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Ask the Home Insurance Expert

What's the most common type of home insurance claim? I say it's fire, and my friend says it's slip-and-fall claims.

Sorry, you're both incorrect. Those are good guesses, and you would have been right if you were talking about the most expensive type of home insurance claim.

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The most common home insurance claim is for wind and hail. From 2004 to 2008, 5.8 percent of insured homes had a claim. Wind and hail accounted for the largest share of those claims at 2.3 percent, according to ISO, a subsidiary of Verisk Analytics that maintains the most comprehensive database of casualty, property and vehicle claims.

The next most common home insurance claim is water damage and freezing with 1.4 percent of insured homes having such a claim from 2004 to 2008. The third most common home insurance claim is vandalism and malicious mischief claims -- 0.89 percent of insured homes had those claims during the five-year period.

Fire, lightning and debris removal claims and theft claims almost tied, as 0.51 percent of insured homes had a fire, lightning or debris removal claim and 0.49 percent of insured homes having a claim for theft.

Liability claims didn't come close to the others. Of insured homes, 0.11 had bodily injury and property damage liability claims, 0.07 percent had unauthorized use of credit cards, forgery, counterfeit money and other losses not otherwise classified, and 0.06 percent had medical payments and other liability losses.

When it comes to cost of claims, fire comes out on top with the average claim totaling $25,375. Liability claims for bodily injury and property damage are second in severity with the average claim totaling $17.941.

Last updated: Dec. 17, 2010
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