Homeowners insurance is designed to protect against losses to your home and its contents, as well as liability for accidents that may occur on the property. Since the United States homeownership rate is nearly 65%, homeowners’ insurance is an important topic for many of us. To get a better understanding about the nature of homeowners’ losses and insurance claims, let’s take a look at some research compiled by the Insurance Information Institute.
- Approximately 1 in 15 insured homes have a claim each year.
- Wind and hail claims, which are experienced by approximately 1 in 30 insured homes each year, are the most frequent.
- Claims related to fire, lightning or debris removal, which are experienced by approximately 1 in 230 insured homes every year, are the costliest.
- Approximately 1 in 55 insured homes have a damage claim caused by water or freezing each year.
- Approximately 1 in 190 insured homes have a theft claim each year.
- Approximately 1 in 830 homeowners have a liability claim related to the cost of lawsuits for the bodily injury or property damage of others.
Loss claims can be calculated in terms of frequency and severity. Claims frequency is the average number of claims filed per 100 policies. According to the Insurance Services Office (ISO), the most frequent homeowners’ loss claims are:
- Wind and hail (3.37)
- Water damage and freezing (1.79)
- All other property damage (1.04)
- Theft (.52)
- Fire, lightning and debris removal (.43)
- Bodily injury and property damage (.12)
Claims severity is the average amount paid for each claim. According to ISO, the most severe homeowners’ loss claims are:
- Fire, lightning and debris removal ($34,306)
- Bodily injury and property damage ($18,804)
- Wind and hail ($7,307)
- Water damage and freezing ($7,195)
- All other property damage ($4,684)
- Theft ($3,428)
The Content Claims Index shows the top contents categories of homeowners’ claims filed with approximately 300 insurers. The top categories, ranked by dollar value as a percent of total claims, include:
- Jewelry (16%)
- Electronics (13%)
- Apparel (13%)
- Furniture (10%)
- Tools (5%)
- Appliances (4%)
- Sporting goods (3%)
According to the National Safety Council (NSC), injuries requiring medical attention occur more often at home than in public places, in the workplace and motor vehicle incidents combined. In 2012, one in 16 people experienced an unintentional injury in the home that required medical attention. The NSC identified the following causes of the 63,000 deaths from unintentional home injuries in 2012:
- Poisoning (50.5%)
- Falls (28.1%)
- Other (12.1%)
- Fire, flames or smoke (4.1%)
- Choking (3.7%)
- Drowning (1.6%)
In addition to showing how claims happen, these statistics show that claims are likely to happen. Adequate homeowners’ or renters’ insurance is the key to recovering after a claim. An experienced and reputable independent insurance agent can help you identify those risks associated with your home and obtain the right insurance coverage to protect it.
If you have any questions or would like to see how Setnor Byer Insurance & Risk can help protect your home, please contact us.