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How to Prevent Common Causes of Property Damage

Property damage can be devastating to deal with and come in various forms. It is crucial to take precautionary measures to protect your home. Read Klotzman Property Damage Law’s blog to learn more.

What is property damage?

Property damage consists of injury or damage to real or personal property due to a person’s negligence, purposeful destruction, or an act of nature. The difference between real property and personal property is that “real property” constitutes the land and any structures attached to it, like your home or a shed. However, “personal property” includes anything that can be moved, such as your car, furniture, electronics, and jewelry. 

According to the Insurance Information Institute, 97.7% of home insurance claims in 2020 were due to property damage. This is why it is of the utmost importance to protect your home as much as possible.

How can you prevent property damage?

Damage to your home can happen in lots of different ways. Let’s go over the four most common types of property damage and how you can prepare for them.

Wind

High-speed winds can uproot trees, topple telephone poles, destroy roofs, and even rip walls off of houses. Anything over 50 mph is classified as “damaging wind,” with winds over 75 mph classified as hurricane-force wind and likely to cause massive damage. While hurricanes cause the most severe damage, damaging winds from thunderstorms typically cause more incidents across the U.S.

To lessen the damage that harsh winds could inflict on your property, make sure that you keep an eye on your roof to ensure there are no minor damages that could lead to more extensive damages later on. Anchor or put away any property outside before a storm hits, including items like patio furniture or trash cans. Keep an eye on your landscaping, trimming dead or overhanging tree branches and maintaining a clean yard to help prevent objects that the wind could propel.

Fire

Fire damage can be a heartbreaking experience due to both the damage to your property and the lengthy process of repairing that damage. Your insurance should cover fire and smoke damage, but double-check your policy, as some companies require a more extensive plan to cover all the damage. Insurance will sometimes try to claim the fire was a purposeful act, so it’s imperative to take pictures, gather evidence, and work with a property damage attorney to get the most compensation. 

House fires are most commonly caused by cooking accidents, so practicing caution in the kitchen is critical. Ensure dishes on the stove or in the oven are not left unattended, and exercise safe handling of hot oil. Another cause of house fires is due to outlets or faulty wiring. Be sure to keep wires organized and away from anything flammable. Another step towards safety would involve switching your outlets to GFCI outlets and checking them regularly.  

Water

Water damage and flood damage are both destructive events, but it is crucial to differentiate them, as they are not the same. Water damage typically refers to water leakage due to broken pipes, appliances leaking, or HVAC systems not draining properly and is covered in home insurance policies. 

Flood damage is water damage caused by flash floods, thunderstorms, and overflowing natural waterways, and requires a separate policy for coverage. These claims can get complex to clarify (i.e., leaks from roof damage could be ruled water or flood damage), so be sure to talk to a qualified property damage attorney to ensure you are fully protected.

Water damage can often be prevented by regularly inspecting your home. Check the hoses running to your appliances for wear and tear, and examine the caulk of your tubs, showers, and windows so you can re-seal them if necessary. Investigating your roof and gutters for any potential issues is also a great step to keep your home safe from water damage.

Theft

Theft is the criminal act of taking another person’s or entity’s property without their consent with the intention to permanently deprive them of it. There are different levels of theft, ranging from petty theft to grand theft auto.

To protect your home from being robbed, install a home security system with window and door sensors. Additionally, keeping blinds and curtains closed helps prevent potential burglars from seeing the inside of your home and whether it’s empty or not. Lastly, ensure all doors and windows are securely locked before leaving home.

Speak to the professionals

Property damage affects thousands of Americans each year. If you have experienced this type of accident, it is critical to take action. We can help you determine your options based on your insurance coverage. We will investigate, negotiate, and litigate your case to get you the results you deserve.

Schedule your free case review today with your Florida property damage attorney. When insurance companies fail, Klotzman Property Damage Law succeeds.

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