Lack of maintenance versus legitimate claims

Toolbox with home maintenance tools
Some of the tools you’ll need to maintain your home

Home maintenance is an essential part of being a homeowner. Neglecting regular maintenance will lead to a decline in your home’s condition, and cause expensive and serious damage and repairs. It’s important to understand the difference between legitimate claims and damage caused by the lack of home maintenance when it comes to filing an insurance claim.

The aftermath of a legitimate claim

A legitimate home insurance claim requests compensation for damage occurring due to unforeseeable events, usually caused by either natural disasters or accidental damage. For example, when a tree that falls on your home during a storm causes damage to the roof and walls, you file a claim with your insurance company to cover the cost of repairs. If your home is burglarized and valuable items are stolen, you can file a claim for the stolen items.

The aftermath of a claim resulting from the lack of regular maintenance

However, damage resulting from the lack of home maintenance is not covered by insurance. When your failure to maintain your home properly results in damage, your insurance company may deny your claim. Damage caused by your failure to clean your gutters, causing your roof to leak, will not be covered by your insurance. And there will be no coverage for damage caused when you fail to replace a damaged or worn-out pipe.

Policy  non-renewed is a possibility

When if your home is damaged because of neglect, your insurance company may choose to cancel or non-renew your policy. Home insurance policies are based on the assumption that homeowners take reasonable steps to maintain their property. Failure to do so can result in your insurance company considering you a higher risk, and choosing not to renew your policy.

What results from submitting numerous claims?

Every home insurance company allows only so many claims during a certain period of years. Some companies will only allow two water damage claims during a three-year period before announcing the non-renewal or cancellation of your home policy. Some companies may only allow for one such claim and one other claim during a period of two years

What can homeowners do to stay ahead of future maintenance issues?

One previous blog post covers the need for home inspections before you purchase your home. “Why home buyers need home inspections,” (…home-inspections/) shows why a home inspection prior to purchase is key to successful home ownership.

How proactive home maintenance saves you money.

Many homeowners forget each claim means they must pay their policy deductible. This is the amount you must pay when a claim occurs.

By avoiding claims, you’re able to earn money you’d otherwise need to meet your deductible.

Another benefit is the Claim-Free discount many companies apply when clients don’t submit claims.  Several companies I work with apply as much as a ten (10) percent discount to clients’ annual premiums when they remain claim-free for a minimum of three (3) years.


In conclusion, homeowners must understand the importance of regular home maintenance. Neglecting regularly scheduled home maintenance can lead to damage, and result in denied insurance claims. It’s crucial to take proactive steps to maintain your home properly. Regularly cleaning gutters, checking pipes, cleaning water heaters, and inspecting the roof decreases the chance of claims. And, you’ll protect your home from damage, ensuring you’re covered in case of a legitimate insurance claim.


About the author-

Eustace L. Greaves, Jr., LUTCF, is an NYS-licensed Independent Insurance Agent and Broker. He has 41 years of experience, 26 of those years as the owner of Bridge Insurance Agency.

Like to speak with Eustace?

Eustace wants to assist you with your home, life, flood, disability, renters, auto, cooperative, condominium, and wedding insurance needs. You can reach him at his mobile number,  718-489-2218, his office number, 718-783-2722, or by email at [email protected]. Or, go to his website,, and complete any of the available “Contact Us” forms.

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Author: brooklyncovered1

An independent insurance agent and broker, and income tax preparer who combines over 37 years in financial services with experience as a bank mortgage administrator and Community Relations Manager.

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