Recently, the insurance carrier Travelers released its interactive report titled “Top Ways Things Can Go Wrong”, identifying the most common and costliest causes of home damage. By examining its own national homeowners insurance claim data from 2009 through 2016, the report by Travelers highlights the types of claims that are most prevalent in some of the largest metropolitan areas and breaks down the results by national region and by season.
“For many people, a house isn’t just a house,” Scott Humphrey, second vice president, Risk Control, Travelers, explained. “It’s a home — a place where families build memories. By sharing the most common causes of problems we see, we hope to help people protect their most valuable asset.”
The results might surprise you, especially as it seems like the entire state of California is on fire at the moment. Here is the overview of the results:
- WIND: Comes in at the top with 24% of claims, due to high velocity winds that uproot trees, damage roofs, collapse walls, or wreak even more havoc.
- WATER (non-weather): With 20% of the claims, these water incidents are caused by plumbing, sewer, or appliance leaks and/or failures, and can create devastating losses.
- HAIL: Those of us in California may not have seen hail often, but in the Midwest, hail can be deadly. It’s also responsible for 16% of the claims, damaging roofs, windows, siding—and probably your car too, but that data is not included in this study.
- WATER (weather): Many people in Southern California, and particularly those in the Santa Barbara areas, can’t help but remember the mud flow in January that devastated Montecito and closed the 101 freeway for over two weeks. Weather-related water caused 11% of the claims, creating leaks in roofs, frozen and bursting pipes, and even something called “ice dams”. (For those of us who don’t experience snow, an ice dam is frozen water that collects in rain gutters and prevents water from running off a roof.)
- THEFT: Way down at the bottom of the list is theft at 6%, where the burglars may actually damage property while committing the crime of breaking and entering. There’s the added heartbreak and loss of personal property in this category.
The saddest part about this data is that there’s not much we can do to control the weather, but we can be prepared. We can also make sure to hire the best contractors (i.e. bonded, licensed and insured) to work on our homes to avoid pipes or roofs from leaking.
Tune in next week to find out the most expensive causes of damage. In the meantime, this article may have made you wonder how covered you are for this type of damage. Want to check your policy? Give us a call at 714-838-1911 or email us by clicking here.