A decade of deadly weather
Chubb has authored two reports to advise personal and commercial insurance clients looking to manage water damage risk.
Chubb's Third Annual Homeowners' Risk report and the Preventing Water Damage whitepaper examine water trends relating to property protection and risk mitigation behavior. Both include actionable tips to help homeowners and business owners prevent leaks and minimise damage, should a claim occur.
The Homeowner’s Risk report found that no more than one in five homeowners it surveyed took any single water-related risk mitigation steps that are considered best practice.
This may because homeowners underestimate the costs associated with a problem: half of all homeowners (51 percent) think a plumbing or appliance water leak costs less than $5,000 in damage. In fact the average water leak cost is more than $55,000, and the average water back-up loss for homeowners is almost $45,000, according to Chubb's internal claims data from 2014 through 2018.
Meanwhile, the Preventing Water Damage whitepaper reports that the industries most affected by increased water damage claims are healthcare, commercial real estate and hospitality.
Water intrusion from roofs, and leaks from toilet, sprinklers, water heaters and HVAC are the top causes of interior water damage, while domestic plumbing is a primary culprit of water damage across commercial buildings.
Derek Talbott, division president of Chubb North America commercial property, noted that water damage risk is a global problem that is increasing in frequency and cost.
“Fortunately, there are a number of innovative technologies that can help clients reduce the potential for losses and avoid business disruptions,” said Talbott. “Chubb risk engineers can help assess clients' vulnerabilities, and suggest the best and most cost effective loss mitigation options for interior water damage-related exposures."
Fran O'Brien, division president of Chubb North America personal risk services, said it is important that homeowners be proactive in combating internal water-related risks. "Without the proper preparation and necessary insurance coverages in place—particularly if a leak happens while you're not there to handle it—property losses can be a significant source of unexpected out-of-pocket costs."
Chubb, Annual Homeowners' Risk Report, Preventing Water Damage Whitepaper, Derek Talbott, Fran O'Brien