Top 5 home insurance claims 2022

July 2023

 

When it comes to household claims, we know how upsetting it can be having to deal with damage and repairs. Here at Allianz we are looking closely at the primary reasons for our home insurance claims and how these losses can be avoided. Below you can find guidance that can help you prevent some of the most common home insurance claims we see, ranging from storm damage to accidental damage. 

 

Top 5 Claims

Water damage was the biggest cause for household claims in 2022, accounting for 41% of our the total claims.

Among the most common causes of water damage, burst pipes arising from hot water cylinders and bath and shower are the most prevalent.^ 

Here are a  few tips on how to ensure the prevention of water damage or “escape of water”:

  • Ensure current pipes are well equipped to deal with any renovations such as extra toilets, ensuites, underfloor heating and showering facilities.
  • Regularly inspect the sealing around baths, showers and sinks to prevent wear and tear and poor workmanship
  • Regularly check the external pipes and pipes located in unheated areas during temperature fluctuations, particularly if the house is left unoccupied.
  • During the time property is left unoccupied it is also beneficial to keep the heating at a low temperature in winter to prevent freezing and turn off the water supply
  • Regularly check overflow on toilets, sinks, baths and tanks
  • Regularly inspect hosing going to and from washing machines, dishwashers, water heaters and refrigerators

^ It is important to note that leaks caused by ageing hot water cylinders and the repair of the cylinder itself would not be covered, as they fall under the “wear & tear” category. However, the damage the leak causes is covered. 

Storm damage accounted for 19% of Allianz home insurance claims in 2022. Some of you may remember Storm Barra and Storm Eunice, which brought widespread, severe and damaging winds across the country. 

If Met Eireann issue a weather warning, it is important to take precautions against storms before they occur to help minimise damage to your property. Here  are some tips on how to safeguard your home:

  • Put away garden furniture and loose items
  • Secure gates and shed doors
  • Bring children and pets indoors
  • Park cars close to buildings
  • Draw blinds on windows to protect against shattered glass
  • Prepare for possible loss of utilities by making sure you have candles and/or torches and all gadgets fully charged in advance 
  • In a blackout your mobile phone can provide a light source
  • After the storm passes check again for damage

Through-out the year, you can also hire a professional to maintain the roof guttering free of debris and dead leaves to avoid further flooding. Also regularly inspect the roof for any cracked or loose tiling and maintain overhanging trees by cutting off dead or potentially hazardous branches.

Next on the list was accidental damage, which accounted for 18% out of the total 2022 home insurance claims. 

We define accidental damage as a sudden or unforeseen damage caused as a result of an unexpected action or event. As these are unexpected, it is difficult to take necessary precautions to avoid. However, it is a good idea to add accidental damage cover to your Allianz home insurance policy for your premises and/or contents* should the unforeseen happen. 

If you add accidental damage cover on your contents, Allianz will reimburse you for the damage to your contents such as:

  • Household goods
  • Clothing
  • Furniture and furnishings
  • Personal effects (these include wallets, handbags, mobile phones, jewellery, hearing aids, etc.).

Note that TV, ceramic hobs and audio visual equipment** are automatically covered on contents policies for accidental damage. 

*This will require additional premium. Subject to the exclusions outlined in the policy document here.

** There is a monetary limit of settlements for audio visual equipment if Accidental Damage cover is not added. 

Fire damage accounted for 12% of the total household claims. The impact of fire damage can cause disastrous consequences. Most fire claims in 2022 resulted from chimneys, fire in sheds and electrical fires. 

Prevention is better than cure and that is why we recommend keeping chimneys clean by providing regular maintenance. Read more on how to prevent chimney fires here.

An easy tip for preventing shed fires is to ensure secure and appropriate containers are used for the storage of oil, gas and other flammable chemicals. 

To prevent electrical fires regularly check the electrical installations and cables and avoid overloading electrical adaptors with too many appliances.

According to The Department of Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government, there is a 4  step process to STOP fire and ensure fire safety1:

 

  1.  S - Smoke alarms. Make sure you have at least one on every level/floor.
  2. T - Test your smoke alarms weekly or ask someone to check it for you.
  3. O - Obvious dangers. Look out for fire risks like overloaded sockets; candles and unattended appliances.
  4. P - Plan your escape route. Keep access routes clear and have your keys at the ready.

Theft claims have reduced compared to previous years, yet they are still make the top 5 claims of 2022, accounting for 5% out of the total.

As most burglaries (46%) occur between 5pm and 11pm2, it is advised to follow An Garda Siochana’s campaign – ‘ Lock Up and Light Up’ which encourages us to:

  • Lock all doors and windows 
  • Turn on some lights
  • Use an alarm 
  • Don’t keep large amounts of cash 
  • Store keys away from windows and letter boxes

These simple steps can help protect your home from theft. Whether you’re at home or going out.

 

At Allianz we take particular care to provide you with a dedicated claims service designed with you in mind to ensure the fair and prompt settlement of all legitimate claims.

If you would like to report a new claim, discuss an existing claim, you can call us directly on 01 613 3990~ or register a claim at MyAllianz.ie. For more information on home claims, please visit the Home Insurance Claims section of our website.

 

Allianz p.l.c is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland.

Information correct as of date of publish. ~Calls may be recorded.

 

Sources:

1.  Fire Safety Week

2. http://www.independent.ie/irish-news/six-things-you-need-to-know-about-home-burglaries-35159473.html