Some of the changes people put off could make a bigger difference than they realize.
A new year often offers a natural opportunity for people to get a fresh start and improve areas of their lives to reduce the risk of home insurance claims, better their health or take greater social responsibility.
2018 presents a great chance for homeowners insurance policyholders to improve their safety.
Many people can either reduce their risk of having to make home insurance claims or can make their claim filing much easier by taking any of several simple and very practical steps with the start of the year. Unlike promising yourself that you will lose weight or stop drinking, new year’s resolutions for your home often involves a single step that you complete and don’t need to maintain. This makes it much more likely that you’ll actually keep your promise to yourself.
The following New Year’s resolutions can make a considerable difference to your home insurance claims risk.
• De-clutter – Assign yourself one room per month until you have worked your way through each one. Begin on the first of the month, no matter what. Work your way through all your belongings and get rid of everything you know you shouldn’t be clinging to anymore. Fewer things mean a reduced fire risk, improved organization, fewer things to index and itemize, and less for burglars to want to steal if they look through your windows to see what’s there.
• Inventory your home – Keep a record of everything you own that has even the slightest value. This includes all your furniture, electronics, jewelry, appliances and anything else you own that you wouldn’t want to lose if the worst should happen. This includes a written record where you keep a description of the make, model and serial number of anything you can record, with pictures and receipts to back up your claim that you own it. That said, taking a video tour of your home in which you record a good look at all your belongings can also be very helpful as evidence if you should ever need to make a claim. Store a copy of these records securely in the cloud or in a fire box or safety deposit box. Remember that the records aren’t any good to you if you can’t access them such as if they’re stolen or destroyed in a flood or fire. Update your records after any major purchase.
• Install a security system – If you don’t have a burglar alarm, it is a worthwhile investment. For many people, it nearly pays for itself in homeowners insurance premiums discounts. It can also reduce your likelihood of home insurance claims as signs advertising your security system are a highly effective deterrent.