Nobody likes home insurance claims, but they do happen. While we may not be able to avoid claims, we may be able to prevent some of them from happening. This is especially true for the claims that aren’t caused by Mother Nature!
Based on a study conducted by The Travelers Companies from 2009 to 2015, here are the top five most common home insurance claims:
- Exterior wind damage accounts for 25% of all losses
- Non-weather related water damage, such as an appliance or plumbing leak, accounts for 19% of all losses
- Hail damage accounts for 15% of all losses
- Weather related water damage such as rain, melting ice and snow accounts for 11% of all losses
- Theft accounts for 6% of all losses
The most expensive claim nationally is fire, which accounts for almost 25% of total claim costs. The above numbers are also based on national data. What’s interesting is how they shift when looked at regionally.
- Northeast: Wind is the most common claim, although damage from weight of ice and snow is also very common. Fire is the costliest claim.
- South: Wind is the most common claim type with hail being the costliest.
- West and Midwest: Hail is both the most common and costliest claim type. Homeowners in the Midwest also experienced a high claim frequency from sewer or sump pump backups (one reason to be glad we don’t have basements in Texas).
The Travelers study also pointed out some additional statistics worth noting.
- 51% of all weather-related claims are due to wind, hail, and weather-related water damage
- 53% of all non-weather water claims are related to plumbing issues
- 15% of all fire losses are related to overloaded electrical outlets and circuits
- 17% of all weather-related water damage claims are related to pipes freezing and bursting
- Theft on premises is one of the top 5 property loss claims
The top four home insurance claims experienced by Texans have historically been hail, water damage, hurricane wind, and fire.
If an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, what can we do to lessen our exposure to non-weather related claims? Here are four suggestions:
- Avoid overloading electrical outlets and circuits by having additional plugs installed by a licensed electrician on a different circuit.
- Wrap exposed pipes during the winter and leave cabinet doors open and water faucets slowly dripping when the temperature drops below freezing. This allows warmer air to circulate around the supply lines and provides enough water flow to avoid a frozen pipe.
- If you spot a wet spot on a wall or the carpet or floor, have a plumber find and repair the leak. They don’t fix themselves.
- Lock doors (knobs and deadbolts) and leave lights and a radio or TV on when you’re away. Don’t let mail pile up. If you have an alarm, arm it.
What do you think? Share your thoughts, suggestions, and experiences with me on my Facebook, Google +, and LinkedIn pages. I’d love to hear from you!