Claims Corner: Protecting Your Home While Away

Most homeowners are not prepared: many do not know where their main water valve shut off is located and very few inspect water-bearing appliances like washers and hot water heaters on a regular basis. While many residents invest in fire and security alarms, water leak detection devices are much less commonly used today. Since the beginning of 2018, one of our carriers reported 90% of claims have been from interior water damage.

You’ve worked hard to make your house a home. Don’t let water damage destroy what you’ve built. Take proactive steps to prevent water from damaging the inside or the outside of your home.

Let’s take a look at what happens over a one week period if a leak occurs.


A family leaves their home for a week-long vacation: Bolting the doors, arming the security system, locking the windows, leaving on a light. But they’re not fully protected. Here’s what could happen in the event of a leak:

Water doesn’t stay where it’s supposed to. Water damage makes up 45% of all interior property damage happening more often than fire or burglary. Failure of the plumbing supply system is the #1 cause of non-weather related water losses.

The first hour… a small but steady drip can cause a large amount of damage. Ice makers are the most likely source of internal water damage.

Losses over $500k have more than doubled since 2015 and losses over $1M have tripled. 94% of homeowners have fire/smoke detection devices while only 6% of residents have water shutoff devices.

By day 3, the damage is growing up to 18 inches up the walls,  including base cabinets will be un-restorable.

Secondary damage begins on day 6 hitting electrical components.

Day 8 brings hazardous materials and mold. The door and window frames swell and drywall will show mold growth. An indoor environmental professional will be required for clearance. Once Additional Living Expense coverage is triggered, the average duration a client is out of the home is 3 months.

Turn off water main before leaving on your vacation. Install a system to detect and/or stop water leaks.

*Sources: Insurance Information Institute,, Paul Davis, Chubb Homeowners Water Risk Survey 2017


We have free water valve shut-off tags at our offices. Stop in to get one or let us know you want one and we will send you one. Ask us about leak detector systems anytime 609-399-0060.