By Catherine Powell
Image courtesy Pixabay
If you own a home, you probably have homeowner’s insurance. That’s because you need to protect one of the biggest investments you’ll ever make. While owning a home has its benefits, if storm, fire, or flood happens to hit your home, you could suddenly find yourself in dire straits. That’s where homeowner’s insurance comes in handy to help you weather the storm and make your property whole again. If you were wondering which homeowner’s insurance claims are the most common, here are the top-10.
- Wind and Hail Damage - More than 1/3 of all homeowner’s insurance claims are due to storm damage. Particularly here in Florida, the hurricane capital of the US, storms are k known to pop up daily during the summer. Every time the skies darken and the crack of thunder is heard, there’s the possibility that wind or hail damage can happen to any home. So, it should come as no surprise that wind and hail claims are the most common, since they occur to 1 in every 47 homes. What’s surprising is that they’re not the most expensive, since the average claim is only $10,801.
- Water Damage – As costly as rain damage is, it pales when compared to indoor water damage caused by burst pipes, leaky appliances and sewer backups. Coming in at number two on the list, water damage claims are turned in by more than twenty percent of all homeowners at one time or another. With an average price tag of $11,098, you’ll come to find out that indoor water damage costs more to repair on average than that caused by the wrath of God.
- Fire Damage – Fire tends to be one of the costliest causes of damage to a home, with an average claim of $78,838. The reason fire damage is so costly has to do with the fact that once a fire spreads, so too does the smoke it produces. Even if a fire is brought under control and extinguished quickly, the collateral damage caused by smoke and the water used to put it out can spread the damage far beyond the point of ignition. When a fire claim is filed, it isn’t unusual for it to include furnishings, carpets, drapes, and appliances in the estimate of damage done to a property.
- Lightning Damage – If your home is hit by lightning, the damage caused can be extensive. Everything from roof fires and short circuits to electrocution and fried appliances can occur. As a result, the average lightning claim comes in at $55,315 and it occurs in 1 in 357 homes. If you’re looking to minimize the damage done by lightning, consider installing a whole house surge suppressor to minimize the damage to electronics and appliances if your home is ever struck by a bolt from the blue.
- Miscellaneous Property Damage – This catchall group includes everything from a tree falling on your garage to a baseball hit through your picture window. While the incidence of this kind of claim isn’t all that infrequent, the good news is that the average claim filed is only $5,823. The bad news is that 7% of all homeowner’s claims are for this cause.
- Liability & Bodily Injury – It amazes many people to learn they’re liable for injuries sustained by guests in their home. What’s even more shocking is when the injured party files a lawsuit against a homeowner. Since the average liability/bodily claim is $29,752, it’s a good thing most homeowner’s policies include liability coverage that’s designed to help you deal with this issue.
- Medical Payments – One of the best ways to keep an injury from turning into a lawsuit is to offer to pay the medical expenses of the injured party. Fortunately, this coverage is built into many homeowner’s policies. You’ll find it listed under Coverage F. Designed to cover small claims up to $5,000, the average cost per claim is $4,272.
- Theft – While the theft of property is one of the most common homeowner’s claims, it’s also one of the least expensive, averaging only $3,264 per claim. Representing 1% of all homeowner’s claims filed, it’s also the easiest to reduce by simply adding additional security to your home. Some insurance companies will even give you a discount on your homeowner’s insurance if you install a monitored system.
- Dog Bites – If you have a dog, then there’s always the possibility that Fido may take a bite out of a guest, the mailman, or a delivery driver. Since the average claim for dog bite is $44,760 a chomp, this is a serious issue. What’s even worse is that some dog breeds are excluded in many policies. That means you’d best call your insurance agent to find out if you’re covered before your furry friend takes a bite out of your wallet.
- Identity Theft – While ID theft is a growing menace that has become much more prevalent in the past few years, you need to understand that you may need to add an endorsement to your homeowner’s policy to be covered. You also need to know that even with the endorsement, the protection isn’t designed to recover monetary losses. It’s designed to help you recover your good name. The average claim filed for ID theft is only $368.
Catherine Powell is the owner of A Plus All Florida, Insurance in Orange Park, Florida. To find out more about saving money on all your insurance needs, check out her website at http://aplusallfloridainsuranceinc.com/