Ensuring that your home or rental property is safe from the inside out may be more important than having a security system or being part of the local neighborhood watch!
Recently there was a tragic accident where I live in which a small child died unnecessarily in a home fire. Although the source of the fire was not fully determined, it was thought to be electrical and originated in the kitchen. It then rose instantaneously to the baby’s nursery directly above.
As relatively new first-time homeowners, one of the painful questions the parents are left to consider is if their home was safe to move into in the first place? More importantly, could the loss of their daughter have been prevented?
How do you ensure that a home is safe to live in, whether you are just moving in, adding on, or renovating a rental property?
- Never skip a home inspection. A home inspector will check electrical wiring and moisture levels and look for carbon monoxide, asbestos, lead, electromagnetic fields, and radon. Make sure you have smoke detectors, a carbon monoxide detector, and the right type of fire extinguisher for your home.
- Obtain a copy of the C.L.U.E. Report. A Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange, or C.L.U.E., report will show you a five-year history of insurance claims that have been filed for the property in question. You do need to get the seller’s permission to run this report, but once you do, it can be obtained for under $20.
- Hire reputable contractors with solid local references to help with renovation projects. Ask if sub-contractors will be used and find out what type of insurance your contractor carries.
- Select your homeowner’s insurance and independent agent wisely. Purchasing a home is most likely one of the biggest investments a person will make and the knowledge and assistance of an independent agent can help assure you have the coverage you need. Consider bundling your policies together with cars or other properties to capitalize on available discounts. Understand what you are insuring, make sure your valuables are well protected, and that your coverage is adequate.
Your homeowner’s insurance and a great independent agent can help replace your home, but you must also do your part to assure that home is safe for you and your family.