4 Tips to Remember When Building a New Home

If you are building a new home in Johnson City or the Tri-Cities, there is probably a great deal on your mind. Out of all the details, plans, dreams, and projects, make sure you take some time to investigate how you can protect yourself from future insurance claims. Here are some effective ways you can reduce the number and severity of your claims later by putting in a little extra research and effort right now. Even if your house is already built, you may come away with some helpful tips!

1. Install Leak Detectors

The first thing you should be mindful of when building a new house is the potential for future water damage. The most important thing you can do is to install a device to shut off your water automatically. As an example, this is a whole-house flow detector that is web-based (https://waterheroinc.com/guide-to-automatic-water-shut-off-valves/). It tracks your normal water usage and will shut your water off if it detects odd water usage. However, because it detects unusual water usage and not specifically leaks, there can be some drawbacks in certain situations. If in the middle of the night, for example, you have an abnormal water flow, it will shut off the water to your house. It’s intent, however, is to keep your house from flooding! Moen has a similar detector available (https://www.techhive.com/article/3321177/flo-review.html).

Other sensors monitor for leaks, but they are generally not whole-house. You simply place a sensor in each spot you want to monitor. Here is a link to the LeakSmart Shut-off Valve (https://leaksmart.com/products/protect-by-leaksmart-shut-off-valve/) and  here is a review site to the top 7 automatic shutoff valves of 2019 (https://www.keepthewaterflowing.net/best-automatic-shutoff-valve-reviews/).

If you have a traditional water heater, make sure it is up on something that can have a pan underneath. If you are using a tankless water heater, make sure you have sensors below it. If you use a tankless water heater you won’t need to worry so much about water claims because the chances of a bad leak are small. Make sure you have water sensors around the leak pans on your HVAC units, especially if they are in the attic. This is a common cause of loss.

2. Use Spray Foam Insulation

If you have a water claim with spray foam insulation, you won’t have as much damage because it does not absorb so much water. This costs more on the front-end, but for a new house you will save enough over time to offset the additional costs.

3. Think About Your Basement

Slab basements are horrible for water claims because the water does not stop until it gets outside. If you have a basement that is unfinished and water can run down into it, you can really limit water claims.

4. Consider a Steel Roof

A nice steel roof will go a long way in reducing wind claims and hail claims. Dents to steel roofs are not covered because it is not considered “damage” unless the hail leaves a hole in the roof. That can be an issue for people who might not like dents in their roof, but that doesn’t generally happen unless you have very large hailstones. Most steel roofs will take a good beating and not see any damage. The price is approximately 30% more expensive, but you will get 50 years out of it. You would usually not have a claim. If you get a nice one, the paint will stay true for most of the life, and steel roofs gives better insulation than a traditional shingle roof because of the way they install the sheets with the insulation on the back.

Get Home Insurance Coverage!

By putting a little extra effort when planning or building your new house, you can save yourself from future hassle, home insurance claims, premium increases, and disaster. If you have any questions, please call our East Tennessee office today at (423) 292-4142! Veritas Risk Management is a local, independent insurance agency serving the region of East Tennessee and Southwest Virginia. Voted Johnson City’s best home insurance agency of 2020, our friendly and professional team would love to assist you with any of your home insurance needs!

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