What are the chances your home will suffer from water damage this year? Water damage insurance claims are some of the most common for homeowners, accounting for approximately 20% of insurance losses over the last few years. Every year, almost one in 60 insured homes in the country experiences property damage due to water damage. The damage that occurs and the resulting cleanup can be very costly, with an average claim severity of $11,650.
In some cases, water damage can be seen immediately. For instance, an overflowing toilet or a burst water heater could be discovered and handled quickly. However, some water issues can be hidden and not found for weeks or even months. Watch for these warning signs that indicate a problem:
- Water stains
- Mold or mildew
- The sound of dripping
- Peeling paint
- Hairline cracks in walls, ceilings, or foundations
If your home does have a hidden leak, you may notice a higher-than-usual water bill. The utility company may contact you and recommend you check for a leaky pipe, dripping faucet, running toilet, or appliance leak.
Preventing water damage
Water damage can be an expensive repair, but early detection and prevention will reduce the risk and cost. Some items you can do to prevent issues are:
- Check hoses, pipes, and faucets for drips and leaks regularly.
- Monitor the water bill.
- Have your water heater inspected regularly.
- Watch for signs of water damage.
Installing a water leak detection system is one of the best ways to quickly determine any plumbing or other water issues in the home. These systems can save hundreds or thousands of dollars in repairs. There are water-leak detectors without and with shutoff valves.
The first option allows you to place the sensors near pipes, water heaters, and other areas where you’ll likely get a leak. If they sense water, they’ll send you an alert, but it’ll be up to you to manually shut off the water. These types of systems run around $100.
The second type of water leak detector with a built-in shutoff valve can cost $400 or more and require professional installation. But if a leak should occur, it can automatically shut off the water coming into your home. These systems can also monitor water flow through your pipes and detect leaks in the walls or slab. Additionally, they can provide water conservation recommendations. This system type also offers professional monitoring for a minimal cost.
While reviewing these options for protecting your home, it’s also an excellent time to contact your independent insurance agent to review the coverage and discount options available on your homeowners policy.
Do you have any suggestions or information you’d like to share? We'd love to hear from you. Please share them in the box below.
This blog was written by senior personal lines underwriter Beth Penrod.