By Veronica Logan

Taking out home insurance is one of the biggest favours you can do for yourself as a homeowner, but how do you ensure there are few hassles when it comes time to claim?

Proper care and home maintenance will get you off to a great start.

Owning a home is perhaps one of the biggest responsibilities one can take on and for good reason. When things go wrong, start to leak or break, the onus to deal with the problem rests solely on your shoulders as the homeowner which can be quite daunting.

Luckily, home insurance can often come to the rescue, but what happens when your claim is rejected because of poor maintenance or lack of care on your part?

We did some digging and got the lowdown on why taking care of your home and practicing regular maintenance is so important, especially (but not only!) when it comes time to put in an insurance claim:

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REGULAR MAINTENANCE REDUCES THE RISK OF A CLAIM BEING REJECTED

First and foremost it’s important to remember that just because you’ve insured your home, doesn’t mean all of your claims are guaranteed to be successfully processed and paid out. In fact, you as the insured party are responsible for preventing any damages or losses by making sure that everything is well maintained and kept in good working order.

Most home insurance is only there to protect you against unavoidable, unexpected events or accidents and not for general wear and tear or worse, poor upkeep.

Most home insurance is only there to protect you against unavoidable, unexpected events or accidents and not for general wear and tear or worse, poor upkeep

This is to protect the insurers and remove any liability for instances where a homeowner has failed to look after and maintain their home and/or property. With this in mind, it’s vital that you do your part to reduce the cost of potential claims but preventing any unnecessary damage caused by a lack of regular upkeep and repairs.

ONGOING MAINTENANCE CAN SAVE YOU MONEY IN THE LONG RUN

While it might seem like a bit of a paradox – spending money to save money – when it comes to taking care of your home, it really does make sense. In fact, some insurance experts wager that every R1 spent on maintenance and general upkeep could save up to R100 in future repairs. That’s right. Ongoing maintenance really is a great way to prevent a hefty bill later on, whether insurance-related or not!

For example, failing to regularly clean your dirty aircon filters could lead to a burned-out motor later on, which will be far costlier and onerous to address. You might find that when you try and claim for a new aircon, your insurer rejects your claim due to a lack of maintenance, which means you have to fork out for a new machine and perhaps even risk the chance of facing higher premiums because you made a claim.

Similarly, if you don’t regularly maintain your home and its contents, you won’t be able to claim when they do eventually need replacing or repairing as wear and tear aren’t covered by most insurers.

That said, if you think you need a bit of help keeping up to date with your home’s maintenance, be sure to check out our handy home maintenance calendar! Just be sure that you choose the right person for the right jobs – sometimes employing an expert is the right way to go to ensure that the job at hand is carried out professionally to avoid any mishaps that could ultimately affect your home’s value, and any future claims, later on.

SPEAKING OF YOUR HOME’S VALUE… MAINTENANCE CAN HELP INCREASE IT

Owning a home is one of those investments that have a high probability of increasing in value – market, and economy dependent of course! In actuality, the longer you own a home the more you could potentially increase its value by ensuring it is well taken care of and maintained.

Consider if you put your home on sale at the end of the month but you hadn’t maintained your electrical wiring, plumbing or appliances – chances are, no buyer with a choice would be interested and if they were, they’d knock a hefty number of zeros off the selling price! Even worse, your home could fail the home inspection process and/or legal certifications required to sell your home should you manage to pin down a buyer.

No matter which way you look at things, you’re losing out on cashing in on what your home could be worth if you don’t look after it.

Taking care of your home through the way you maintain things really does have a large impact on how well your home insurance can work for you

Failing to fix or attend to the small things now will ultimately have a real knock-on effect when it comes time to claim, either directly or indirectly as illustrated above. At the end of the day, your home is meant to be an asset, and taking care of an asset always requires a little bit of elbow grease.

This article was first published on www.privateproperty.co.za

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Author: Private Property