Water damage is the most common insurance claim in the U.S.

Homeowner Tips

Water damage is the most common insurance claim in the U.S. But it’s also one of the most expensive—and it’s getting worse every year.

Water damage claims are increasing because of two main reasons:

  • The price of water damage repair has increased
  • More people live in homes with more appliances that could cause a leak or flood

Water damage accounts for one out of every five claims to insurers, adding up to $13 billion per year.

If you’re like most people, at some point in your life you’ll experience a leaky pipe or a broken appliance that damages your home. It’s not just costly; it can mean months of inconvenience and stress while you wait for repairs. The good news is that with the right insurance coverage, you can make sure that any water damage claim is handled quickly and professionally.


Below are some facts about the cost of water-related claims:

  • Water damage is the most common insurance claim (1/5). According to The National Association of Insurance Commissioners, more than half of homeowners who file claims with their insurer do so because they experienced mold-related issues after experiencing flooding or leaks due to burst pipes or other causes. This adds up to approximately $13 billion in losses annually for insurers!
  • The most common insurance claim is water damage, and it affects 15% of homes. Water leaks go undetected for an average of 2,000 hours—that’s more than 75 days! Leaks can cause serious damage to your home and your belongings. According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), a nonprofit organization that provides education about insurance topics to consumers, insurers paid out $19 billion in claims for water damage in 2017 alone.
  • If a leak is small enough to be seen, it’s likely too small for you to fix. A quarter-inch pipe leak can waste 10,000 gallons of water a month. What is a quarter-inch pipe leak? It’s the size of one hair strand (about 1/64th inch in diameter). Why does this matter? If the pipe has been leaking for any time at all and not detected, it will have already done significant damage to your home’s foundation or structure. The cost of repairing this type of damage can be high because contractors are often required to excavate around the entire perimeter of your house in order to access pipes buried under concrete slabs and driveways.
  • Water damage losses that are unrelated to floods cause over $2 billion in damage annually. According to the Insurance Information Institute, water damage is the most common insurance claim and accounts for one out of every five claims filed with insurers.


What causes water leaks?

There are a variety of causes for water leaks such as frozen pipes, high pressure, corrosion or broken seals. These can be very damaging to your home and could lead to costly repairs. As such it is important that you know the signs and symptoms of these leaks so that you can act fast when one appears in your home.

If you suspect that there may be a leak in your home then here are some things you should check first:

  • Check for damp patches on floors or walls, particularly in basements and garages where pipes are often located close to the floor level
  • Listen for sounds emanating from plumbing fixtures such as running taps or toilets flushing continuously


Average cost

According to the Insurance Information Institute, the cost for water damage repair is around $7,000 per claim. While an average cost of $7,000 may seem high, it will vary depending on the severity of your property’s damage and whether or not a fire was involved. For example, if your roof collapsed due to a heavy snowfall and caused water damage to all floors below it (including furniture), this would be categorized as “catastrophic” and could easily reach up to $100k+.

Insurance companies may offer coverage for some situations but not others. For example if your home has been flooded due to heavy rain then it may be covered under your homeowner’s insurance policy depending upon how much you pay in annual premiums each year


What can I do?

When it comes to water leaks, prevention is always better than a cure.  EMC Security offers a device called a Water Bug.  This little guy is placed on the floor near an older toilet, water heater, and any where you want to make sure to detect a leak immediately.  If the water bug detects moisture, it will notify your security panel and the keypad will send you a signal.  You will also be notified on the mobile app if applicable.

water sensor

You can also install a Smart Home Water Monitor.  After installing the easy-to-use Water Monitor and the mobile app, you’ll be able to monitor your water consumption in real time. That means if the toilet is running, the faucet is dripping, or the water heater is leaking, you’ll know immediately, not when you get that hefty bill at the end of the month.

You will also be notified if there is any sudden increase in water flow, alerting you to any emergencies, and allows you to track your water use over the months and years.

  • Get real-time consumption alerts
  • No recurring fees or monitoring costs
  • Easy installation – no tools or pipe cutting
  • Single device monitors the entire home
  • Track historical water usage
  • Integrates with Amazon Alexa

Water leaks are a serious problem for homeowners, but this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t take action if you suspect one in your home. If you have any questions about preventing water damage, please contact us today!