In 2010, about 6 percent of insured homes had a claim, according to ISO. About 97 percent of those claims were for property damage, including theft. Changes in the percentage of each type of homeowners loss from one year to another are partially influenced by large fluctuations in the number and severity of weather-related events such as hurricanes and winter storms. There are two ways of looking at losses: by the average number of claims filed per 100 policies (frequency) and by the average amount paid for each claim (severity). The loss category “water damage and freezing” includes damage caused by mold, if covered. Every state except Arkansas, New York, North Carolina and Virginia has adopted an ISO mold limitation for homeowners insurance coverage, which allows insurers to exclude the coverage unless the condition results from a covered peril.
Jewelry was the top claims category under homeowners policies in 2011, based on the dollar value of contents claims of about 300 insurers analyzed and tracked by inventory services firm, Enservio. The firm’s Contents Claims Index (CCI) includes items that are damaged, lost or stolen. Enservio found that jewelry was also the most frequently claimed item.