17th July, 2023

How poor property maintenance could affect your claim


  • Now that winter is upon us, we’re seeing an influx of claims caused by poor property maintenance. For example: water damage caused by cracked roof tiles that should have been regularly inspected or burst pipes caused by poorly maintained plumbing systems.
  • Unfortunately, insurers are unlikely to authorise repairs on a property until the relevant maintenance has been completed.
  • Completing maintenance once an issue becomes serious can be costly. As a result, some people choose to accept cash settlements from the insurer, and then do not proceed with maintenance and repairs.
  • Failing to complete maintenance can cause issues if the person needs to make a claim in the future and the insurer finds out the previous maintenance and repairs were not completed. In some cases, home or investment property insurance claims may be denied by the insurer.
  • Speaking with us before making a claim relating to property maintenance is the best way to avoid issues relating to future claims.
  • Read on for property maintenance tips to help you through the winter months.

6 property maintenance tips for winter

  1. Get storm ready

Storm season is well and truly upon us in Australia. In strong winds, overhanging or dead branches can damage property, so take time out to cut back trees that may be a risk. If you don’t have the time or tools to get the job done, hire a local (with good Google reviews) to give your garden a once over.

  1. Deal with drainage

We have been experiencing record levels of rainfall in many areas of Australia, which means drainage systems need to be in working order. Make sure rainwater is draining away from the property and not towards the structure. This can lead to rot and deterioration, as well as foundation issues, which can be incredibly costly.

  1. Inspect the roof

Checking out the state of your roof is a great way to see if there are any cracks or issues that need to be dealt with. If you have roof tiles, be sure to walk carefully, as they can crack or shift, causing more damage. If you do notice any issues, call a roofing professional to perform repairs. Roof repairs will help you avoid mould build-up and big leaks during heavy rainfall.

  1. Prioritise plumbing

Fix any leaky pipes or plumbing issues as soon as you notice a problem. This will prevent water damage, as well as the growth of mould. Catching plumbing issues before they cause major damage will save you time and money in the long term. If it’s a simple leak, you may be able to solve the problem yourself or hire a pro if you’re not handy with a wrench.

  1. Keep records

Create a folder for your property detailing any maintenance, repairs or inspections that have been performed. Include a log detailing work you have completed yourself. For example, if you cleaned the gutters, write this up and include the date the work was completed. If you hired a professional, store the receipts and any other information you may have received.

  1. Automate your reminders

If your mind is already filled with a million things to do, remembering to clean the gutters or check your roof tiles before winter is probably not top priority. So, use your phone’s calendar to add reminders for property maintenance tasks. For example: trim overhanging branches in May. Set the reminder to repeat annually (or when required) so you don’t forget.

Need home or investment property insurance?

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Author: Bruce Insurance