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State Farm names top state for water-related home insurance claims

State Farm paid more than $1.3 billion in 2013 for home insurance claims for water damage, a figure that's on the rise, the company reported.

The losses stem from burst frozen pipes, broken appliance hoses and other accidents, many of which are preventable.

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The top 10 states with the most water-related State Farm claims in 2013 were:

  • Texas, 21,700 claims
  • California, 17,900 claims
  • Georgia, 10,200 claims
  • Pennsylvania, 9,100 claims
  • New York, 8,700 claims
  • Illinois, 8,100 claims
  • Arizona, 5,900 claims
  • Florida, 5,800 claims
  • Michigan, 5,400 claims
  • Tennessee, 4,400 claims

Read "Does home insurance cover water damage?" for a look at seven common scenarios and how they might play out.

Standard home insurance covers water damage from some types of accidents, such as a burst pipes. Homeowners can purchase an endorsement -- a policy addition -- to cover losses caused by sewer or drain backups, and they can purchase flood insurance to cover flood damage.

To reduce water damage, State Farm recommends customers schedule an annual review with their agents to see if they need additional coverage. It advises homeowners to keep up with regular and seasonal maintenance. Suggestions include:

  • Each month clean under sinks to look for leaks, check water lines to ice makers, disposals, dishwashers and other appliances and check the sump pump to make sure the parts are in working order.
  • Check and clear drains and gutters every few months. Downspouts should extend far enough away from the foundation to keep water from entering the building.
  • Inspect the roof annually.
  • Inspect window and door frames. Repaint and caulk where necessary.
  • Replace appliance hoses with hoses covered in flexible, braided steel, and consider having a water leak detection system installed.

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