Water Damage Mitigation For Homeowners
Water Claims and Water Mitigation
Water Is The Most Frequent Cause of Homeowners Insurance Claims
The number one non-storm related claim that causes damage to your home is not fire, it is water. So water damage mitigation device usage is becoming more common with many renters and home owners.
Fire may cause more severe damage but water is by far the most frequent type of claim to your home.
Your home has water on all levels of and in may different fashions.
Your home has pipes that go to the bathrooms and toilets that can over flow, but there are wash machines and dishwashers that can leak as well hot water heaters that can bust and sump pumps that can overflow.
There are numerous operations in your home that all can cause you water damage
The average non storm related water damage claim is about $10,000. That is expensive.
So what are homeowners insurance companies doing to help their customers with water damage mitigation?
More insurance companies are offering discounts for water mitigation devices. Some insurance companies are giving the devices away, free to clients. Some companies are offering discounted cost for the device. And other companies are simply giving a discount on the homeowners insurance policy.
There are insurance carriers that are not offering any discounts for these devices. But in the next 10 years they will be few and far between.
Even if your home insurance carrier does not give you an incentive to install the devices, it will still give you peace of mind and help you mitigate a loss. This can still save you money by helping you avoid paying a deductible. The home insurance deductibles are usually between $1000 and $2500 per claim filed.
When you are reviewing the water mitigation devices, you should consider the following features of the device.
- Is it passive or active
- Is it whole house or point of loss
- Is it installed in the home or outside
- Is it a DIY (Do It Yourself) or professionally installed
All of these points can impact the cost of the device. But also the ability of the device to reduce the amount f a claim or avoid a claim altogether
Let’s consider if it is a passive or active device for water damage mitigation.
A passive device just alerts you but does nothing to turn off the water. So let’s say you are out of town and a pipe breaks. You would get a notification that the water is running, but until you get someone physically turns off the water, the damage will continue to occur.
Although this might be an hour of damage versus 3 days till you would have returned from out of town, you did not avoid the claim, but just reduced the severity .
Now, lets assume that you have an active alarm and in the similar situation. Not only would you be alerted but the alarm will automatically turn off the water in a few moments, hopefully avoiding any claim all together.
In reviewing the point of loss versus the whole home products.
Point of loss are generally censors that are placed around the home at points that are likely to be affected by water. If the sensor gets wet you are alerted.
Some great areas to place a point of loss sensor would be:
- Near sump pumps
- By water heaters
- Under sinks
- Near dishwashers
- Under basement windows
The problem with point of loss sensors is that you cannot cover every spot in your home where water damage could occur.
For example, what if the sensor is located near a sump pump, but a pipe in a wall on the second floor breaks due to wear and tear? The middle of a bedroom wall is not a place where you would have thought to place a point of loss sensor. So you will not notice the damage until the water breaches a wall or a ceiling on the first floor.
These sensors are great, but if there are not at the point where the water actually is leaking, they will not be effective as a water damage mitigation device.
A whole house sensor would monitor the water usage in the home and alert you in the water usage is not typical for your family.
So imagine your dishwasher is leaking in the middle of the night. In this case, the whole house device would be able to sense the water flow and alert you quickly. This can result in a drastic improvement in water damage mitigation and much less water damage to your home
Interior or Exterior Installation
Most of the devices now days are designed to be in the home but there are a few products that are weatherized and able to be inside or outside the home.
Since there are instances such as the hose bib or the water irrigation system that could break and cause damage to the home, having a weatherized system is preferred.
DIY or Professionally Installed
Is this a device that you as the homeowner can install or will it need to be professionally installed by a licensed plumber.
The active the systems will need to be installed by a licensed plumber, as they will involve pipe cutting for device installation. This will be an additional cost that should be considered in your decision making process.
Water claims are the most frequent cause of loss for homeowners insurance policies. Therefore, it is well with the investment into these types of products for water damage mitigation. You just need to decide what is the best use of your money.
Contact Huff insurance to discuss your insurance options and if you have installed a water mitigation device make sure that we know so that we can take advantage of all of the discounts you qualify for to help reduce your homeowners cost.