Water damage statistics

Water damage is one of the leading causes of property loss, with claims averaging $11,098.

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Kara McGinley

Kara McGinley

Editor & Licensed Home Insurance Expert

Kara McGinley is an editor and licensed home insurance expert at Policygenius, where she writes about homeowners and renters insurance. As a journalist and as an insurance expert, her work and insights have been featured in Kiplinger, Lifehacker, MSN, WRAL.com, and elsewhere.

&Pat Howard

Pat Howard

Senior Editor & Licensed Home Insurance Expert

Pat Howard is a senior editor and licensed home insurance agent at Policygenius, where he specializes in homeowners insurance. His work and expertise has been featured in MarketWatch, Real Simple, Fox Business, VentureBeat, This Old House, Investopedia, Fatherly, Lifehacker, Better Homes & Garden, Property Casualty 360, and elsewhere.

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Water damage or freezing was the second most common reason for home insurance claims in 2019, according to the Insurance Services Office. Water damage related claims have seen an uptick over the years due to aging homes with plumbing issues and an increase in coastal flooding. [1] [2]

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 by the numbers

  • 1 in 50 insured homes filed a water damage claim from 2015 to 2019 [3]

  • 29.4% of home insurance claims were attributed to water damage and freezing in 2019 [4]

  • $11,098 was the average water damage claim payout from 2015 to 2019 [5]

  • 1.9% of insured homes experienced water damage from 2015 to 2019 [7]

  • 53% of non-weather water damage claims are related to plumbing issues [8]

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4 types of water damage covered by home insurance

Here are a few examples of water damage that's covered by home insurance:

  • 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

7 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: 

  • Flood damage

  • Water damage from an earthquake or earth movement

  • Sump pump backup

  • Sewage or drain backup

  • Surface water

  • Water damage that occurs over time, like if a pipe was leaking for months

  • Maintenance issues