, water damage poses an enormous risk to your home and valuables within. In fact, water damage is seven times more likely to occur than a fire and six times more likely than a burglary – and more than half of homeowners who experienced water damage in the past two years reported spending over $5,000 in repair and clean-up costs, with 15% of respondents spending $20,000 or more, according to a Chubb survey.
While many homeowners are often unprepared for a water leak or the resulting damages, there are some quick (simple) steps you can take to mitigate against such risk, including:
- Replace washing machine hoses every five years
- Check water heaters older than their five to 10-year expected life for signs of rust, corrosion and moisture
- If living in an area of cold winter weather, insulate hot and cold water pipes in unheated areas of the home
- In the late fall, turn off and bleed water lines for sprinklers and outdoor hoses
- Inspect the roof and check gutters and downspouts. Make sure water is draining away from the home’s foundation
- Shut off water at second homes when unoccupied
For additional peace-of-mind, take the time to sit down with your agent and broker to discuss your current homeowners policy and ensure your home – and valuables – are covered from water damage-related risks. To learn more, check out my recent ThinkAdvisor column.
Fran O’Brien is Division President, North America Personal Risk Services at Chubb.