Changing Technology In The Home: How It Can Lead To Wintertime Savings
When technology is installed and monitored in the home, it can go well beyond everyday tasks such as setting a thermostat to keep the house warm or remotely unlocking your front door.
It can go as far as reducing the likelihood of severe water, fire or smoke damage, and reduce the chances that a theft will occur on the property.
This means reducing the chances of filing an insurance claim, and often results in reduced insurance premiums or costs.
Protect Your Pipes and Prevent Water Damage by Installing a Water Leak Detection System
Water Damage is the 2nd most frequently filed home insurance claim type in the United States. Imagine returning from vacation to find your home cold and the carpet saturated. The kitchen ceiling is in pieces on the counter and floor. The master bathroom laminate floor looks like a roller coaster. Water is pouring from the cracked toilet and mold is on the wall.
Panic sets in: “Will my insurance cover this?” While insurance generally does cover this type of damage if the source is from a broken pipe (leaks behind walls may not be covered, check your own policy) , the inconvenience and time spent dealing with repairs is not. And you will be responsible to pay the out-of-pocket deductible. You are the one displaced while repairs are made, and you will be responsible to hire and oversee contractors. Water damage can range from a broken pipe discovered immediately to hundreds of thousands of gallons pouring through your house, undetected. When a whole-home water system is installed, the technology can sense water flow at the main water line to your home, and detect that there is no water flow in a room with water outlets. When this is detected, an alarm is activated and the water is shut off automatically, preventing extensive damage.
Here are some preventive measures to help keep from filing a water damage insurance claim:
IMPORTANT: Have someone check your house regularly when you’re away for a prolonged period during cold weather.
- When leaving for more than a day, turn water off. For city water, flip the valve. Turn off power to a well. Heat can fail. Frozen/broken pipes still run; water left on will cause substantial damage.
- During winter, turn off supply lines to exterior faucets, including “freeze-less” faucets.
- When water (inside and out) is turned back on, check whole house for leaks.
- Change thermostat batteries annually. TIP: Keep track of changes by writing on tape placed inside cover.
- Keep heating system vent pipes free of snow/ice buildup.
- Install a device that notifies you of home temperature drops.
- Install a device that turns off water when there is a detected drop in pressure.
- Do not set your thermostat below 50 (follow manufacturer recommendations).
- Do not rely on auto fill programs to ensure adequate LP fuel supply.
For extended trips, have plumbing professionally drained, even if sustaining heat in your house.
Install an Inexpensive Alert System to Mitigate Smoke/Fire Damage to Your Home
Almost every home in the United States has local smoke alarms installed which will alert persons inside the home of emminent fire. But what if no one is home?
Because fire can inflict extensive damage on a home, it’s imperative to be alerted quickly to the rapidly spreading flames.
Advances in technology have allowed for the homeowner to purchase and install inexpensive smoke and fire detectors which can be centally monitored by a local company and even alert the homeowner via their personal cell phone. The newest type of fire detectors can be installed for less than $1,000 and don’t even have to be installed by an electrician, the homeowner can do it. You can simply stick the alarm on the ceiling and the detector will send notification via the home’s wi-fi system.
Install Sensors on Your Windows and Doors to Notify You of Security Breach
Again the homeowner can purchase a centrally monitored service or simply get notification via their cell phone. The system uses the home wi-fi to send the signal to the homeower or central monitoring service.