Typically, we think of our home as a place of safety, yet insurance companies report billions of dollar in home damage claims each year! The most common claims may not always be avoidable; however having the correct insurance coverage is the best way to prepare.
The natural elements such as wind, water and fire are things we normally think of when talking about home / property damages. These natural elements along with pets and visitors round out the top 5 claims each year.
Top 5 Homeowner’s Insurance Claims
1. Water Damage
The most common cause of loss for a homeowner is water damages. Water damage can occur due to many different reasons, for example the top 3 reasons are:
A leaking or damaged roof
Broken washing machine hoses
Residents living in older homes are at the highest risk, however the location of your home is also a major factor. Consider asking your agent about your need for water backup / sump pump overflow coverage options. Water backing up into your home due to blocked pipes is a leading cause for potential water damage claims.
2. Fire Damage
Fire in the home can happen unexpectedly and often take a huge toll on your property and your family! Most homeowner insurance policies will assist you in rebuilding after a fire. However, be sure to check if your policy offers “Guaranteed Replacement Cost” on your dwelling & personal property. Depending on your insurance company, you may only have coverage up to a certain percentage of your homes value.
It’s very important to keep up to date documentation and/or receipts of your personal belongings. Take photos or video of your home and keep them in a safe place. With today’s technology, it’s easy to create and store a visual reminder to your possessions to help you remember following a loss.
Imagine sitting down to make a list of everything you own in just one room of your homes. Include the approximate value of each item. You are likely to not only forget a few major items, but to also greatly undervalue your belongings. When a loss occurs, your insurance coverage is ready to get you back to whole again. Being prepared with documentation is a key factor in reducing some of the stress.
3. Wind and Storm Damage
Living in Wisconsin, you never know what the weather is going to bring. Winter storms, tornadoes and straight line winds are becoming for frequent and lead to substantial damage to homes. These storms may only cause damage to the exterior of your home, but repairs are necessary and often expensive. It is important to make sure your home is properly covered to protect your property if damage occurs.
4. Visitor Accidents
As a homeowner you are responsible to have adequate liability protection for visitors in case an accident occurs on your property. Weather related slips and falls, water (pool) related accidents, trampolines and swing set incidents are among the most common claims reported.
Having the proper liability coverage in place is essential because accidents can unexpectedly happen. Many times, even your underlying liability limit isn’t enough; increase your protection with an umbrella policy. This additional coverage can be as little as $10 per month!
5. Animal Bites
As a homeowner it is necessary to cover your home, both in and around it – including your pets! Animal bites and dog attacks are very common and are not always provoked. These types of losses can end up being extremely costly, especially if you’re not properly covered. (Be aware- some companies charge additional costs for certain breeds.)
Understanding the coverage offered should be one of your main concerns when applying for or renewing your homeowner’s insurance policy. Work with a Northbrook Insurance agent about your risks and let them determine the best coverage option for you.
Remember – The best time to learn about what’s included in your homeowner’s insurance coverage is before you have a claim!