The warm summer weather is fading away and it’s time once again to prepare for the fall season. As the days get cooler and the nights get colder, homeowners need to start getting their homes ready for the coming season. Fall is a great time to review your homeowners insurance policy to make sure that you have all of the coverage you need to protect your biggest investment.
The type of home insurance in Massachusetts that you get will depend upon your home, its location and any unique concerns or issues that might apply. For example, people living on the coast might be more concerned about getting a homeowners insurance policy that covers damage associated with hurricanes or flooding, while people that live in a forested area might be more concerned about getting a policy that has comprehensive coverage for fires or damage from falling trees.
When “House Guests” Come to Visit
When most people think about the fall and winter seasons, they think about holidays, parties and family gatherings. However, there are other “house guests” that also like to invade your home this time of year. As the weather gets cooler, rodents and other wild animals begin looking for a place to settle down for the winter. Unfortunately for Fall River homeowners, that could include your attic, basement, crawl space and other parts of your home. Everything from raccoons to bats, squirrels and even birds, will try to find a way indoors if they can.
In addition to the damage that can come from animals burrowing inside your home, many of these animals carry diseases and other pests, such as fleas, lice and mites. Check with your insurance agent in Fall River to find out if you are covered for wildlife damage if there are a lot of critters in your area. Unfortunately, many homeowners don’t realize they aren’t covered under their standard homeowners insurance policy until the damage is already done.
Making sure you have proper home insurance in Massachusetts is a big step toward having peace of mind with regard to these little invaders, but prevention plays a big part as well. Inspect the outside of your home including the base and around the roof line, repairing any holes or cracks you see immediately. Keep trees that could provide a pathway for animals into your home trimmed back and keep trash cans, compost bins and other attractive elements well sealed and out of sight.
Keep It Toasty and Warm
Make sure to test your heating system and have it serviced prior to the first cold night to avoid having to call out a technician in the middle of the night or on a busy – and more expensive – weekend. Make sure to get your HVAC system cleaned, especially if you haven’t done so in awhile. Have extra filters on hand so you can change them frequently throughout the fall and winter months. Clogged filters cause your heater to work harder to get your house up to temperature, increasing your energy consumption and utility bill.
If you have a fireplace, be sure to get it cleaned and inspected prior to making the first fire of the season. Over the years, fireplaces can get damaged from wear and tear or improper cleaning, making them unsafe for use. If animals have nested inside your chimney over the spring and summer months, the debris from their nests could cause a dangerous clog that could cause the house to catch on fire or cause carbon monoxide to fill your home.
If you don’t already have a programmable thermostat, consider having one installed. It can save you a lot of money on your utility bill and can help you keep your home comfortable without over- or under-heating it when you are at work or away from the house. Fall River homeowners should speak with their insurance agent about any safety recommendations with regard to their heater that might affect their homeowners insurance policy to make sure they are properly covered.
Start at the Top
Another important area of your home that needs annual inspection is your roof. If a soft spot develops, your roof could collapse with the weight of the winter snow and ice. Get your roof inspected by a professional each year before bad weather hits to make sure it is in good shape for the season. While home insurance in Massachusetts covers damage caused by winter snow and ice, it will not cover a homeowner that has willfully neglected the home, failing to have it inspected or properly repaired when needed.
If there are any trees hanging over your roof or even near the roof of you house, make sure to trim them back before the season gets started to avoid any damage. Branches that are heavy with snow can fall during the winter and icicles that form on branches over your home can fall and do a lot of damage. Safety should be your number one priority while doing any of these seasonal home inspection checks.
Also check your gutters at this time to make sure that they are clean and properly doing their job. If a clogged gutter gets filled by water and then freezes, it can cause something called “ice damming”, which can cause ice and water to seep inside your home, damaging insulation, the framework and eventually your personal property, rugs, flooring and walls. Consider adding a gutter guard device to prevent more leaves and twigs from getting inside your gutters as the leaves fall from the trees.
Are You Covered?
This is the most important question that Fall River homeowners need to ask themselves about their homeowners insurance policy. If you aren’t sure about home insurance in Massachusetts and want to find out if you are properly covered, speak with your insurance agent in Fall River.
Paul Sullivan Insurance Agency has offices in Fall River and Fall River to serve customers in the Southeastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island area. Paul Sullivan has been working with homeowners insurance policy, auto insurance policy, business insurance policy and marine insurance policy customers for nearly 60 years. Contact Sullivan Insurance Agency today to make sure you have adequate home insurance in Massachusetts or Rhode Island.