A loss can be sudden and confusing. Being prepared for an emergency can help prevent further damage, reduce time to recover and help to preserve your home and personal belongings.
Steps to help avoid or minimize loss
Perform regular yard maintenance
Care for trees and shrubs that are close to the home. To reduce fire risk, make sure garden mulch isn’t placed against siding. Check for damaged and downed limbs as well as rotted portions of a tree, and take action to remove them.
Install detection devices
Heat, water and security system monitors notify you in the event of a potential risk so you can take preventative steps. In case of lightning, consider surge protectors for high-value items that are plugged in.
Locate your water main
First, locate the water main in your home. If you need assistance, consider contacting a plumber who can help you to operate the main. Add a tag or marker to help you remember where it’s located.
When on vacation, consider turning the water off to your washing machine. If you have a water leak in your home, the quickest step to reduce damage is to shut off the water main.
Secure your valuables
Put important papers and treasured items in a locked, waterproof and fireproof container. Compile a home inventory list that can be accessed in the event of a loss. We recommend taking a video of your home, room by room. Keep a digital copy of the list and video that can be accessed from anywhere.
Monitor smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
Change smoke and carbon monoxide detector batteries annually and test them at least twice a year. We recommend replacing the detectors every seven to ten years.
Keep fire extinguishers handy
Have fully charged fire extinguishers on every level of your home and one extinguisher in your kitchen. Check the devices at least once a year to ensure they are still charged, as they can deteriorate over time.
Maintain a consistent indoor temperature
To avoid frozen pipes, keep your home between 55-65 degrees, even when you aren't home. Be aware of pipes that go through cooler parts of your home and consider wrapping them in towels or insulation.
Perform regular home maintenance
Have HVAC and heating systems serviced and cleaned annually. Regularly remove lint from drier vents and check washing machine hoses for bulges and proper connections. Inspect and clean chimneys every year.
Install a sump pump
If you are in a low-lying or flood-prone area, add a sump pump with a battery backup power source to keep the pump running during power outages.
Have contact numbers available
Put together a list of local area contacts to reach out to in the event of a loss. Even better, add these contacts to your phone so you have them when needed.
- Local fire and police
- Insurance agent
- General contractor
- Roofing company
- Water mitigation company
Need help finding resources? Here are some places to turn to:
- Your community
- Your insurance agent
- Social media
- Online referral companies
Check out our Partners in Protection for home service providers who offer special pricing and benefits to customers of The Hanover.
If you are experiencing an emergency in your home, there are ways to help mitigate the loss and possibly reduce the severity of the damage. While it’s best to call local experts and inform your insurance agent right away, there are a few steps you can take immediately - once it's safe to do so.
- Shut off water main if the water is coming from the home.
- Add a tarp or cover to the home if safe to do so and the water damage is coming from the outside.
- Remove excess water from the home if possible. A wet vac, towels and buckets can help.
- Take photos of the damage.
- Call your local contractor.
- Call a water mitigation company if you are unable to control the water. Locate a water mitigation vendor here
- Evacuate the home as quickly and safely as possible.
- Call your local fire/police department.
- Add tarping or boards to the home to reduce any weather damage, theft or other future risks to the property.
- Call a local contractor to assess the property.
- Reach out to a fire restoration company
to help with any smoke or fire damage to the home or contents.
- Gather valuables from the home, including driver's licenses, passports, valuable and collectibles to help reduce the risk of theft.
- Take photos of the impacted areas.
Tree on your home or vehicle
- Get out of the home and/or vehicle.
- Call a local arborist if you are not at risk. If there is risk, call your local police/fire department to assist.
- Tarp any holes or openings that the tree caused, to avoid further damage.
- Gather valuables and move them to a safe location.
- Take photos of the damage.
A loss can be a stressful and life-altering event. While we cannot assess coverage until a claim is filed, we hope that you will take some of these preventative steps to help avoid the possibility of a loss occurring.
If you do have a claim, contact our team as soon as possible. For any questions, reach out to your agent.
Report a claim
This material is provided for informational purposes only and does not provide any coverage or guarantee loss prevention. The examples in this material are provided as hypothetical and for illustration purposes only. The Hanover Insurance Company and its affiliates and subsidiaries (“The Hanover”) specifically disclaim any warranty or representation that acceptance of any recommendations contained herein will make any premises, or operation safe or in compliance with any law or regulation. By providing this information to you, The Hanover does not assume (and specifically disclaims) any duty, undertaking or responsibility to you. The decision to accept or implement any recommendation(s) or advice contained in this material must be made by you.