According to FEMA, an estimated 405,000 residential home fires yearly and 4.7 billion in property loss. Some of these fires could have been prevented or damage mitigated if the residents had been alerted early. The average cost of a smoke alarm is ten dollars, and the astonishing fact is that 6% of Americans do not have them. When millions are paid out a year in insurance claims, everyone pays.
To the policyholder, a fire claim can cause your homeowner premiums to rise dramatically; it can also cause your policy to be non-renewed from your current insurance carrier.
To make matters worse, a fire claim can hinder and, in most cases, prevent any other potential insurance carrier from underwriting your policy. Claims in general, affect everyone because insurance companies have to offset costs. Rate increases across the board are a factor, so don’t be surprised if you, too, see a rate increase on your policy.
In an ideal world, preventing a claim would be the way to go, but prevention is not always an option… Lessening the damage is the next best thing.
A few things to consider:
- First, ensure you have a proper working smoke alarm, replacing the batteries when needed.
- Second, make sure candles are blown out, stoves are turned off, and appliances are unplugged, among other things.
- Third, ensure you know your fire extinguisher’s location and, more importantly, ensure it has been serviced, as fire extinguishers do not expire. However, some may need to be recharged.
Taking pride in your home means more than just keeping it clean. It also means keeping it safe.