In a single year, some homeowners will have to file an insurance claim or two while others won’t need to file any. Knowing the most common claims might help you protect yourself and your home against them in the future. In addition, learning what claims you’re able to make will allow you to get the most out of your home insurance policy. The Insurance Information Institute reports the most frequent annual claims and their costs. Below are the most common claims that homeowners make on their home insurance.
1. Wind and Hail
Hurricanes, tornadoes, and the wind associated with thunderstorms can do a great deal of damage to a home. Hail can also cause significant damage to roofs. For certain states, these natural events are even more common. In some cases, repairs are more expensive than insurance deductibles as they can cause major damage. While wind and hail claims are the most frequent, they are usually not the most expensive.
2. Fire and Lightning Damage
With numerous possible causes, fires devastate hundreds of thousands of homes each year. As fires quickly destroy property, they rank as the most costly claim. Lightning can strike the home and cause fires in the wiring or other electrical damage. It can also easily crack chimneys and other stone, concrete, and brick structures.
3. Water Damage and Freezing
When pipes freeze and burst, they can cause mold, damage to appliances, and plumbing problems, among others. Water damage from floods and leaky pipes or appliances is a common issue many homeowners experience. They can be nearly as expensive as wind and hail damage claims.
4. Other Property Damage Causes
Countless incidents can occur and cause property damage. This category includes miscellaneous property damage from accidents like a tree falling on your roof or a trash truck backing into your garage. Depending on the damages, the cost of these claims can vary widely.
5. Bodily Injury and Property Damage
When a guest is injured or has their property damaged while in your home, you may be responsible for their medical costs or repair or replacement costs. While liability claims can get very expensive, they do not happen often. It’s good to know that most homeowners insurance policies offer liability protection.
6. Non-theft Property Damage
Vandalism and malicious mischief can be more prevalent than break-ins. They result in damages such as broken windows or damaged fences. Most vandalism incidents are covered by your homeowners insurance policy.
Break-ins and theft only account for a small number of claims per year. Mitigation efforts like video doorbells and home security systems help to keep that number low. Break-ins can result in damage to your property, such as a broken door. Besides making your home safer, take an inventory of your property and assets so you can be reimbursed for certain valuable items if they are stolen. Some insurers even offer premium discounts for homeowners who install home security systems.
8. Medical Payments
If an injury occurs on your property, whether you’re liable or not, medical payment coverage helps to pay the related expenses. While they are among the uncommon claims, they can still reach up to thousands of dollars.
Millions of homeowners experience property damage each year. Homeowners insurance allows them to protect their homes against the most frequent incidents and more. While all of the above incidents are usually included in a standard homeowners policy, there are add-on options available if you want more coverage. For example, personal property coverage helps you replace certain belongings that were lost or damaged. Knowing the types of risk you’re most vulnerable to can help you figure out how much coverage you need.