How Home Maintenance Can Impact Your Insurance Rates

 In Ozarks Live

Welcome back to Ozarks Live. Tom is at the resource center this afternoon with Safer with Schaeffer-  John Schaeffer.

Tom, what is there to know about maintenance tips?

Well, as far as maintenance tips are concerned, there is a lot to keep in mind because that can affect your insurance rates. Of course, Safer with Schaeffer, John Schaeffer right here. Good to see you again, John.

Good to see you again.

Okay. Let’s talk about some of these things. Maintaining your home, maybe some of the, I don’t know, risk factors or something like that that you really want to pay attention to.

That’s right. I think that’s the biggest thing these days is we’ve seen this last year is a lot of people not really keeping up the maintenance on their home, and that’s what we’re going to talk about. It could really affect your insurance premiums by not doing that.

Now, by keeping up with it, is it that they’re not able to or are they ignoring it? Is there anything on that?

I think it’s both, probably you never do. So in 2023, there was a decline in maintenance we’ve seen across the board, 44% of homeowners neglected the maintenance. That’s like cleaning out gutters, getting tree limbs and debris off your roof. Shrubs growing next to your house. So, 78% delays were cost related.

Yeah, that’s part of what I meant, because it costs lot, materials and things like that to do maintenance. It’s getting pretty pricey.

Well, I know a lot of times this day and age, it seems like people really try to conserve their money, but by conserving your money not spending on that house maintenance, it’ll cost you more money in the long run. So types of neglect, overhanging tree limbs, your tree limbs, if they overhang, they’re going to scratch your roof. They’re going to rip those shingles up. Roof’s going to leak. You’re probably going to have to file an insurance claim. You’re going to be out your deductible. Clogged gutters, I’ve seen this before.

If your gutters get too clogged, pay someone if you can’t do it to get up there and clean those out. It’ll actually pull that gutter off your house and rip the faucet off of it. So, missing siding and shingles I’ve seen before where if you have a piece of siding that’s blown off, you’re like, oh, that’s blowing off. I’ll get to it one day. That rainwater gets on that board. Leaks down on the walls could cause mold, could cause more problems. Backyard hazards, I see this a lot in the Midwest. People throw their stuff in a junk pile like, oh, I’ll hold off to the scrap yard one day. I’ll get rid of that metal. That’s a liability. Kids could cut themselves.

Are things like trampolines or pools, or are those counted in?

Yeah, that’s kind of like if you don’t have a fenced yard on your pool, that could be a hazard too.


Just unwelcoming hazards.

Attractive nuisances, I think that’s what we call-

That’s right. So yeah, exposed wood. If you have a shed that has exposed wood or your house that exposed wood on your shed or your detached garage has to be painted or has to have some kind of vinyl over it that protects the wood.


Okay? Old pipes is another deal. If you’ve got some old pipes in an old house that could burst, so.

Yeah, of course.

43% of homeowners will have an insurance claim this year, so.

That’s a lot.

That’s a lot.

We’re up to half-

That’s a national average. Yeah.


37% are water damage related. That’s why we talked about the shingles as far as cutting the tree limbs back, all that good stuff.


Insurance companies these days are reinspecting your house.

This is something relatively new, isn’t it?

That’s right. It’s new. So, insurance companies have third party companies that go out and they’re paid to reinspect and take some pictures of your house to make sure it’s insured of value, and that we’ve got the right amount of insurance on it. Because a lot of times, if you had the same insurance policy for 10 years, they may want to re-evaluate, and make sure it’s, ensure the value in today’s market.

Well true. If all material is up higher, your house to replace things is going to be higher.

Right. We just talked about that, a house give years ago was $125,000. Now it’s $300,000, so. Your insurance rates may increase because that inspection or they may find a hazard out there that you need to fix.

Yeah. But you have to keep up with that stuff.

Right. That’s right. So, DIY, small projects, if you can do it yourself, great. If you can’t, then hire help when needed. So, if you’re old or older and maybe not capable of getting up on the roof, don’t get up there and clean out your gutters and fall and hurt yourself.

Well, then there’s this guy here.

Yeah, this guy right here, man. So, inform your agent of any upgrades you’ve done. If you’ve put a new deck on maybe new siding, or maybe you put a new roof on, but you didn’t file a claim, your agent has to know that a newer roof does get a discount on your homeowner’s insurance versus an older roof.

Windows, things like that as well.

Yeah. Any kind of updates to your house and you to let your agent know.

All right, those are all good to know.

That’s right.

There’s the QR code right there. You could go with that or you can call them 766-4689. That’s the guy you’ll talk to.

Yeah, I’ll glad to help anyone out or feel free to call me with any questions you have on your current policy.

Always good, John.

Always good.

Thanks a lot.


Back to you.

Thanks so much, Tom. So, many good things always happening with the Resource Center. If you need any help, contact them. They will get it taken care of for you.


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