Water damage or freezing was the second most frequent home insurance claim made from 2016 to 2020, according to the Insurance Information Institute.  Water damage related claims have seen an uptick over the years due to aging homes with plumbing issues and an increase in coastal flooding.  
Homeowners insurance usually covers water damage from broken or frozen pipes, but won’t cover damage caused by flooding. Here’s a rundown of home insurance water damage statistics and considerations.
Water damage claims statistics
1 in 60 insured homes filed a water damage claim from 2016 to 2020 
Nearly 20% of home insurance claims were attributed to water damage and freezing in 2020 
$11,650 was the average water damage claim payout from 2016 to 2020 
43% of people mistakenly think home insurance covers flood damage 
1.61% of insured homes experienced water damage from 2016 to 2020 
53% of non-weather water damage claims are related to plumbing issues 
Water damage claim tips
In order to get home insurance to pay for a water damage claim, it will need to have been caused by a covered peril, or loss. Below are the different types of water damage that home insurance may cover.
Burst, broken, or leaking pipe or plumbing
Weather-related damage from rain, snow, or ice
Frozen pipes or plumbing
Sudden and accidental water damage, like if your washing machine leaks
Here are some steps you should consider taking when filing a water damage claim:
Find the source and make temporary repairs to prevent further damage.
Take photos or videos to present evidence to your insurance company.
Contact your insurance company and submit your proof of the water damage loss.
Wait for the claims adjuster to assess the damage and reach a claim settlement.
Consider hiring your own licensed contractor for a second opinion.
→ Read our step-by-step guide to filing a water damage claim
Types of water damage not covered by home insurance
Homeowners insurance doesn’t cover every type of water damage. Here are a few examples when your home insurance won’t cover a water damage loss:
Water damage from an earthquake or earth movement
Sump pump backup
Sewage or drain backup
Water damage that occurs over time, like if a pipe was leaking for months