Whether it’s a necessary repair to a leaky roof or simply one of the many routine maintenance items that come with being a homeowner, we’re all guilty of putting these projects off for a variety of reasons, most of which stem from not having enough time or money.
The home repair experts at Redbeacon.com recently partnered with HomeInsurance.com, a network of reliable and informative insurance sites, to determine the financial effects of postponing necessary repairs and maintenance. Starting with data from the Insurance Information Institute, which seeks to improve public understanding of insurance, what it does and how it works, on homeowners insurance losses, they calculated “The High Price of Ignoring Home Repairs” in five areas:
• Fire hazards from out-of-date electrical systems, faulty outlets or appliance wiring and smokey chimneys cause an average of $31,762 in damage and could be prevented with an average investment of $842 (37x return on investment).
• Water damage from broken pipes and appliance failures, overloaded rain gutters and rampant tree roots cause an average of $6,965 in damage and could be prevented with an average investment of $551 (12x return on investment).
• Bodily injury from loose tiles, bricks or other issues, pool, trampoline or dangerous dog, and unsafe driveway or yard result in an average of $18,351 in personal injury claims and could be prevented with an average investment of $996 (18x return on investment).
• Risk of crime from the protection of valuables and belongings, broken or cracked windows and securing the exterior of a home result in an average of $3,231 loss from break-ins and could be prevented with an investment of $1,519 (2x return on investment).
• Weather damage from wind damaged roof shingles, tree branch and hailstone damage plus ice build up/leaky roof cause an average of $6,476 in damage and could be prevented with an investment of $1,186 (5x return on investment).
Acquired by Home Depot in 2012, Redbeacon connects homeowners with pre-screened, background-checked professionals who provide competitive price quotes based on the job. Once you find the right pro to do your work, and they complete the work, there’s always a digital record from proposal to payment. Along with the opportunity to get leads from Home Depot customers, Readbeacon pros earn loyalty points for their purchases at Home Depot.
With the National Association of Insurance Commissioners reporting last week that the cost of homeowners insurance rose 36 percent from 2003-2010 – nearly double the rate of inflation – it’s in everyone’s best interest to keep costs down.
The rise in claims for severe weather - from 2004 to 2011, hurricanes and other weather catastrophes led to 39 percent of nationwide homeowners insurance claims payments, compared to 25 percent from 1997 to 2003, according to the Insurance Research Council - are a top reason for the rise in insurance premiums, and coastal regions saw the largest increases.
Along with staying current on repairs and maintenance, consider these tips from the Insurance Information Institute for saving money on your homeowners insurance:
• Shop around – Get at least three price quotes to compare.
• Get quotes from different types of insurance companies - Some sell through their own agents. These agencies have the same name as the insurance company. Some sell through independent agents who offer policies from several insurance companies. Others do not use agents. They sell directly to consumers over the phone or via the Internet.
• Don't shop price alone – Look for a company that answers your questions and handles claims fairly and efficiently. Ask friends and relatives for recommendations.
• Raise your deductible - The higher your deductible, the more money you save on your premium. Consider a deductible of at least $500. If you can afford to raise it to $1,000, you may save as much as 25 percent.
• Buy your home and auto policies from the same insurer - Some companies will reduce your premium by 5-15 percent if you have two or more policies, just make certain the combined price is lower than buying the same coverage from different companies.
• Do not confuse what you paid for your house with rebuilding costs - the land is not at risk from theft, windstorm, fire and the other perils.
• Ask about any and all discounts available to you.
Plus, ask you agent or company representative about insurance for individual possessions. For example, if you run a business out of your home, most homeowners policies cover business equipment, but only up to $2,500 and they offer no business liability insurance.
Go to www.iii.org/individuals/home/hbs/save/ online for complete details.