A recent survey by Chubb Insurance found that the size of household internal water damage claims has risen 72% in the last five years and the issue is now a more common and costly risk for properties than burglary or fire.
The average claim size received by Chubb Australia jumped to $30,361 last year from $17,627 in 2014 as changing home design and appliance fittings have increased risks, according to research released by the insurer.
Water damage now accounts for 34% of Chubb property-related claims by homeowners, compared to 16% for fire and 9% 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. The design and style of home building, which includes more bathrooms, open areas and the way appliances are installed has increased the size of claims. People are putting more money into their kitchens and bathrooms and those wet areas where leaks occur, so when the water damage comes, the cost to fix the items that are immediately damaged is increased.
One of the main causes of damage in Australian homes is burst flexi hoses, often used on mixer taps, washing machines, dishwashers, plumbed-in fridges and water filters.
Other problems include overflowing sinks, shower/bath tub leaks, faulty equipment and blocked gutters/drains. The single biggest factor contributing to a severity of a claim is how long the water is allowed to flow and therefore how damaged is sustained to your property.