If you’ve owned a home (or two) for more than a few months, you know it can come with a lot of unexpected costs. That’s why it’s important to set aside money for things like maintenance and upkeep.
But some damages can’t reasonably be paid for out of your own pocket, which is why homeowners insurance is a virtual necessity for most folks.
If you have a mortgage, it is a necessity. The lender doesn’t want their investment left unprotected, even if you’re comfortable enough going it alone.
Anyway, while shopping for homeowners insurance or learning more about the product, you might wonder what it typically covers, or perhaps more importantly, when it will most likely come into action.
Fortunately, we’ve got some data from one of the largest insurers in the nation, Travelers. They’ve shared the most common claims their insured homeowners file.
1. Wind Damage
Rather surprisingly, depending on where you live, wind damage is the number one reason a Travelers customer filed a homeowners claim between 2009 and 2015.
This type of claim accounted for 25% of all losses for the company. It was most common in both the Northeast and the South, probably thanks to bad winter storms and hurricanes.
However, wind-related claims weren’t the most expensive for the company.
Tip: Wind deductibles are often higher than other types of deductibles.
2. Water Damage (non-weather related)
The second most common claim filed by Travelers customers was due to water damage not caused by the weather with a 19% share.
This includes plumbing related issues such as a pipe bursting, or water issues tied to an appliance malfunction. Homeowners in the Midwest dealt with problems associated with the sewer and/or sump dump backups.
Read more: Water seepage and leakage coverage.
3. Hail damage
The third most prevalent claim was the result of hail damage (15%), again a weather-related issue. A significant hail storm can certainly do some damage (you know this if you’ve seen baseball-sized pieces of hail falling from the sky).
It was the most common type of claim in both the West and Midwest, and also the most damaging.
4. Water Damage (weather-related)
Once again, weather rears its ugly head. There seems to be a trend here, eh? Actually, more like water than weather.
Number four on the list was damage related to things like rain, melting snow, and ice, accounting for 11% of claims.
Obviously this type of claim was most common in the Northeast, which happens to be the coldest region of the United States.
This might be one issue you can prevent if you take measures to avoid problems like blocked gutters and roofs that have seen better days.
It could also make sense to clear snow and ice so it doesn’t build up over the winter and cause significant damage to your property.
Last on our list has nothing to do with the weather, unless you think theft occurs more frequently during hot days or stormy nights.
This common crime made up just six percent of claims, and like some of the other claims discussed above, can be prevented if you’re diligent.
Consider installing an alarm system and/or keeping expensive items out of view (and even out of your house) to avoid major losses. A safety deposit box might be a better place for pricey jewelry than your dresser.