More on Home Insurance
More on Home Insurance
House fires happen all over the United States, from California to South Carolina. Here are the facts, figures, and statistics for house fires in the U.S.
House fire property loss claims are some of the most common and expensive in the United States, and thankfully, homeowners insurance is there to pay out if your home and personal property are damaged.
According to the United States Fire Administration, residential buildings are the leading property type for fire deaths, injuries, and property losses. We broke down the facts and figures surrounding house fires and property loss nationwide.
$8 billion - The estimated amount of property loss from house fires in 2018, according to the NFPA
$79,785 - Average cost of a homeowners insurance claim from fire or lightning damage
49% - The estimated percentage of house fires caused by cooking from 2013 to 2017
19% - The percentage of electrical house fires that resulted in civilian deaths from 2013 to 2017
3.5 - The number of minutes it takes for a house fire to reach over 1,100 degrees Fahrenheit
379,600 - Estimated number of residential fires nationwide in 2018
28,300 - Estimated number of house fires started intentionally from 2013 to 2017
48% - The percentage of Thanksgiving Day house fires that occur between the hours of 10:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M., according to the USFA
A house fire can start in a variety of ways — maybe you left the pizza in the oven or you live in a high risk wildfire area. The table below shows the top five leading causes of residential fires, how many were caused, and property loss (in millions) from 2013 to 2017, according to the NFPA.
|Cause||Number of house fires||Direct property losses (in millions)|
|Electrical distribution & lighting equipment||35,000||$1,386|
|Smoking materials (cigarettes, cigars, etc)||17,200||$479|
Cooking is the leading cause of house fires, but electrical distribution and lighting equipment resulted in the most expensive property losses. According to the NFPA, there were more intentionally caused house fires from 2013 to 2017 than there were house fires caused by smoking materials (like cigarettes, cigars, or smoking pipes).
Homeowners insurance covers fire and smoke damage if a fire destroys or damages your home or personal property. A typical policy covers wildfires, forest fires, electrical fires,, fires caused by lightning, and more. If your home is destroyed by a fire, your homeowners insurance can help pay to rebuild the structure of your home and reimburse you for loss to your personal belongings. Home insurance can also pay for additional living expenses while your home is being repaired.
Learn more about homeowners insurance and fire damage here
Kara McGinley is an insurance editor at Policygenius, specializing in home, auto and renters insurance. She previously worked as a freelance writer and copywriter, and has been writing about insurance since 2019. Kara is an expert at making complicated topics like property insurance simple to understand. Her work can be found in Teen Vogue, The Culture Crush, and more.
Kara has a B.A. in English from East Carolina University.
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