Homeowner's Academy

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Protecting Your Florida Home Against Earth, Wind, and Fire (and More!)

by BROOKE GOLD HASSON | Aug 10, 2016

CommonClaimsYour home is your sanctuary. Your place of rest. Where you go to escape the stresses of day-to-day life. Unfortunately, there are numerous hazards that can cause serious damage to your home and result in hefty insurance claims. That’s why it’s so important to know the risks … and then adequately prepare for them.

To help you out, we’ve rounded up five common home perils and steps you can take to protect your home.

Water and Flood

Water damage is one of the most common, and costly, homeowner’s insurance claims. It can be caused by weather-related flooding, burst pipes, ruptured washing machine hoses, overflowing toilets, leaking bathtubs … the list goes on and on.

Protect Your Home: Prevent water damage by regularly maintaining appliances and checking for leaks. An easy way to detect a leak is to monitor your water bill. If the usage is drastically higher than the previous month, there may be a leak somewhere in your home.

To protect against flood damage, consider adding flood insurance to your home insurance policy. Call People’s Trust Insurance at 1-866-972-1547 or your insurance agent today for a free quote on flood insurance.

Wind and Hail

Hail causes approximately $1 billion in damage every year. Between 2010 and 2014, wind and hail were the most common property damage claims in the U.S. Strong winds and hail are often associated with a severe thunderstorm or hurricane, and can damage roofs, windows, and cars parked outside of a garage.

Protect Your Home: You may not be able to control the weather, but you can safeguard your home against excessive wind and hail. Outfit your home with wind mitigation features that help withstand or increase resistance to high winds. If shingles are missing or loose, replace them immediately.

In the event of a major storm, install hurricane shutters and securely stow away patio furniture and other items that could become flying missiles. Keep tree limbs properly trimmed and at a safe distance from your house.

Fire

Residential fires cause an average of 13,000 injuries and $7.2 billion in direct property damage every year. From faulty wiring and heating equipment to fireplace mishaps, a tiny ember can quickly ignite into an out-of-control blaze.

Protect Your Home: Never leave your home unattended while cooking, running the dryer, or using the fireplace, and keep flammable materials well away from heat sources. Consider having a professional inspect your home’s wiring at least once a year to check for faulty electrical or lighting equipment. Test your smoke alarms every month to ensure that they’ll function properly in the event of a fire.

Lightning

According to the Insurance Information Institute, Florida is the leading state for lightning-related home insurance claims, with more than 11,000 claims in 2015. Not to mention that lightning tends to have a mind of its own – it can do crazy things like jump from a tree branch to a house. All it takes is one strike to cause severe damage.

Protect Your Home: To prevent lightning damage to your home and its contents, install a lightning rod on your house and unplug electronic devices during a storm. To help prevent electrical surges and potential fires caused when lightning enters through wires and pipes, you can also install a complete lightning protection system in your home.

Theft

Nearly three-quarters of break-ins occur when no one is home. When you go out of town for extended periods of time – whether it’s a quick weekend trip or a month-long getaway – your home becomes particularly vulnerable, especially if it’s easy for burglars to detect that no one is there.

Protect Your Home: Thieves are lazy … there’s a reason they’re stealing your stuff instead of buying it on their own dime. The more obstacles you create, the less likely they are to choose your home as a target. Install a home security system, properly secure all doors and windows, and notify your neighbors when you will be gone so they can keep an eye on your home.

Policyholders – Call People’s Trust First

We’ll be there for you when it matters most, in the event of a loss, Call People’s Trust First at 1-877-333-1230. Our affiliated general contracting company, Rapid Response Team, is ready to deploy 24/7 to mitigate damage, prevent further loss, and make emergency repairs in the event of a covered claim. They will then work to coordinate the process of repairing the damage and restoring your home to pre-loss condition.

*24/7 Emergency Response from Rapid Response Team is available only for People’s Trust policyholders and their covered losses. Rapid Response Team (FL-CGC#024735), an entity affiliated with People’s Trust Insurance Company, may coordinate or provide all repair services in conjunction with our Better Way approach. Participation in the Better Way approach requires the selection of the Preferred Contractor endorsement form E023. Our Better Way approach is subject to policy and product terms, exclusions, and limitations. Availability and coverage levels of some plan features are subject to state laws and underwriting requirements. Coverages, discounts, and features are subject to individual eligibility and to availability. Coverage exclusions and limitations may apply. For more information on this insurance and related programs, contact People’s Trust Insurance.