Most Common Homeowners Insurance Claims
Nearly half of all homeowners insurance claims are due to wind and hail—45.5% in 2020—but a variety of other problems also cause frequent homeowners claims. These include fire, water damage, freezing, theft and more.
The average home insurance claim payout was $13,955 in 2020. While homeowners can expect their policies to cover these high costs, it is important to be aware of the kind of damage that may occur.
A variety of natural phenomena and accidents are responsible for the majority of homeowners insurance claims. But filing a claim at all is rare. Only 6% of insured homes in 2020 filed a claim. Still, knowing what kinds of problems may arise helps homeowners prepare financially, emotionally and physically for these events.
Wind and Hail
As the most frequent causes of filed homeowners insurance claims, wind and hail account for 45.5% of claims. This amounts to about 1 in 35 homes.
The average cost of claims related to wind and hail was $11,695. Wind and hail can result in damaged roofs, fallen trees, broken windows, broken siding and other damage to homes.
Water Damage and Freezing
Accounting for 19.9% of home insurance claims, water damage and freezing can cause expensive, extensive damage to homes. About 1 in 60 homes will face a water damage or freezing event that leads to an insurance claim each year.
Burst pipes and leaking roofs can rack up a hefty bill for homeowners, with insurance payouts averaging $11,650.
Fire and Lightning
Though they only account for 23.8% of home insurance claims, fire and lightning claims are the most expensive, costing an average of $77,340 per claim.
The incidents of lightning and wildfires leading to claims are relatively rare, however, with only 1 in 385 homes filing claims for such an event each year.
Coming home to find your house burglarized is many homeowners’ worst nightmare. But it’s somewhat unlikely to result in an insurance claim, with only 1 in 525 homes having a theft-related claim each year. These incidents account for 0.6% of home claims and usually result in an average loss of $4,415.
While many homeowners never have a claim, if you think you do, we recommend you speak with your insurance agent first. Find out if you have a claim that is covered under your policy, what your deductible is, and if it makes sense to file a claim. Filing a claim (even if it isn’t covered) can go on your insurance record and effect your rates.