Marcia Hultman

Cabinet Secretary

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Division of Insurance - Homeowners Insurance

Tips on Loss Prevention


Taking adequate steps to prevent loss is just as important as buying insurance to cover them. No insurance policy can compensate you for the pain, suffering or inconvenience brought about by fire and theft. These few simple tips can help you minimize the chance of loss.

  • Keep your house or apartment clear of accumulated trash, oily rags and the like. Do not store trash in the attic, basement or any other place where heat builds up rapidly.
  • Check lamps, electrical cords and light switches to make sure there is no faulty wiring.
  • Replace your washing machine hose after two years or install the new metal reinforced hoses to prevent water damage to your floors or carpets.
  • Plan a route for evacuation in case of a fire; conduct home fire drills with your family. Blinding smoke builds up rapidly and can hamper escape. The entire family, especially the children, should know what to do.
  • Keep matches away from children and never smoke in bed.
  • If you are building a home, make sure the contractor uses fireproof material in construction whenever possible.
  • Many insurance companies, some local fire departments and civic associations provide window decals to identify rooms occupied by the elderly and children so that these may be evacuated first int he event of an emergency, like a fire.
  • Consider installing an approved fire and burglar alarm system. Many insurance companies now offer a premium discount for such devices.
  • Keep your sidewalk in good repair, free of cracks, ice and snow. If someone slips on your sidewalk, you may be liable for his or her injuries.
  • When you go on vacation, do not leave telltale signs. Lock doors and windows, stop the newspaper and other deliveries, get a time to turn on house lights at dusk, ask your neighbors to check the house and notify the policy that you are away.
  • Place some form of identification on your valuables. Some organizations offer the use of etching machines for this purpose. You may want to use an identification number that you can easily remember.
  • Prepare a home inventory of your belongings. List your property room by room and keep sale receipts, etc. for major purchases.

It is recommended that you inspect your home carefully several times a year to make sure that these and other safety measures are being followed.

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