What Are the Most Common Homeowner Insurance Claims?
While nobody wishes to file a home insurance claim, accidents do happen, and sometimes they are unavoidable.
That’s why home insurance is crucial if you want to protect your most significant investment, personal belongings, and financial well-being.
When people consider homeowner insurance claims, they often think of major disasters such as wildfires or floods.
However, the reality is that some of the most common reasons for claims can be prevented by proactive attention.
According to data from the Insurance Information Institute, here are some of the most common types of homeowner insurance claims.
Wind and Hail Damage
This category includes damages caused by hurricanes, tornados, and strong winds from thunderstorms. Unfortunately, these natural perils are challenging to predict and cannot be prevented.
While wind and hail damage claims are the most common (making up nearly 40% of all insurance claims), they are not the most costly claims on average.
Fire and Lightning Damage
Fire and lightning damage is the most costly homeowner insurance claims and the most common claims.
Whether started by lightning, electrical faults, or another source, fires can cause extensive damage to any property quickly, hence the high cost of claims.
While there’s nothing much you can do to prevent a lightning fire, you may avoid other types of fires if you take the necessary preventative steps. For example, chimney and fireplace fires are often caused by a dirty or blocked chimney.
To ensure that sitting in front of the family hearth is a relaxing rather than dangerous activity, implement all fire safety best practices and maintain a regular chimney cleaning schedule.
Electrical fires are also a common yet preventable insurance claim. Here are some things you can do to help avoid an electrical fire:
- Keep heat-producing appliances unplugged when unused. This includes kettles, curling wands, toasters, irons, etc.
- Don’t use devices with damaged power cords.
- Don’t ignore signs of trouble, such as a burning smell when an appliance is plugged in or if one of your breakers frequently trips.
Water and Freezing Damage
Besides electricity, water is the most-used commodity in any home, so it makes sense that water and freezing damage account for nearly 20% of all home insurance claims each year.
Some common causes of water damage include:
- Clogged gutters. Leaves, branches, and debris can block rainwater flow over time. Instead, the water will overflow the edges of the gutters and run down the side of the house, causing damage to ceilings, walls, and floors.
- Washing machine water leak. Rubber or PVC supply lines can easily wear out and burst compared to braided stainless steel.
- Air-conditioning condensation. Moisture from the AC unit’s evaporator coil will leak into your home if the drain pan is damaged or the condensate drain line is clogged, causing damage to the floor and walls.
Any small leakage can lead to significant damage over time.
Thus, it’s important to inspect, and repair seals frequently and never ignore any first signs of water damage in the house.
Other Property Damage
Sometimes, property damage is unexpected and unavoidable. A tree can fall on your fence, or a baseball can go through your window.
Whatever the case may be, miscellaneous property damage can happen even when you’re extremely cautious.
Luckily, having the proper homeowner’s insurance policy can make taking care of these incidents much easier.
Liability refers to your responsibility for other people while they’re on your property. Both bodily injury and property damage liability fall into this category.
For example, if someone accidentally falls down your stairs, you could be held responsible for their medical expenses if you were found legally liable for the accident.
Liability claims can be very expensive, as many of them can also result in lawsuits.
So, with the added court costs and lawyer fees, the cost of a liability claim can get pricey quite quickly.
Theft and Vandalism
Theft and vandalism claims account for only 1% of homeowners’ insurance claims and are also one of the least costly on the list.
However, investing in a security system can reduce your risk of theft even further.
Not everything you own is completely replaceable, and having a security system will give you peace of mind and added security.
Some insurance companies even offer premium discounts for this.
Flood damage is unfortunately not covered by most insurance policies. However, you would be surprised by the number of homeowners who try to file a flooding claim with their insurance provider.
If you have a property in an area prone to flooding, make sure to secure a separate flood insurance policy to protect yourself from the cost of that damage.
Your home is one of the most significant purchases you’ll make in your lifetime. That’s why it’s essential to have insurance to protect it.
At Oegema, Nicholson & Associates, we understand that the insurance world can be complex and challenging to navigate.
Don’t worry, though. Our professional insurance brokers are here to help you build the right home insurance policy in Ottawa.
To request a quote today or learn more about your options, call us at 613-704-7766 or contact us here.