Home insurance claims are a common occurrence, with about one in 17 people filing each year. Odds are high that someone you know has had to file one; and that you, yourself, will file a homeowners claim at some point in your life. With this risk, it's important to have coverage, even if it's not required. Make sure your policy covers these common claims below:
Wind and Hail (34%)
Major storms like hurricanes and tornadoes can cause catastrophic damage to a home. Even a strong wind from a powerful thunderstorm can cause a tree to fall onto your property. Wind leads the pack as the main culprit in home damage. And hail is right behind it. Hail can ruin a roof, break windows, and even crack your driveway. While wind and hail are the most frequent claims, they aren't terribly expensive. The average claim is $11,200. And if you think that's high, just wait till you see how much fire claims tend to be.
Fire and Lightning (33%)
Fire and lightning, a close second in the claim frequency, tend to be very severe. Fire moves quickly and can engulf a home in 3-4 minutes. Because of this, the average claim for a fire incident is quite large. It's a whooping $79,785. And while homeowners insurance will cover your home, you need to make sure your policy has high enough limits on your personal property to cover all the things you could lose in a fire (electronics, furniture, etc).
Water Damage and Freezing (24%)
Water damage falls into two categories: weather-related and non-weather. Weather-related water damage would include frozen pipes and a leaky roof. We do want to note, however, that flooding would not be included in a normal homeowners policy. To get coverage specifically for flood damage, you would need to get flood insurance. On the flip side of weather-related damage, there's non-weather water damage. This would include claims from water leaks, appliances, sewer backup, and a clogged toilet. Water damage typically runs about $10,849.
Liability claims are when you are at-fault for an injury on, or from, your property. Dogs are the primary offenders here. Claims involving dog bites are so frequent and costly that homeowners insurance policies increase your premiums if you have a dog, and might even refuse to give you a policy if you have an aggressive breed like a pit bull. Other examples of liability claims would be:
- A deliveryman slips on ice while dropping off a package
- A tree on your property falls onto your neighbor's house
- A contractor gets injured while working on your property
Liability can get tricky, as you are responsible for the safety of anyone on your property-- even for those who weren’t invited! These claims can be quite high, seeing an average of $26,872.
Theft is the least common claim, although it's probably one of our most common concerns. From anxiously making sure our doors are locked to installing security cameras, we tend to fear intruders. Who can blame us? People want to stay safe and protect their valuable possessions. After all, the average theft claim is $4,391. Keep in mind, the claim covers the damage done by the burglar(s) and the property lost. Be aware that homeowners policies have a cap, so you might have to pay out-of-pocket to recoup all your losses.
Other Property Damage (6%)
This is a miscellaneous category which can encompass things like a tree randomly falling on your house (not because of the wind!) or a vandal breaking your windows. Basically, it covers almost everything that doesn't fit in the above categories. The important part here is that your homeowners policy can possibly cover claims that don't neatly fit into the more normal claims of wind, fire, and water.
Affordable Homeowners Insurance
As an independent agency, we partner with over 20 different insurance carriers. We shop each one to find you the best, most affordable policy for your needs. Get started on a quote today by giving us a call at (816) 628-0092.