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Common maintenance issues linked to home insurance claims
With spring comes new motivation to clean! But don’t overlook home maintenance issues, like overgrown plants or a rusty downpipe.
AAMI has compiled a list of common maintenance-related claims. Here are the parts of your home to keep an eye on, based on our data.
Key areas of your home
1. Gutters and downpipes
Blocked or rusted gutters and downpipes are common culprits behind many home insurance claims.
They can cause rainwater to overflow back into the home, damaging walls and ceilings. If rust is present, leaks can also occur.
Check your gutters and downpipes regularly for debris, such as leaves, soil and sticks, and clear them where needed. Rusted materials should be replaced as part of maintaining your property over time.
If you’re not a maintenance whiz, ask a roof plumber for a hand.
How insurance can help
Sometimes accidents or disasters are unavoidable, no matter how prepared you are. That’s where we come in.
We also cover flood damage (if not removed from your policy) and other insured events!
Though, it’s important to note that we don’t cover events related to wear and tear, or neglected repair or maintenance issues you’d be reasonably expected to have been aware of.
For more details, check out your PDS.
General roof-related issues are also fueling insurance claims. Think broken, dislodged or lifted roof tiles, as well as deteriorated mortar, bedding, and rusted roof sheets or flashings.
Your roof is an important defence against the elements. If sections are left vulnerable, rainwater will enter through them. Common water damage issues include ceiling water stains and mould in the roof cavity.
Periodically check for broken or dislodged roof tiles. Replace rusted roof sheets as soon as you’re aware of them, or ring a pro.
How insurance can help
While we don’t cover gradual damage that you would have been reasonably aware of – like a roof leak you’ve left untreated – we do cover sudden unexpected damage. So you’re covered if, for example, your roof is damaged by hail, a tree falls, or strong winds or a storm knocks off some tiles.
Downpipes that aren’t properly connected to the stormwater outlet stop rainwater from flowing away from the roof or home effectively. This may cause pooling around the home.
Make sure your downpipes are connected to the stormwater discharge and in line with current local building regulations.
It’s also worth getting a roof plumber to see if your old downpipes need an upgrade.
4. Wet areas
Damaged grout and silicon between tiles are behind plenty of water damage claims. Without well-maintained grout, you risk water seeping beneath your tiles, loosening them over time.
Be careful of leaking taps, hoses, pipes and appliances too – they’re another huge driver of our home insurance claims.
Regularly inspect your grout for damage. Some signs include discoloration or cracking. Make sure to nip mould in the bud before it gets out of hand – once overgrown, its roots can spread into the grout or silicone, making it nearly impossible to remove. In these cases, you’re better off re-grouting your bathroom.
Get a plumber to periodically do a leak detection to find leaking pipes that aren’t visible.
5. Vegetation and garden beds
Do you have plants or garden beds against the external wall of your home? If they’re overgrown, they can cause moisture to seep into your home.
Garden beds can also block external vents, encouraging mould growth.
Remove garden beds blocking vents or placed up against external walls. Keep plants and overhanging branches trimmed.
Don’t have green thumbs? Call a gardener to remove foliage and overgrown trees and roots.
How AAMI insurance can help
Just remember that anything planted or permanently fixed to the ground is covered under AAMI Building Insurance. This includes your decks and verandas, as well as trees and grounded plants.
Anything that can be moved, is generally covered under AAMI Contents Insurance, for example, potted plants and portable barbies.
If you want cover for both these categories, Home and Contents Insurance is what you’re after.
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AAMI won't cover any part of the building, unit or contents that has wear, tear and gradual deterioration. You are reasonably expected to be aware of general maintenance required, and to make repairs and keep them well maintained accordingly.
Insurance issued by AAI Limited ABN 48 005 297 807 trading as AAMI. Read the Product Disclosure Statement before buying this insurance. Go to aami.com.au for a copy. This advice has been prepared without taking into account your particular objectives, financial situations or needs, so you should consider whether it is appropriate for you before acting on it.
The information is intended to be of general nature only. We do not accept any legal responsibility for any loss incurred as a result of reliance upon it – please make your own enquiries.