In some cases, your home’s state of disrepair can become a costly problem for an insurer. When you have loose shingles on your roof, doors that are cracked or easily compromised, and debris lying around your yard, you increase the risk of suffering damages during an insurable incident which increases the likelihood that your insurer will need to pay out a claim at some point. With that said, while it would be in the insurance company’s best interest for you to improve these areas and reduce their risk of claims exposure, they can’t actually make you take action.
The Insurer is Not The Boss of You
Insurance companies are simply companies that agree to pay for the losses you suffer at the hands of insurable incidents. They do not dictate how you can and should keep your home. The insurance company does not get to mandate whether or not your roof is replaced when it reaches a certain state of disrepair, nor do they get to decide when and how you should make repairs to any part of your home. It is ultimately, the responsibility of each individual home owner to decide what, when, and how to make improvements to their home.
What an Insurance Company CAN Do
That doesn’t mean insurance companies are completely powerless in compelling you to make changes. If an insurer gets the sense that your lack of repairs is increasing their exposure to risk, they can either raise your rates or decide to not renew your premium.
Insurance companies have a big responsibility to accurately assess risk and take measures to protect themselves against it. They must do this in order to ensure that they will have the funds to pay for all the claims they receive from their other policyholders. If the way you choose to maintain your home increases the risk that you present, then the insurance company has no choice but to raise your rates to reflect that increased risk or to lose you as a customer. If they don’t take these steps, they expose other customers to the possibility that they can’t pay for their claims.
It is always in a homeowner’s best interest to maintain their home to the best of their abilities. In fact, much of the damage that occurs as a result of poor maintenance is less than a home insurance deductible and doesn’t occur as an insurable incident, anyway—which means the homeowner has no one to blame, and no one to pay, but themselves.
Darrell Fryer Insurance Advisor of Capistrano Premier Insurance Services and can be reached at 949-248-3112