This Mistake Could Weaken Your Homeowners Insurance Policy

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Woman with leaky roof
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If you have put off maintenance repairs on your home, here’s a wakeup call: Failing to perform regular upkeep could undermine your homeowners insurance coverage.

Unfortunately, more than one-quarter of homeowners — 26% — do not realize that delaying necessary home maintenance could result in a claim going uncovered, according to a recent survey from Nationwide.

A lot of homeowners potentially face that prospect. According to the survey, over the past year:

  • 44% have delayed performing routine maintenance tasks
  • 31% are delaying necessary renovations and repairs

The reason why homeowners are procrastinating is understandable, with 78% saying they have put off necessary maintenance due to inflation. However, delaying maintenance can come at a high cost.

In a summary of Nationwide’s findings, Beth Riczko, Nationwide’s president of personal property and casualty lines, says that if your home has a known issue, it’s important to make repairs that prevent further damage:

“When a claim is filed, there are many factors reviewed during the investigation that may impact whether the claim is covered, including if the insured followed policy conditions. For example, when shingles are damaged on a roof and aren’t repaired causing interior damage, there could be coverage impacts.”

Higher prices appear to be pushing homeowners to make another foolish mistake. Nationwide says 71% of agents have witnessed customers reducing their coverage to save money.

Agents also note that 43% of all homeowners have filed a claim at some point, with more than half (56%) related to weather, 37% for water damage and 13% for fire damage.

So, cutting back on insurance coverage to save money in the short term could be a true roll of the dice.

As we have reported, inflation can impact your policy in other negative ways. For more, check out “How Inflation Puts Your Homeowners Insurance at Risk.”

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