The Hanover recently commissioned Harris Poll to conduct a study around homeowner attitudes towards non-weather-related water damage from incidents such as leaks — the second most common cause of insurance loss claims.
Despite the high risk of loss, the study showed that homeowners are generally unprepared for the threat of water damage and unaware of solutions.
Our key findings
of homeowners listed non-weather-water damage as their biggest home-related concern, yet they are 7x more likely to sustain damage from a plumbing leak than a fire
have a burglar alarm in their house — double those who have a water sensor, despite water damage being 6x more common than burglaries
were not familiar with water sensors, while 61% had never heard of an automatic water shutoff device, despite how effective they can be at reducing water damage
How proactive are homeowners about safety?
Homeowners with annual incomes at or above $100K per year are six points more likely to have protective devices, such as smoke detectors and security cameras, installed in their house.
However, of that population, only 22% have water sensors in their home today, leaving them vulnerable to one of the most common and disruptive home losses.
When considering all homeowners, the study showed that only 17% of have water sensors. Compare that to:
have security cameras
Top three reasons why customers would install a water mitigation device:
of those with home incomes of $100K+ said receiving a discount would make them install a device
would install after learning that installation was easy
said that they would install a device if it was recommended by a plumber
Overall, 86% of all consumers cited reasons that would make them more likely to install a water sensor or automatic shutoff device.
What should homeowners do?
Start by consulting with their independent insurance agent to protect against water damage and other home exposures.
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Install a water shutoff device or use water sensors to help minimize water damage to help keep their home dry.
Take advantage of the programs available through their insurance carrier to provide them with an easier installation experience.
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Why the agent-homeowner partnership is important
With the lack of consumer awareness around preventative water loss devices, agents have an opportunity to proactively educate and consult with their customers on the risks of non-weather-related water damage and devices they can install in their homes to help prevent or reduce the severity of a loss.
Agents should partner with carriers like The Hanover who offer educational material, vendors that offer quality devices that can be purchased and qualifying discounts on the policy for having protective devices installed.
Water is invasive, and there are some things even the very best coverage can’t replace. The best protection is risk prevention and it’s more critical than ever. Strategic agents are partnering with customers to equip them with knowledge, deploy preventative measures, and reduce exposure to water damage. Our Home Water Damage Prevention Report indicates homeowners are in need of education regarding the technology available to reduce the risk of water damage which creates an opportunity for independent insurance agents to better service their customers."
- Dan Halsey, president of Personal Lines at The Hanover
This survey was conducted online within the United States by The Harris Poll on behalf of The Hanover from April 13-17, 2023 among 2,074 U.S. adults ages 18+ among whom 1,516 are homeowners. The sampling precision of Harris online polls is measured by using a Bayesian credible interval. For this study, the sample data is accurate to within +/- 2.8 percentage points using a 95% confidence level.
For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables and subgroup sample sizes, please contact Kyle Tildsley at firstname.lastname@example.org.