You have home insurance to protect you when things go wrong, and unfortunately that happens more than you’d think. Every year, one out of 15 insured homeowners will file a claim. Luckily, homeowner’s insurance policies protect the home and the belongings inside against these common claims. Take a look at the most commonly filed claims.
The tricky thing about water damage is it can be hard to spot until it’s already caused major problems to your home. It can also come from sources you don’t really consider, such as the hot water heater, refrigerator or washing machine hoses.
Remember that water damage can be caused by heavy rains, flooding, and even snow and ice melting in the winter. The best thing you can do is to be observant of the weather and prepare for any storms as necessary. As far as the items inside of your home, make it a habit to check all sources of water connections each month.
Damages From Wind and Hail
High winds can rip shingles from roofs, tear the siding from your home and even blow items into the house, causing damage. There is not much you can do to protect your entire home from high winds, but you can file a claim with your insurance company should the winds damage your home. If you know high winds are on their way, put away any items that are loose outside or tie them down so they can’t become projectiles toward your home.
In addition to high winds, hail is a major source of insurance claims. Together with wind, these two sources of damage account for 3.13 out of 100 homeowner’s insurance claims, according to Mr. Rooter. Hail is dangerous for homes because hail can form quite large and fall hard, causing dents to roofs, broken windows and more. Hail also causes a lot of damage to cars, so park your car in the garage or under a carport if possible.
The average claim due to wind and hail damage is $8,041, and this doesn’t count the insurance premium increase you may experience. Yes, 3.13 sounds like a small number, but it’s still a fairly common occurrence. From 2009 to 2015, weather caused the greatest percentage of claims, according to Travelers Insurance.
Surprisingly, theft causes more homeowner’s insurance claims than fire or lightning. Travelers 6% of all claims from 2009 to 2015 were due to theft. When you move into your home, it’s important to take an inventory of everything you own and let your insurance company know. Update the list when big purchases are made so those items will be covered as well.
Help prevent chances of theft by researching the area before you purchase a home and by installing a security system when you move in. Some experts say just putting a sign up from a security system in the front yard is enough to deter most burglars.
Spend time getting to know your neighbors and let them know you will look out for them and ask them to do the same for you. Leave some noise or light on in your home so it appears like someone is home all of the time. Burglars are less likely to take the chance if they think there are people at home.
You may not be able to prevent all insurance claims, but you can be observant and stay on top of things to reduce the chances that you will have to file a claim. Now that you know the most common causes of claims, you know what to look out for.