Are You Protected Against Water Damage? Survey Says… No

Frances O'BrienWhile most homeowners are rightly concerned about fire, theft and how to safeguard their home, new data from Chubb shows that the majority of homeowners are overlooking the single most common property-related loss: water damage. In fact, in a survey of 1,200 homeowners, Chubb found that water leaks only ranked fourth on the list of top home-related concerns.

What’s more? Not only is water damage common, it’s also very costly. According to the Insurance Information Institute, the average cost of a single water damage claim runs close to $10,000. More concerning is that it is only getting more expensive, with Chubb claims data showing that losses over $500,000 have doubled and those over $1,000,000 have tripled since 2015.

So, what can you do about it? Start by understanding how water impacts your home year-round.

  • With summer vacation in full swing, many homeowners will head out of town to cool off at the beach or explore a foreign city. But whether you’re away for a day, week or month, time is not on your side when it comes to flowing water entering your home. Yet, most homeowners fail to leave relevant information with caretakers. Just 30%, for example, reported leaving water leak information with caretakers and only 17% provided information about what to do in the event of a flood.
  • Close to a third of homeowners believe improvements to their home’s exterior best impacts its value. Whether installing a new patio, outdoor kitchen or sprinkler system, the cool autumn months are the perfect time to make such enhancements. But, when adding new outdoor features, many homeowners neglect to consider how it will alter the slope of their garden. Failing to take this into account could mean you inadvertently redirect water to flow toward your home.
  • The cold winter months mean homeowners are 40% more likely to experience a water leak. Despite this, less than a quarter of homeowners install pipe insulation. Taking this simple (and cheap!) step is the single best way to prevent your home from unexpectedly becoming an igloo this winter.
  • Spring is a time to give your home a bit of TLC… especially all the to-dos you’ve left unaddressed for months. But unbeknownst to you, that leaky faucet you left unattended all winter has been dripping 57 gallons of excess water a week, according to the EPA. When it comes to water-related home maintenance, there’s no time for homeowners to wait. Unfortunately, 30% of homeowners take more than a week to fix a home maintenance issue.

Water is all around us. But, the one place it shouldn’t be is inside your home. For tips on how to keep it out of your home, as well as the full results of our water risk survey, check out our water protection resource site.

Fran O’Brien is Division President, North America Personal Risk Services, Chubb.

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