Chubb: Water damage claims in Australia growing

Chubb reveals its water damage claims are more common and costly than fire and burglary.

A new report published by the insurer reveals a substantial increase in the number and size  of property-related claims by Australian homeowners due to internal water damage. According to the Chubb Insight Report, Get Smart about Water Leaks, the average claim from water damage received by Chubb in Australia has increased from A$17,627 in 2014 to A$30,361 in 2018.

In addition that report states that, water damage as a percentage of actual household claims is also increasing with 34 per cent of all Chubb claims being due to water damage, compared to 16 per cent for fire and 9 per cent for burglary.

“Australians are increasingly more aware of the damage caused by floods and fire, yet few are prepared for the threat from water damage to their homes,” explains Michelle O’Dowd, Underwriting Manager, Australia & New Zealand, Personal Lines, Chubb.

O’Dowd says that while Australian homeowners commonly focus on protecting their homes against fire and theft through locking devices, alarms systems and smoke detectors, there is far less focus on protecting homes from water damage.

While all Australian homeowners may experience water leaks, Chubb’s research also reveals that those living in Western Australia and Victoria are particularly susceptible. In fact, homeowners in these states are 20 per cent more likely to make a water damage claim under their Chubb Masterpiece policy than any other homeowner.

O’Dowd added that there were two other interesting aspects that Chubb identified when examining claims data for the report: water damage often occurs when a house is unattended, and high value homes are more susceptible to water damage due to multiple bathrooms, kitchens, laundries and appliances which may cause the water damage.

The increasing number of claims and rising cost of these is likely to continue as modern living requires more plumbed-in appliances using flexi hoses, more bathrooms and laundries on upper levels of homes and more open-plan living spaces.

“Protecting your home against water damage is as simple as installing one central system to monitor the flow of water across your home or turning off the main water supply at the shut
off valve – especially if you’re away for a week or more,” says O’Dowd.

You can download the full report here.