Dealing with damaged property
If you're a homeowner, the possibility of suffering property damage is an unavoidable risk. Whether it's vandalism, fire damage, water damage or property loss resulting from an accident or natural disaster, you should make sure you're protected against property damage and know what to do in case it happens to you.
The Importance of Carrying Property Damage Insurance
Adding property damage insurance to your home insurance package is always a wise idea, particularly if you live in an area with an increased risk of fires, hail damage or flooding. For example, Southern California residents face wildfires on virtually an annual basis, while Florida residents must brace for hurricane season every year.
Property damage insurance ensures that you'll be financially protected if your home takes a hit. Opt for comprehensive coverage for total peace of mind; detailed home insurance packages can even protect you from risks like termite damage and vandalism.
Tips for Dealing with Property Damage
While you should always rely on the services of remediation experts to help you repair property damage, there are a few things you can do on your own if an accident occurs.
If you suffer fire damage, be sure to:
- Open your home's windows to promote ventilation
- Vacuum loose soot off of upholstery
- Protect chrome trim by applying petroleum jelly
- Cover air vents with doubled-up sheets of cheesecloth
- Pour antifreeze into your toilet, sink drains and bathtub drains if it's winter and your home's heat is switched off
In case of flood damage, you should:
- Mop or blot as much excess moisture as you can
- Wipe water off of your wooden furniture
- Hang-dry upholstery cushions
- Open your windows (in winter) or turn on your air conditioner (in summer) to speed the drying process
- Put small holes in ceilings if they're sagging due to water pressure, leaving pots beneath the holes to catch the drainage
Your home insurance provider can offer you additional safety tips for dealing with specific situations. Keep in mind that you may be limited in the actions you can take, as there may be provisions in your property damage insurance policy which prevent you from doing too much. Insurance companies tend to prefer that their clients leave remediation to professionals to control costs and manage risks.
There's no telling when an accident might happen. It's always better to be prepared and protected than it is to roll the dice and get left with a huge repair bill when an accident or disaster happens.