The Top Five Insurance Claims in Kentucky and How to Protect Yourself
Planning for unexpected disasters in your area can help you avoid stressful repairs and potential insurance claim hassles. With enough preparation, sometimes you can avoid damage altogether. Either way, you still need to be equipped with a strong homeowners insurance policy in case disaster strikes and leaves destruction in its wake.
Fortunately, a Kentucky independent insurance agent can help you get set up with all the homeowners insurance you need. They'll get you the coverage required to protect against all the most common disasters in your area. But up first, here's a closer look at the top insurance claims in Kentucky and how to protect yourself with the right coverage.
What Are Kentucky's Top Five Insurance Risks?
Every state in the country is prone to its own set of disasters. In Kentucky, these are:
- Severe storms and lightning damage
- Flooding and water damage
- Wildfires and residential fires
- Burglary and other property crimes
These disasters can all be extremely destructive, not to mention expensive. However, having the right homeowners insurance in place can reimburse you for many of these.
Understanding Kentucky Storms and Lightning
Lightning is the top most common home insurance claim and homeowner disaster reported in Kentucky. Though lightning strikes are disastrous on their own, they can also cause resulting fire damage, leading to two risks from one peril.
Fast lightning stats for homeowners:
- Across the US, more than $900 million worth of lightning damage was caused in 2018 alone.
- The most severe homeowners insurance losses are due to fire and lightning, at an average of $68,322 per incident.
- More than 4,000 house fires were started by lightning strikes in 2018.
- A reported 240,000 people get struck by lightning each year, worldwide.
- The US has about 43 lightning fatalities every year.
- Lightning bolts can carry up to 100 million volts of electricity or even more.
Lightning strikes are hot; so hot that they convert moisture into steam instantly. Lightning strikes can cause trees to explode by heating and expanding the sap inside. An average household outlet carries 110 volts, compared to the 100 million in a lightning bolt.
If lightning strikes a utility pole, its charge can travel through the wires and into your home, possibly burning any wiring it passes through. If you have electronics plugged in when this happens, they can get damaged or destroyed, as well.
Homeowners Insurance Protection from Storms and Lightning
Personal property coverage, or contents coverage, included in home insurance protects against damage to many items from lightning strikes and resulting fires. Contents coverage can pay to repair or replace your personal property like electronics, clothing, furniture, etc. if it gets damaged or destroyed by lightning strikes or the fire they can bring with them.
Say there was a bad thunderstorm and a lightning strike hit your property, broke a window, and caused a fire that destroyed your couch. After paying your deductible, your insurance could reimburse you for the couch's agreed value, as well as to repair the window. Your structural coverage could pay to repair or replace elements of the home's dwelling, like windows, siding, etc.
Understanding Kentucky Flooding and Water Damage
Reportedly there are nearly 249,000 properties across Kentucky with a great risk of flood damage within the next 30 years, which accounts for about 13% of the state's properties overall. Kentucky is one of the top four states for flooding risk in the nation. The state's narrow creeks, streets, and bridges all factor into its increased flood risk.
How insurance protects against flooding and water damage:
- To protect your home against natural flood damage, you'd actually need a separate policy, called flood insurance.
- Homeowners insurance doesn't cover flooding of your property, or many types of water damage, unless the cause was "sudden and accidental," such as a burst pipe.
- Flood insurance can reimburse for damage to your home's structure or contents from flooding caused by disasters like hurricanes, tsunamis, heavy rainfall, etc. It can pay up to the replacement cost of your home or the actual cash value within the policy's limits.
Say your home was hit by a hurricane, and a large section of your home flooded. After paying your policy's deductible, your flood insurance could reimburse you for flood damage to the structure and contents of your home in the affected area, up to your policy's limits.
Understanding Kentucky Wildfires and Residential Fires
When the leaves on the trees change, it signals the beginning of Kentucky's fire weather season. Many fires in the state are actually started intentionally by arsonists. Others are caused by folks who burn leaves or trash and the fires are not properly contained or put out, allowing them to spread.
Not many of Kentucky's fires are a result of lightning. Kentucky also hasn't had a bad fire season since 1987, when almost 300,000 acres were burned. In 2021, there were 723 reported wildfires that burned 22,859 acres. Kentucky's landscape of mountains, trees, etc. causes many areas to be at significant risk of fire in dry seasons.
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Homeowners Insurance Protection from Wildfires and Residential Fires
Your homeowners insurance usually covers fire damage to the contents of your home for up to 50% of the property value. Your deductible must be paid by you before reimbursement kicks in. While some homeowners insurance policies pay out the original replacement value for items damaged by fires, others take depreciation into account.
You can, however, purchase replacement value riders for your items to guarantee their full replacement if they get burned in a fire. Say your home got badly damaged in a wildfire and you had to stay somewhere else while repairs were going on. Your coverage could reimburse for damaged personal property, as well as for repairs to your home's structure from fire damage and possible water damage from putting it out. It could also pay for your additional living expenses if you stayed somewhere else while your home was undergoing repairs.
Understanding Kentucky Tornadoes
The state of Kentucky has seen 1,219 tornadoes since 1950, or about 1.7% of the country's total tornadoes. However, Kentucky experienced 13 tornadoes between just January and September of 2021. Just one of these disasters can cause severe damage or destruction to your home's structure and contents.
Homeowners Insurance Protection from Tornadoes
Your home insurance reimburses for damage caused by strong winds, including tornadoes. You might want to add endorsements to your policy and list valuable items individually to be sure that you'll receive their full replacement cost if they get damaged by a tornado. If you're in an especially tornado-prone area, you might also want to add on outbuilding coverage to protect additional structures on your property from tornado damage.
Say a tornado ripped through your town, tore off your roof, and sent a lot of your clothing flying off to who-knows-where. Your home insurance could pay to replace your roof and your clothing, up to your policy's limits. It could also pay for additional living expenses if your roof's damage was so extensive that you needed to stay somewhere else, like a hotel, during the repairs.
Understanding Kentucky Home Burglary Concerns
Burglaries are the last of the top-five most common home insurance risks in Kentucky. Burglaries are a huge risk to homeowners, not only because they can lead to theft or damage of your personal property, but they can also lead to structural damage or bodily injury.
Fast burglary stats for Kentucky and the US:
- More than 1.7 million home burglaries were reported in the US in 2017 alone.
- Many burglaries occur because a home lacks a security system, and about 75% of homeowners in the country don't have one.
- In 2019 alone, Kentucky had a reported 15,443 incidents of home break-ins.
- Kentucky's burglary rates are the 23rd highest in the nation.
- Kentucky's home burglary risk is rated as about 346 out of every 100,000 residents expected to experience one within a year, which is on par with the national average of 341 residents per every 100,000.
Knowing just how common home burglaries are can help inspire you to double-check your homeowners insurance coverage with the help of your independent insurance agent in Kentucky before a disaster occurs.
Homeowners Protection from Burglary and Other Property Crimes
Home insurance can reimburse for damage to or theft of your personal property after a burglary, up to your policy's limits. But it can also pay for damage to your home's structure that may have taken place during the break-in.
Say your home was burglarized and the burglar busted through a door to enter, and some of your jewelry was stolen. Your home insurance could reimburse for the damage to your door up to your policy's limits, and pay to replace your stolen jewelry if you'd purchased floaters or riders to cover its value completely.
Your independent insurance agent can further explain how your homeowners coverage can protect you in case of a burglary or any of Kentucky's other top most common home insurance risks. Having the right policies can help you get your life back on track following a major incident.
Why Choose a Kentucky Independent Insurance Agent?
Kentucky independent insurance agents simplify the process by shopping and comparing insurance quotes for you. They’ll also cut through the jargon and clarify the fine print so you'll know exactly what you’re getting.
Kentucky independent insurance agents also have access to multiple insurance companies, ultimately finding you the best homeowners insurance coverage, accessibility, and competitive pricing while working for you.
TrustedChoice.com Article | Reviewed by Jeffrey Green
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