Tackling Increased Seasonal Fire Risk With Insureds

Tackling Increased Seasonal Fire Risk With Insureds
When considering seasonally important subjects to broach with insureds, fire safety and fire prevention are at the top of the list for the colder months of the year. It is during this time of year where the number of house fires reaches their peak, traditionally rising in December and January primarily due to heating related events. Insurance carriers should take this opportunity to focus on risk reduction as now is when it matters most.
How To Broach The Subject
The best way to approach the subject of fire prevention is by providing homeowners with applicable risk information. A flyer with general fire safety info may not be nearly as effective at garnering attention as this carrier’s Thanksgiving-specific fire risk article about turkey frying safety. Thanksgiving is on the minds of nearly everyone this time of year, and the risk of turkey fryer or other cooking disasters causing home fires is a subject that is very much applicable to most families. The same interest and urgency can be said for October, which is the month when many are turning their heat on for the first time since winter which brings some potential risk. The key is choosing topics that matter and are relevant either seasonally or otherwise.

The Inspection Connection
Some house fire risks are not truly apparent until the actual insurance inspection is underway. An in-person residential inspection provides an outstanding opportunity to point out these risk concerns to the homeowner during the process at the moment of discovery. Potential problems with the heating system that homeowners are unaware of can be discovered during a 4-point inspection, once again delivering an opportunity to notify insureds of the fire risk potential. Taking a step beyond simple smoke detector, fire extinguisher, and carbon monoxide detector counts provides value and can be a factor in further risk reduction for those homeowners who are receptive to the message. Partnering with a residential inspection provider that believes in communicating with insureds about risk and representing your business as a caring one is beneficial to building a positive relationship with insureds.

Managing Risk
Fire damage is in the top three most common claims for homeowner’s insurance, therefore, it cannot be underestimated as a major risk. It is worth the time investment to make it a focal point in any information campaign aimed at educating insureds on risks to property. Despite cooking being the number one cause of house fires, the colder months of the year are when problems truly peak due to usage of fireplaces, wood stoves, and other means of heat production. This makes the current season the best time to develop and deploy a strategy to help insureds reduce the risk of house fires. While a residential inspection can certainly assist in this regard, a more frequent and dedicated approach may be best to address year-round risk factors. As the provider of a desired service, the ball is in your court to decide on fire safety expectations and requirements for your insureds. Insurance carriers who take additional steps to educate insureds are not only mitigating risk but also potentially saving lives.

Insurance Risk Services has spent nearly 40 years providing unparalleled inspection and underwriting support to insurance carriers across the nation. We help you deliver value to your insureds while representing your business in a professional and helpful manner. We believe educating your customers about risk should not be a residential inspection add-on, and instead be included as part of the value we deliver to insureds on your behalf at every available opportunity.

Contact our team at Insurance Risk Services today to learn more about the value of our thorough in-person property inspections.