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Home Owner Insurance

Home Owner Insurance
Simple tips to save money

Let's face it, we all lead busy lives and we don't always see what we are looking at! You really need to check your property regularly with 'fresh eyes' and from a buyer's perspective – that way any flaws or problems can be quickly spotted. By keeping your property in tip-top condition, you are not only protecting your investment, you can also save on expensive insurance claims and thus keep down your premiums. All it takes is a little time and a keen eye.

A few things to put on the list to keep an eye on are:

General >Check the outside shell of your home – makes sure all windows are weather tight
>Check all electrical leads and plugs in your home are in good working order: that they have so signs of wear and tear – if they do, replace them immediately.
>You should have all electrical installations within your home checked every 10-15 years by a qualified electrician
>In older properties the brickwork may need attention – ensure any exposed sections are re-pointed.


Gas heating systems

Gas boilers, fires and water heaters should be serviced or checked annually by a registered engineer. As a home owner it is your duty to make sure all your gas appliances are safe. Gas can produce deadly carbon monoxide if appliances are not working correctly or the ventilation becomes blocked.

Some danger signs are:

Sooting around the appliance
A yellow or orange lazy flame
Excessive condensation in the room where the appliance is installed

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Symptom of carbon monoxide poisoning are similar to those of a viral infection and can include some or all of the following:

Drowsiness, Headaches, Weakness, Chest pain & Nausea

If any person encounters any of the above symptoms whilst in your home, STOP using the gas appliances immediately until they have been checked by a registered installer. It is also wise to consult your doctor and mention there could be a possibility of carbon monoxide poisoning

What to do if gas escapes

If you smell gas:
DO turn off your gas supply and open doors and windows.
DO NOT smoke, use naked flames, or turn electric switches on and off.

Roofs

The roof of your home is extremely important and repair due to home owner neglect can be very costly. Regular maintenance can be carried out to reduce the chance of major damage developing in the roof of your home, and these include:
> Tiles can be damaged by high winds or frosts. Replace any broken or loose tiles as soon as possible. Not only does this keep the fabric of your house intact, you could be sued if falling tiles damage parked cars or people passing by.
> Damaged tiles also lead to leaks – which are not always apparent at first. Treat a leaking roof as an emergency and get help
> Roof maintenance is a job for the experts who have the correct equipment to deal safely with problems. Never try to climb onto the roof yourself!

Wet and Dry Rot

Dry rot is a fungus which can rapidly destroy timber in its path and can cause total destruction to match the most ferocious monster on Dr Who! The fungus thrives in moist, unventilated conditions and will break through brickwork to get to more timber and can cause widespread damage. Puts the Daleks in the shade then!

What home owners need to look for:

Dry Rot

Initially the fungus appears similar in appearance to cotton-wool and covers brickwork or timber – if it is exposed to sunlight it takes on a yellow-ish hue. If you have dry rot you probably need to get this looked at by a specialist firm as you will be covered by their guarantee should the problem re-appear.

Wet Rot

This attacks wood which is wet rather than damp. Compared with dry rot it is a less serious threat, but still of alien invasion proportion! Wet rot is the timber decaying naturally in the presence of high levels of moisture. There is almost always a simple explanation for this – possibly an adjacent wall to the timber is suffering from damp or water is collecting in the timber frame.

What home owners need to look for:

Check vulnerable areas such as window and door frame for signs of rot. Look for dark, rotten wood which is split along the grain.

If you spot wet rot, firstly treat any structural problems, and for this you will probably require an expert.

By taking a few simple steps you can protect your property (as well as yourself!) from damage and decay. These are all sensible steps in the eyes of insurance companies and if you speak with a professional insurance company regarding your home insurance, they will be able to advise you of the very best possible policy to suit your needs – and reward you for taking good care of your home.

Contact Westhill Insurance Services, today.

Posted on 25th July, 2010