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Types of Home Insurance Claims in U.S.

National Home Insurance Claim Data

As recently as 2017, six percent of insured homes filed a claim, according to the Insurance Information Institute. Property damage, including theft, accounted for 98.1 percent of those claims. Hurricanes and winter storms are the two occurrences that affect the changes in the percentage of each type of homeowners loss from one year to the next.

Recent Fl Hurricanes: Hurricane Irma home insurance law firm

Learn about: Hurricane Michael home insurance claims

Home Insurance Claims: Frequency and Severity

There are two ways of looking at losses: by the average number of claims filed per 100 policies (frequency) and by the average amount paid for each claim (severity). The loss category “water damage and freezing” includes damage caused by mold, if covered. Every state except Alaska, Arkansas, New York, North Carolina, and Virginia has adopted an ISO mold limitation for homeowners insurance coverage, which allows insurers to exclude the coverage unless the condition results from a covered peril.

Types Florida Home Insurance Claims

For Florida homeowners, these are the most common claims filed with Florida Home Insurance Attorneys and Florida Insurance Companies.

Home Owners Claims:

1. Wind and Hail: Windstorm and hail deductibles are used when homes sustain damage from winds from any source. This includes hurricanes and tropical storms, or tornadoes. Insurers generally cannot increase the deductible for named storms or on homeowners insurance policies that have been in effect for more than three (3) years.

Resources: Contact a Miami Fl Windstorm Home Insurance Attorney or Ft Lauderdale hurricane home insurance attorney

2. Water Damage: Water damage covered by insurance policies is typically for a sudden event such as a broken appliance causing a leak or burst plumbing.

Most policies also cover water damage from leaking roofs and walls. However, some policies will only cover interior water damage if there is direct damage to the building that creates an opening for water to enter, such as wind damage.

3. Non-theft Property Damage:

a) One type of non-theft property damage is loss of use. Loss of use means precisely what the words say no more and no less. Damages payable by a commercial general liability (CGL) policy because of loss of use are a type of damage that are the consequence of not being able to use property.

b) Physical injury to tangible property, including all resulting loss of use of that property. All such loss of use shall be deemed to occur at the time of the physical injury that caused it.

c) Types of damage that are not caused by theft are numerous, check with your insurance company if you have a question about a specific type of loss.

4. Liability: A liability claim is a situation in which the insured asks an insurance company for help or financial assistance regarding a third party’s loss or damage that is due to the insured’s involvement. Insurers will only consider the claim, if the policy covers the particular type of loss or damage suffered by the third party.

Need additional help? See a Florida home liability claim dispute attorney

5. Theft: Typical homeowners (including renters and condominium) policies include coverage for your personal property. Loss due to theft is generally included as part of personal property protection. Most policies also include coverage for your property while it is away from the home, subject to limitations. Please note that personal property limits are initially set as a percentage of your dwelling coverage, which determines how much your insurance provider can reimburse you for the theft. It’s important to set realistic limits based on the value of the items in your home so you don’t end up with a significant loss.

Sinkhole Claims

In March of 2013, an entire house fell into a huge sinkhole in a suburb of Tampa, Florida, receiving national attention. Although such large, sudden and destructive sinkholes are relatively rare, thousands of small sinkholes appear in the U.S. each year. The most damage from sinkholes occurs in Florida, Texas, Alabama, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Pennsylvania, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

Most homeowners insurance policies do not include coverage for sinkhole damage. But, homeowners insurance companies in Florida and Tennessee are required to offer the coverage. In Florida catastrophic ground cover collapse is mandatory; comprehensive sinkhole coverage is optional.

(Note: For information on the Florida Sinkhole law see http://www.insuringflorida.org/articles/sinkholes.html. For statistics on Florida sinkholes see http://www.floir.com/sections/pandc/sinkholepage.aspx).

Business Insurance Claims

According to a report analyzing insurance claims for businesses, claims data from over one million policies purchased by small business owners showed that these are the top business claims to insurance companies.

Learn about: Fl business insurance claims disputes

The data covered a five-year period and applied to liability, auto, and property claims.

  1. Reputation harm: The most obvious negative consequence that a defamatory statement can cause is harm to your professional reputation. Perhaps you are a local business person and someone made a statement about you to others indicating that you did something dishonest. Such allegations might cause your customers to take their business elsewhere. Perhaps the statement caused your employer to doubt whether you should remain employed.
  2. Vehicular Accident: A traffic collision, also called a motor vehicle collision (MVC) among other terms, occurs when a vehicle collides with another vehicle, pedestrian, animal, road debris, or other stationary obstruction, such as a tree, pole or building. Traffic collisions often result in injury, death, and property damage.
  3. Fire: Filing a FL fire insurance claims enables you to repair or even rebuild your damaged businesses. “Actual cash value” policies entitle you to the amount it would take to return business or home, including its contents, to its pre-fire fair market value.
  4. Product Liability:  Product liability refers to a manufacturer or seller being held liable for placing a defective product into the hands of a consumer. Responsibility for a product defect that causes injury lies with all sellers of the product who are in the distribution chain.
  5. Wind and Hail Damage: Ensuring you have adequate business insurance in place will help you recover in the aftermath of a storm. But it’s also essential that you take steps to protect your property before a severe weather event. From regularly inspecting your roof to securing equipment and valuables, the following actions will help you reduce the risk of damage to your business in the event of a storm. Fl business hurricane damage claims
  6. Customer Slip and Fall: “Slip and fall” is a term used for a personal injury case in which a person slips and falls resulting in injury on someone else’s property. These cases usually fall under the broader category of cases known as premises liability claims, because slip and fall accidents usually occur on the property (or “premises”) owned or maintained by someone else, and the owner or possessor of the property may be held legally responsible. See: Business Fl insurance liability claims
  7. Struck by Object: Fewer than 5 percent of all business claims involve being struck by objects. But, the average payout is $10,000. The damage caused by this type of claim is serious so normally worker’s compensation coverage will protect your business against this type of claim.
  8. Burglary and Theft: On average, 20 percent of small business owners were affected by these insurance cases, in the past five years. The crime does not have to be committed or involve theft. Often called breaking and entering.

Additional Resources for Policyholders:

Additional Resources for Professionals:

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