Crazy right? Well the fact of the matter is that there are plenty of potential pitfalls for insurance companies within the homes of hoarders. People who can’t stop collecting items and have a hard time getting rid of those items pose a serious risk that include fire and injury. So as a result, hoarders are at a higher risk in
the eyes of a New Jersey home insurer.
Here are four key reasons hoarders are a higher risk for New Jersey homeowners insurers:
The accumulation of materials around the home could increase the risk of a fire. The top causes of fires are related to cooking, heating and electricity. In the kitchen, an accumulation of grease, food items and trash increases the potential for a fire. Paper or other flammable materials near heating systems or electrical wires boost the risk of fire and also burn quickly. More stuff lying around increase the chances for a fire.
If a friend or family member is injured in a hoarder’s home, a claim could be filed against the homeowner’s policy. The potential for injury is one reason it’s common for hoarders’ homes to be condemned.
3. Blocked exits. Possessions that obstruct or block exits could make it more difficult to escape during an emergency and more difficult for public safety personnel to enter a home.
4. Poor maintenance.
Hoarders are likely to delay addressing roof leaks and electrical, heating or plumbing problems, which can lead to a greater number of claims. In many cases, the heating equipment no longer functions because of blocked vents or equipment. Occupants might use use kerosene or space heaters, which create an immediate fire hazard because they usually are placed amid newspapers and other combustible materials.