Being informed and prepared is the best way to prevent damage to your home. So what does the data tell us are the biggest risks?
From leaking valves to house fires, a look at Travelers Insurance claim data reveals the most frequent causes of homeowners’ claims, as well as the costliest. The answers may surprise you. While some risks are widely known, others are less obvious. To help keep your home, your valuables and your family safe, you will want to take steps to protect them.
Danger #1: Water Damage
Many people think of damage from hurricanes and heavy rains when they think of water damage. But according to Travelers claim data more property losses resulted from non-weather water claims than weather-related water claims (not including flood-related water damage). Of those non-weather water claims, 53% of them involved plumbing-related losses, such as pipes, drains and valves. Learn more about common causes of water damage and the steps that you can take to help prevent it.
Danger #2: Weather-Related Roof/Flashing Damage
Wind, hail and weather-related water damage accounted for more than half, or 51%, of all Travelers property loss claims between 2009-2015. Falling limbs and branches weighed down by snow and freezing rain can cause roof/flashing damage. It is a good idea to inspect trees on your property to help prevent damage caused by falling tree limbs. Learning how to identify and remove ice dams can also help you avoid costly damage in the winter months.
Danger #3: Frozen Pipe Damage
Frozen water pipes can add up to catastrophic losses. Weather-related water damage is on Travelers’ list of the five costliest claims. The good news is you can take steps to help prevent your pipes from freezing by identifying pipes that are most at risk and taking steps before winter arrives to help insulate them. During the winter, you may consider using a smart thermostat to manage and monitor that your heat is set at a safe level to help avoid freezing, and to receive notifications if the temperature in your home drops unexpectedly.
Danger #4: Theft
Theft on premises makes the list of top causes of property loss claims. There are many steps that you can take to help make your home less attractive to thieves, including landscaping with safety in mind, adding outdoor lighting and creating a plan to make your home appear occupied while you are away. There are a number of methods to monitor your home to help minimize the theft potential, including smart home alarm systems.
Danger #5: Fire
Although fires do not occur as often as other incidents around the home, the damage that they can cause puts fire in the top five costliest types of claims, according to Travelers claim data from 2009-2015. Fire and related costs accounted for 23% of claims as measured by costs paid out. Of the known causes of fire, electrical causes accounted for 15% of fire losses. Learn more about how to help protect your home and family with important fire prevention tips.
When it comes to avoiding the most common sources of damage to your home, to be forewarned is to be forearmed. Now that you know the top 5 dangers, you can focus on minimizing your home’s vulnerabilities.