Protect Your Home From Summer Risks

David Deem

The warm summer months can bring external risks to your property, from swells in heat to high wind and rain from hurricane season. It's best to be prepared and avoid any midsummer headaches.

"A home is like a vehicle in the respect that it needs a tune up to handle the change in seasons," says Mercury Insurance Vice President of Property Claims Christopher O'Rourke. "Now is the time to prepare property for the intense summer heat, and one important step is to contact an insurance agent to assess coverage before you suffer a loss."

O'Rourke advises property owners to prepare for the following scenarios.

Tree branch drops. Parking a vehicle under a tree for its shade might seem like a good idea during the summer; however, the phenomenon called "tree branch drops" caused by extreme heat can cost you money. If a tree on your property extends over parked cars, you're responsible for any damage they cause if they fall. Tree branch drops aren't limited to streets, however, because they can also do a lot of damage to your home, too. Consult a local arborist about how to keep your trees healthy and to trim potentially hazardous limbs. And for those in wildfire prone areas, remember to control overgrown vegetation and keep a defensible space. Tip: Comprehensive coverage will protect vehicles damaged in this scenario when there isn't coverage by the tree owner, and your homeowners policy will protect your house.

Sudden, accidental water leak in your home. Water leaks in your home when the temperature hits triple digits happen more often than you might think. July is one of Mercury's busiest months for homeowners' claims due to water damage caused by blocked HVAC drains, and water damage accounts for nearly half of all homeowners claims. Air conditioning units see a lot of use during the summer months and many homes are built with plastic pipe drainage systems that can get clogged over time by debris or damaged by foot traffic. A simple HVAC overflow preventive measure is to get it serviced by a professional before the weather warms up.

Power surges. Electrical spikes can be caused by a scheduled blackout when the utility company turns the power off and then back on. These events can send a surge of electricity to your home's electronics and appliances, potentially "frying" them in the process. Often, homeowners and renters will not remember to unplug their devices, and some require using the circuit breaker to turn them off to protect them. You should also consider plugging your devices into surge protectors rather than directly into a wall outlet. However, before the worst happens, be sure to protect appliances and electronics from rolling blackouts during the summer by investing in a good home systems protection coverage plan.   

Source: Mercury Insurance



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