Worried About Home Damage? Here Are The Most Common Causes

The most frequent causes of home damage tend to remain consistent year after year, with some variance depending on weather events and where the home is located. Thanks to data tracked by the Insurance Information Institute, we can learn all about the most common causes of home damage and insurance claims. While the weather is a key factor, some of the other entries on the list might surprise you. Understanding the risks can help you plan ahead, and take the right steps to keep your home safe.

  • Wind, Hail, and Lightning
    Severe thunderstorms, winter storms, and hurricanes can all cause significant property damage in different ways. Wind and hail rank at the top of the list for the most common causes of home damage and homeowner’s insurance claims. Wind is especially dangerous for flashing, siding, and shingles, so it’s important to make sure that the exterior of your home is well-maintained.

    Keep an eye out for the health of the trees around your property as well, since falling trees and branches are both significant contributors to wind-related damage. If you live in an area where hurricanes are common, make sure that you have a plan in place for boarding up windows and protecting your home before a storm arrives.
  • Non-Weather Water Damage
    The most common water damage to homes doesn’t actually come from the weather. Instead, it comes from plumbing issues like leaks, or frozen pipes that burst in the cold weather causing flooding. In addition to the other types of damage it can cause, water can lead to severe mold problems which aren’t always covered by homeowner’s insurance. To minimize the risk, keep up with plumbing maintenance, make sure that pipes are properly insulated, and have vacation homes winterized if you won’t be there during the cold-weather months.
  • Water Damage from Weather
    Water damage caused by weather is also a common risk for property damage, especially if the home is located in a flood-prone area. There’s no way to eliminate the risk of flood damage, but you can make sure that your home is as protected as possible from the weather and that all entry points are properly sealed. Some homeowners in highly flood-prone areas also choose to install pumps in basements or crawlspaces to make sure that floodwater can be quickly removed.
  • Fire Damage
    Fire damage makes up a lower number of insurance claims than other items on the list, but the financial impact of a fire is often significantly higher than other types of home damage. Make sure that fire extinguishers are up to date and stored in the right locations, test your smoke detectors regularly, and practice safe habits with all electronic devices. Protect the people in your home by making sure that you have a plan in place in the event of a fire, and that everyone knows exactly what to do.
  • Damage Related to Theft
    Though it makes up a significantly lower percentage than any other type of damage on our list, damage related to theft is still a risk for all homeowners. Fortunately, there are many widely available, affordable security systems that can enhance the safety of your home and reduce the risk of a break-in.

While the most common causes of home damage vary, keeping up with overall home maintenance is the best way to minimize the risks to your home. Since some risks are unavoidable, it’s also important to make sure that your home insurance policy provides all of the coverage that you need. Thinking about buying

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