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:
Taking pride in your home means more than just keeping it clean. It also means keeping it safe.
Don Westerfeld has been active in the field of Insurance and Financial Planning since 1997. Don grew up in Indiana later moving to Lakeland Florida where he continues to reside with his wife and children. When he’s not in the office you can find him enjoying the great outdoors. He has served on several charitable business and non-profit organizations and continues to provide guidance, advice and support to local charities.
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