As we enter the holiday season, a great way that you can show your appreciation for insureds, cultivate loyalty, and strengthen relationships is to offer an in-person residential inspection. Using a residential inspection to make insureds aware of increased risks around their property and how to prevent loss is one of the best gifts that they’ll receive all year.
Common Hazards to Residential Properties During the Holidays
Outlined below are several seasonal risks that insurance carriers should mention to homeowners during a residential inspection:
1. Christmas Tree Fires
Between the years of 2009 and 2013, the National Fire Protection Association revealed that there was an average of 210 home structure fires each year that originated with a Christmas tree, resulting in an average of $14.8 million in property damage. Encourage homeowners to water live trees regularly and be on the lookout for signs that the tree is drying out (brown needles and brittle twigs). To prevent the tree from overheating, use mini lights or LED lights and ensure that homeowners follow the instructions with extension cord use.
2. Holiday Candles and Menorahs
Scented candles, tapered candles, and candles that are immersed in fresh evergreens and pinecones are popular decorative pieces in the home this time of year. However, homeowners should proceed with caution when using candles because having an open flame in the home greatly increases the risk of fire. Use a residential inspection as an opportunity to talk to insureds about candle use in the home. If they’re insistent on using holiday candles and menorahs, talk to homeowners about best practices for candle use, such as never leaving them unattended, keeping them away from flammable materials, and placing candles on a heat-resistant surface.
3. Fireplace Fires
When hosting family and friends for the holidays, many homeowners will plan to use their fireplaces to set the ambiance. Educate homeowners about fire prevention best practices, such as only using seasoned firewood, emptying hot ashes into a metal container and pouring water over it, and not draping greenery over the mantel where it could catch fire.
Unfortunately, insurance carriers generally have few opportunities to get face time with insureds, and conducting a residential inspection in preparation for the holiday season provides the ideal opportunity to educate insureds about risks around the home and how to mitigate them.
Insurance Risk Services is Here to Help
If you don’t have the time or manpower to conduct residential inspections, we can help. Our team at Insurance Risk Services has nearly 40 years of experience with partnering with property and casualty insurance carriers to complete thorough and accurate in-person property inspections. Contact us to learn how we can help you strengthen your underwriting practices and build loyalty with insureds.