Posts Tagged ‘Damage’

Homeowner: Your Washer & Dryer Could Lead to Home Insurance ClaimsTuesday, November 1st, 2011

Washers and dryers may seem pretty innocuous. You’d never leave your oven on or leave the house with a fire roaring in the fireplace. But you might throw a load in the washer or dryer just before heading out the door to run errands.

As it turns out, washers and dryers also pose risks to your home. Many homeowners have filed a claim related to a washer or dryer — these appliances caused $194 million in property damage in 2006,
according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). If you end up filing a home insurance claim, you’ll likely pay a deductible and see your premium rise.

The risks

About one-third of dryer-related fires between 2003 and 2006 stemmed from clothing catching fire, according to NFPA. Culprits like dust and lint weren’t far behind — they caused 27 percent of dryer fires. Faulty wiring in washers and dryers as well as faulty casing for the machines also sparked their fair share of fires.

More than 90 percent of fires start with dryers — but washers aren’t innocent. A frayed, cracked or kinked water supply hose can spring a leak that weakens floorboards and damages possessions, according to State Farm.

Washing machine issues are a leading cause of water damage claims, according to the Insurance Institute for Home & Business Safety. After the deductible, these claims cost home insurance companies an average of more than $5,000.

Preventing damage from your washer

Damage prevention for your washer is all about the hose, according to State Farm:

  • Check your washer hoses regularly for bulging, cracking, fraying and leaks around hose ends.
  • If you find a problem, replace the hose immediately. A good rule of thumb is to replace it every three to five years as a precaution.
  • Leave at least 4 inches between the water connection and the back of the washing machine. This helps prevent kinks.

Preventing damage from your dryer

Preventing dryer-related fires — and home insurance claims — requires proper maintenance and regular diligence. According to NFPA, you should:

  • Let a professional install your dryer.
  • Always use a lint filter.
  • Clean the lint filter after every load of laundry.
  • Clean the air exhaust vent pipe at least once a year. If your clothes are taking longer than usual to dry, it may be time to have the lint cleaned out of your vent pipe.
  • For gas dryers, have a professional regularly check the gas line and connection.
  • Make sure you have a proper connection in the outlet.
  • Never overload the dryer.
  • Always follow the manufacturer’s operating instructions.
  • When you leave the house or go to bed, make sure the
    dryer is turned off.

For more information about insurance, homeowner tips or general questions please contact us at Peterson & Grantham at 916-431-0400 or 800-652-0557

Homeowners Surviving Severe Cold WeatherWednesday, October 26th, 2011

There are ways that you can survive cold weather without incurring any damage to your property or having any suits brought against you for injuries sustained to anyone on your property. You should always ensure that your walkways and the sidewalks in front of your home are free of ice and snow. If necessary you should spread salt to break up the ice to keep it from being slippery. Clean out the gutters and make sure there is no ice or debris that could cause them to block up and cause water to seep into the home. Always make sure that your pipes are well insulated for the cold winter months to keep them from freezing. When they thaw they can burst causing a lot of water damage and therefore a claim on your insurance, in addition to the inconvenience.

If you use a fireplace or a wood stove, make sure that you have the chimney cleaned out before you start to use it each year. Close off the flue in the fireplace when you are not using it. If you have to leave home during the winter months, always have a neighbor who can make regular checks to ensure that everything is fine inside the home. (content from bluepage.org)