Are you wondering what causes the most home insurance claims in Washington State? Homeowners insurance helps protect homeowners against certain types of financial losses, like property damage, water damage, wind and hail damage, theft and vandalism. When your home or property experiences damage due to a covered event, filing a claim with your WA insurance company can help you get the funds you need to repair the damage. Let’s take a look at some of the most common reasons homeowners file insurance claims in Washington.
Wind and Hail Damage
Wind and hail damage account for the most claims on homeowners insurance policies. Wind and hail damage typically occurs during strong storms. This could be straight-line winds and/or severe thunderstorms. Large hail can dent and crack roofing and siding. High winds can tear roofs off of buildings, uproot trees, cause downed powerlines and send debris flying. According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), about 39.4 percent of home insurance claims are due to wind and hail damage. To help limit the amount of damage to your roof from wind and hail damage, it’s a good idea to install roofing and siding that’s rated for large hail and high winds.
Lightning Strikes and Fires
House fires and lightning strikes accounted for 24.8 percent of home insurance claims in 2021. Severe lightning strikes have the ability to destroy home electronics and wiring and damage roofing, siding, chimneys and even foundations. Lightning strikes can even lead to home fires, and if lightning strikes a nearby tree, it could fall on the home.
House fires are typically caused by bad electrical wiring and unattended cooking. In fact, the National Fire Protection Association states that 44 percent of home fires start because of unattended cooking. About 30 percent of home fires are caused by bad electrical wiring or by an electrical malfunction.
Freezing and Water Damage
Freezing and water damage accounts for about 23.5 percent of home insurance claims. This most commonly occurs during cold temperatures when plumbing pipes along the exterior walls of the home freeze. When water freezes in a pipe, the pressure inside that pipe increases between the blockage and the nearest water fixture or faucet. Once the pressure becomes more than the pipe can handle, it bursts. The water damage, however, may not occur right away. This is because the frozen water can block the flow of water to the area where the pipe was damaged. However, once the pipe thaws, water can spill out from the pipe and create vast amounts of damage. To prevent frozen pipes and the damage they cause, it’s a good idea to insulate all the pipes along the exterior walls of your home and to install frost-free hose bibs. For pipes under sinks and in crawlspaces and basements, it’s a good idea to install heat tape.
Homeowners insurance policies typically cover dog bites, if your insurance company is made aware that you have a dog, and the breed isn’t banned by your insurance company. Currently, most insurance companies won’t insure homeowners against dog bites if they own a Doberman Pinscher, Pit Bull or Rottweiler. Additionally, most insurance companies won’t cover dog bites from Chow Chows, wolf dogs and hybrids or Canary Dogs. If you own an Akita, German Shepherd, mastiff, Alaskan Malamute, Bullmastiff or Caucasian Shepherd, you should ask your insurance company if they cover them. Additionally, if you’re not sure if your insurance company will cover accidental dog bites from your breed, you should ask.
If you’re concerned about dog bits, you should know that there are an average of 4.5 million dog bites each year. Of those 4.5 million instances, about 800,000 require medical attention, and the average payout is $64,555. Home insurance policies typically pay out according to the limits on the liability part of the policy. Pet owners can help prevent dog bites by adopting from a good shelter that is well-managed. These shelters can tell you about the dog’s history and temperament. It’s also important to properly train and socialize dogs. It’s also important to always supervise your dog and to never leave them alone outside, not even in a fenced backyard. If the dog shows any form of aggression, it’s best to contact a licensed trainer or animal behavioralist.
Thefts and Burglaries
Claims that are the result of thefts and burglaries account for about .7 percent of home insurance claims. This occurs when someone takes something out of your home or off your property. It can occur without damage to your home, like a broken door or window, or with damage, where the criminal physically broke into the home through a door, window or the garage. To deter crime on your property, it’s a good idea to make sure the exterior of your home is well-lit, and there are no large bushes or trees that obstruct the line of sight from your home to the street and vice versa. It’s also a good idea to install security cameras and motion detection lights.
Getting Homeowners Insurance with Boyd Insurance Brokerage Inc in Spokane, WA
Homeowners insurance can help financially protect you when you experience an event that damages your home or property or someone has an accident on your property. Home insurance typically covers frozen pipes, theft, fire and smoke damage, windstorm and hail damage and damage from falling objects. It typically does not cover flooding from rising groundwater or from bodies of water.
At Boyd Insurance Brokerage Inc, we can help you get affordable homeowners insurance in Washington State. Our agents can listen to your needs and recommend the right policies with the right limits.
To learn more about our homeowner’s insurance and to get a quote, call us at 509-340-2693.