Water Damage Claims on the Rise

Water Damage Claims on the Rise

September 26, 2023

What are the chances that your home will suffer from water damage in 2023?  A water damage insurance claim is one of the most common claims for homeowners, accounting for approximately 20% of insurance losses over the last couple of years.  Every year, almost one in 60 insured homes in the country experiences property damage due to water damage. The damage that occurs, along with the resulting cleanup can be very costly, with an average claim severity of $11,650. 

Water damage can, in some cases, be immediately seen. 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 discovered for weeks or even months. Watch for these warning signs that indicate a problem:

  • Water stains
  • Mold or Mildew
  • The sound of dripping
  • Peeling paing
  • Hairline cracks in walls, ceilings or foundations

If your home does have a hidden leak, you may notice a higher than usual water bill, and the utility company may reach out to you and recommend you check for a leaky pipe, dripping faucet, running toilet or an appliance leak. 

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 this issue are:

  • Check hoses, pipes and faucets for drips and leaks on a regular basis
  • Monitor the water bill
  • Have your water heater inspected regularly
  • Watch for signs of water damage

Perhaps one of the best ways to quickly determine any plumbing or other water issues in the home, is to install a water-leak detection system. These systems can save hundreds or thousands of dollars in repairs. There are both water leak detectors without shutoff valves and ones with shutoff valves. 

The first option allows you to place the sensors near pipes, water heaters and other areas where you are likely to get a leak. If they sense water, they’ll send you an alert, but it will be up to you to manually shut off the water.  These types of systems run around $100. 

The second type of water leak detector – the type with a built-in shut off valve- can be an incurred expense of $400 or more and will require professional installation, but if a leak should occur, it can automatically shut off the water coming into your home. These systems are also able to monitor the flow of water through your pipes and detect any leaks in the walls or slab. Additionally, they are able to provide recommendations on ways to conserve water. This system type also offers professional monitoring for a minimal cost.

While reviewing these options to protect your home, it is also a good time to reach out to your independent agent to review the coverage and discount options that are available on your West Bend homeowners policy.