Department of Labor and Regulation

Title - Division of Insurance email the Division of Insurance

Homeowner Tips on Loss Prevention

Taking adequate steps to prevent losses is just as important as buying insurance to cover them. No insurance policy can compensate you for the pain; suffering or inconvenience brought about by fire and theft. A few Simple Rules are listed below to help you minimize the chance of loss.

  1. Keep your house or apartment clear of accumulated trash, oily rags and the like. Do not store trash in the attic, basement or any other place where heat builds up rapidly.
  2. Check lamps, lamp cords, extension cords, appliance cords and light switches to make sure there is no faulty wiring.
  3. Plan a route for evacuation in case of fire and have home fire drills. Blinding smoke builds up rapidly, and the entire family, especially the children, should know what to do.
  4. Keep matches away from children and never smoke in bed.
  5. If you are building a home, make sure the contractor uses fireproof material in construction whenever possible.
  6. Keep your sidewalk in good repair, free of cracks, ice and snow. If someone slips on your sidewalk, you may be liable for his/her injuries.
  7. When you go on vacation, do not leave telltale signs. Lock doors and windows, stop the newspaper and other deliveries, get a timer to turn on house lights at dusk, ask your neighbors to check the house and notify the police that you are away.
  8. Place some form of identification on your valuables. Some police departments loan etching machines for this purpose. You may want to use an identification number that you can easily remember.
  9. Many insurance companies, some fire departments and civic associations provide window decals to identify rooms occupied by the elderly and children so that these may be evacuated first in the event of an emergency.
  10. Consider installing an approved fire and burglar alarm system. Many insurance companies now offer a premium discount for such devices.
  11. Replace your washing machine hose after two years or install the new metal reinforced hoses to prevent water damage to your floors or carpets.
  12. Prepare a home inventory of your belongings. List your property room by room and keep sale receipts, etc. of your major purchases.

We recommend that you inspect your home carefully several times a year to make sure that these and other safety measures are being followed.

Division of Insurance
124 S. Euclid Ave., 2nd Floor
Pierre, SD 57501
Tel. 605.773.3563
Fax. 605.773.5369