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Top 3 Causes of Summertime Homeowners’ Insurance Claims

By far the most popular season of the year, Summertime is the season when most families reunite to enjoy leisure time together. The growing popularity of the ‘staycation’ coupled with a trend in recent decades to developing our backyards into our own personal oasis, mean that as temperatures start to soar, that more of us are spending time at home. Summertime is also the peak season for homeowners insurance claims. At United Public Adjusters & Appraisers, we do not want to put a damper on anyone’s family fun. And, with a little planning and preparation, you’ll likely sail through to Fall without incident. Here are the top causes of incidents in and around your home to be aware of, along with our suggestions on how to avoid submitting a homeowners’ claim this season.

  1. High Winds and Hail:  This is the leading cause of homeowners’ insurance claims that are filed from June through August every year and account for about half of all claims that are filed. Statistically, this is about 1 in 35 homes that report wind/hail damage. In recent years, the average cost was almost $12,000. Summer storms generally occur after there is a sharp increase in temperature. Thunder and lighting followed by a brief deluge are the way scorching outside temperatures will cool down. Such storms can result in fallen trees, tree limbs, broken windows, damaged siding, and roof damage. To reduce the likelihood of wind and hail damage, trim your trees, and remove any that appear to be listing toward your property or your neighbor’s. When a storm is in the forecast, secure all patio furniture, potted plants, or anything that can be wind borne and cause damage to your property.
  2. Water Damage: Speaking of high winds and hail during brief downpours, if your roofing is voided and water seeps into your structure, you can have residual damage and mold that may not appear at first. This will impact 1 in 60 homeowners this year, again with an average claim of about $12,000. Water damage from leaking roofs alone represents about 20% of the homeowners’ claims that are filed every Summer. Also, basement windows that are not fully closed or have panes that need caulking are leading causes of water seepage into your home. The resultant mold is difficult to remediate, and damage to drywall and plaster can result in structural damage as well. To prepare for summer storms, be sure to replace any missing roofing shingles promptly, as well as check to see that your basement windows are caulked or that no panes are cracked/broken. If so, replace.
  3. Fires and Lightning Strikes: These types of homeowners’ claims amount to just over 20% of the homeowners’ insurance claims that are filed every Summer, however these are by far the most expensive, averaging about $80,000 per claim. While lightning strikes are rare, and only 1 in about 400 homes will file such a claim this year, home fires are, unfortunately, more common. To reduce the possibility of a home fire:
  •  Be sure your outdoor grill is cleaned after every use and live coals are properly disposed of.
  • Additionally, ensure that your grill is kept well away from your structure and/or vinyl siding.
  • Do not allow live coals to fall on a wooden deck.
  • Do not move a hot grill near an outdoor structure to cool down.
  • Monitor fire pit use and be sure flames are completely extinguished.
  • Do not leave children unattended near a hot grill or fire pits.
  • Indoors, if you have through-the-window/wall air conditioning units, do not plug more devices into an outlet using an ancillary strip. It will cause overheating and the potential for a house fire.
  • Do not leave a hot kitchen stove unattended.

We hope these tips will allow you and your family to enjoy a carefree summer. In the event that you do have to file a homeowner’s insurance claim, we’ll be glad to assist you to document, prepare and file your claim with your carrier. United Public Adjusters & Appraisers will also negotiate with your insurer to make certain that you receive the highest settlement your policy allows. Learn more by contacting our team today!

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