When you purchase something new or new-to-you like a house, a shed, a car, or even a compound bow, there is always a concern for property risk like it being damaged or – worse yet – stolen.
From fires breaking out to, depending on where you live, hurricanes or earthquakes, there are plenty of big unexpected disasters that could strike throughout the year. Let’s not forget, there are always smaller unexpected accidents that can pop up randomly like items snapping, car tires popping, and more. With a shiny, new item, it can always feel like the world is out to put a scratch on that polished, smooth surface.
However, just because there are so many potential property risks doesn't mean you need to have everything locked up with the key thrown into the river. Instead, focus on smart decisions like having a property risk assessment and implementing small steps like installing a wireless driveway alarm. With every new addition, you’ll feel safer and more confident about your property’s security.
What is a property risk assessment?
If you’re kind of new to the whole “own property” thing, just bought a new-to-you car, or even upgraded to a brand new house, congratulations! However, you might be scratching your head at what exactly property risk assessment is.
To start, property risk and property security can touch everything you own. Beyond your house, it can include clothes, furniture, compound bows, handguns, four-wheelers, trucks, art, books – the list goes on.
Essentially, property risk assessment is a collection of services like property audits and inspections that evaluate risk factors to make decisions and prevent future losses. In short, it questions how much harm, damage, or loss could possibly affect you and your family. It can also include:
- Fire protection engineering
- Loss investigations and analysis
- Property replacement cost valuations
- Building code compliance
- Security consulting
- Electrical systems and furnaces
- Risk factors such as trampolines, pools, skate ramps, pets, etc.
- General hazards and more
There is even an auto risk assessment, commercial property risk assessment, and more.
Why should you seek out a property risk assessment?
The use of a property risk assessment is to make sure that the house you just bought is fit for living in or the car you just purchased is safe to drive. Essentially the goal of a property risk assessment is to ensure that your property’s security has the “okay” to be utilized.
As seen with some of the examples above, you want to make sure that your property has the proper fire extinguishers in place – and are workable – in case there is a fire. If you are looking into an old house you dream of rolling up your sleeves and fixing up, you will want to make sure that the electrical system is up to snuff – and don’t forget to check for asbestos!
It is also smart to perform a property risk assessment before buying insurance, as you want to make sure that the insurance will be able to cover all that you may need. On the flip side, your insurance might be covering far more than necessary (which means you're paying more out of pocket). Having a property risk assessment completed will help put you on the right path for successful ownership and insurance protection.
What are property risks in insurance?
The goal of insurance is essentially to provide backup to you when something goes wrong. The entire business centers around risk management and the chance that something horrible will happen to you or your property. Cheerful, I know.
However, by investing in insurance, when something bad does – and unfortunately, ultimately will – happen, you will have a certain pool of money behind you to pay for your loss. This can be seen in paying your premium and taking out of the pool of cash when something goes amiss. In short, insurance kind of runs in a way that everyone puts money into a large pot and takes it out when they need it.
For insurance companies, property risks are different from personal or liability risk. Here’s a quick way to notice the difference:
- Property Risk: risk that can cause a partial or total loss to property. An example can be like your new boat sinking during a joy ride, a random kitchen fire, or even a tornado ripping your home apart.
- Personal Risk: risk that can affect the health or safety of an individual. An example would be getting hurt in a car accident or developing cancer.
- Liability Risk: personal or business risk associated with being found liable to another because of negligence or willful acts that caused a loss to another's property or person. An example is keying someone else’s car – and getting caught on camera – or driving while drunk and running someone over.
By knowing exactly what property risk is, you can now figure out how to try to help lower your chance of risk.
How do you mitigate property risk?
Mitigating property risk is all about taking action to minimize it. In short, you are trying to control the risk.
There are an infinite amount of ways you can help control risk depending on if you are trying to focus on your house or your belongings. Precautions are a great way to control risk. Adding a gate or lock around something potentially dangerous like a pool or hot tub can help mitigate risk. If you live in the countryside and want an extra layer of protection, risk control can include putting up some wireless outdoor motion systems to keep an eye on potential trespassers.
By thinking through what exactly needs to have risk lowered, you can come up with a bunch of ideas that will help lower your property risk and increase your property security.
Top 3 Property Risks
Property risk can vary dramatically. As mentioned before, it can be anything from a small house fire to a terrorist attack. In general, it can range from something that is very likely at some point to something that might never happen in your lifetime. Yet, it is all property risk.
When it comes to property risk in the form for homeowners, it focuses on:
- Risk of default (AKA failing to pay rent and having the home taken from you by the bank leaving you with low credit scores)
- Obsolescence (i.e. never updating your home as you live in it to make it attractive to the next owner)
- Uncovered disasters (incidences that are not covered by insurance).
Of course there are plenty of other risks that can impact beyond your home, like your moveable possessions. However, by focusing on these three property risks above, you can feel prepared when it comes to your property’s security.
Final Thoughts on Property Risk and Property Security
Property risk might seem concerning. It can even feel like you are leaving the fate of your precious property and possessions up to chance. However, you can increase your property’s security with both large and small changes. From investing in insurance to performing a property risk assessment and purchasing a wireless outdoor motion system, there are plenty of opportunities for you to feel confident about your property’s security for years to come.
Contributing Writer: Marena Galluccio