Living in Florida, we do not experience the change of seasons like other places in the U.S. In fact it is 80 degrees outside as I am writing this blog. Last weekend I traveled to my alma mater, Notre Dame, for the football game against Southern California. I enjoy visiting the Midwest in the fall with the leaves changing colors. Despite the chilly 38 degrees at the start of the game, the campus looked beautiful with the colorful leaves on the trees.
Does the fall season make a difference as far as the number of property insurance claims? Apparently, yes. I came across an article from Property Casualty 360 that stated there are eight types of insurance claims that increase during the fall and early winter.1 These include:
- Animal collisions
- Rear-end collisions
- Parking lot claims
- Snow and ice
- Auto thefts
- Home thefts
- Fire and smoke
- Water damage and freezing claims
For home thefts, they noted that while home robberies increase about 7% in the summer, Farmers Insurance found that the number increased to almost 25% by the end of the year. This is not a surprising statistic as the holidays are approaching. According to Xactware, theft was the most common cause of a personal property claim in 2014 with 195,034 incidences reported.2 December was the most expensive month for insurance carriers with $514.2 million in personal property estimates. October was second highest at $431.4 million, followed by November at $386.1 million.3
Fire and smoke claims also increase during fall and winter, likely because people tend to spend more time inside their home when the weather cools down. Ready.gov has reported that more than 2,500 people lose their lives in house fires each year and another 12,600 are injured. Property losses from these fires total more than $7.3 billion each year. Farmers Insurance said that smoke-related claims account for nearly 30% of its homeowners claims during the fall and winter months. This makes sense considering that The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) says Thanksgiving Day is the leading day for home cooking fires, with three times as many occurring on Thanksgiving as any other day of the year.4
Water damage and freezing claims are another category of property related claims that rise during the fall and winter. According to Xactware, in 2014, water damage was the most common type of loss reported.5 These types of claims can result from burst pipes, dishwashers, ice makers, water heaters, water supply lines and toilet valves.