Attics House Valuables and Potential Hazards Side by Side, According to Chubb Survey

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Chubb Group of Insurance Companies discusses house valuables and potential hazards side by side.

Half of homeowners (52%) have discovered critters such as mice, squirrels, bats and bees living in their attics, while one in 10 have never even seen their attics, according to a survey of 1,000 adults sponsored by the Chubb Group of Insurance Companies.

Homeowners who don’t pay attention to what’s going on in their attics can face costly damage that can spread throughout their entire home, warns Scott Spencer, senior vice president and worldwide appraisal and loss prevention manager for Chubb Personal Insurance.

“Rodents in the attic can be a nuisance at best, and if they are not eradicated quickly, they can become home wreckers,” Spencer said. “Squirrels and rats have been known to chew through electrical wires in attics. It almost always ends badly for the animals, but sparks from their gnawing can set your whole house on fire.”

Many attics also house mechanical equipment, such as central air conditioning systems, exhaust fans, electrical junction boxes and plumbing. “Homeowners should regularly make sure that any system that is connected to an electrical or water source in their attic is in good working condition,” Spencer said. “A burst pipe or a clogged drain in the attic could lead to widespread water damage on the floors below.”

Adding to the risk of loss, many homeowners store valuables, such as antiques, art and family heirlooms, in their attics. Three out of four survey respondents (77%) said they use their attics for storage of seasonal clothing, luggage, family photographs, memorabilia and other items.

These valuables are often exposed to significant temperature fluctuations throughout the year, which can hasten their deterioration. Spencer recommends storing fragile valuables in another part of the house that is not subject to extreme hot or cold temperatures. He said attics also should be equipped with alarm systems to detect smoke, water leaks and extreme temperatures.

Chubb Personal Insurance’s Home Appraisal Service conducts complimentary appraisals of many customers’ homes. Some 160 appraisers help customers estimate the cost to rebuild their home in the event of a total loss. The appraisers also offer security, fire-prevention and safety advice that can help prevent losses and that may qualify for premium credits.

About Chubb

Since 1882, members of the Chubb Group of Insurance Companies have provided property and casualty insurance products to customers around the globe. These products are offered through a worldwide network of independent agents and brokers. The Chubb Group of Insurance Companies is known for financial strength, underwriting and loss-control expertise, tailoring products for the needs of high-net-worth individuals and commercial customers in niche markets and select industry segments, and outstanding claim service.


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