What Are the Most Common Home Insurance Claims?

Break-ins and theft account for six percent of insurance claims for Travelers Insurance. Find out the most common homeowners insurance claims.

If you own your home, you know homeowners insurance is a must. From fires to weather-related damages, take a look at the five most common homeowners insurance claims.

Wind and Hail Damage

Severe weather poses all kinds of risks for homeowners, but wind and hail damage caused the most insurance claims between the years 2014 and 2018, according to the Insurance Information Institute.

If you live in a place prone to hurricanes, the risk is especially pronounced. Tornadoes are another severe weather risk homeowners need to be aware of if they live in parts of the country where that’s common. But you don’t need to live in Tornado Alley or along the coast to be at risk, thunderstorms lead to widespread wind-related claims. The average claim came in at $11,200.

Fire and Lightning Damage

Damage from fire and lightning ranks second for frequency but account for the most expensive claims, according to the Insurance Information Institute. The average claim for fire and lightning damage is a whopping $79,785.

One of the most important things you can do is to asses your home for risks and take steps to eliminate them to help prevent home fires.

Water Damage

Water damage can result from rain or snowmelt, along with interior issues such as a burst pipe or leaking plumbing. Travelers Insurance analyzed eight years of insurance claim coverage data and found water accounted for 31 percent of its claims. If you live somewhere that’s at risk for flooding, it’s important to have flood insurance as well.

Non-Theft Property Damage

The Insurance Information Institute puts property damage, such as a tree falling on the roof or a utility truck that backs into your garage, as one of its top reasons for homeowner’s insurance claims. While this type of claim can take a number of forms, the average claim cost $6,598.

Break-ins and Theft

Travelers notes that break-ins and theft of personal property account for six percent of its insurance claims. Surprisingly, the average cost of these claims doesn’t even break the top five.  You can do a lot to prevent break-ins and theft at your home. Simple additions like outdoor lights on a motion sensor or adding a deadbolt to your door can improve your home security without much cost.

Other Insurance Claims

Wonder where dog bites and trampoline accidents fall? Well, the Insurance Information Institute says liability insurance claims made up just two percent of total claims. Liability refers to your duty toward other people, such as when a guest suffers injury or property damage while visiting your home. Although infrequent, these claims can be expensive — averaging a hefty $26,872.

Rachel Brougham
Rachel Brougham spent years working in newsrooms, for television and newspapers, and has won several awards for her writing. In 2015, she left her full-time job as a newspaper editor to focus on freelance writing and editing. She has been a Family Handyman contributor since 2017.
In 2019, Rachel lived through a major remodeling project on her home, and she uses that experience to inform her Family Handyman content. She's also an avid gardener (both native plants and vegetables), enjoys keeping up with decor trends and spends a lot of time traveling, cooking and hanging out with her family and their giant dog.