Homeowners Unprepared for Non-Weather-Related Water Damage: Hanover Report Shows

October 16, 2023

Homeowners lack preparedness for non-weather-related water damage, even though water damage ranks as the second most prevalent cause of insurance loss claims, according to The Hanover Insurance Group in a new report.

Despite being a leading cause of homeowners’ claims, only 17% of homeowners said non-weather water damage is their biggest damage concern regarding their homes, said The Hanover’s 2023 Home Water Damage Prevention Report, which aims to raise awareness about the risks of water damage from leaky pipes, appliances and other household sources.

Additional findings of the report include:

  • Relatively few homeowners are taking basic preventive measures. Only 17% of homeowners said they have a water sensor in their homes. In comparison, 84% have smoke detectors, 51% have fire alarms, 48% have security cameras and 34% have burglar alarms.
  • Higher net-worth homeowners are more willing to invest in preventive measures. However, only 22% of homeowners with incomes of greater than $100,000 have water sensors in their homes.
  • Prevention technology education is needed. Nearly 70% of homeowners are not familiar with water sensors and 61% have never heard of a water shut-off device.
  • Homeowners need risk mitigation motivation. The top three reasons that homeowners said would make them more likely to install a water sensor or shut-off device are: 1) receiving a discount (45%), 2) learning that installation was easy (31%) or 3) obtaining a recommendation from a professional (28%).

“Water is invasive, and there are some things even the very best insurance coverage can’t replace. When it comes to water, the best protection is risk prevention and it’s more critical than ever. Increasingly, proactive homeowners are discussing water with their independent insurance agents to deploy preventative measures and reduce exposure to water damage,” said Daniel Halsey, president of Personal Lines at The Hanover, in a statement. “Our Home Water Damage Prevention Report points to an opportunity for homeowners to reach out to their insurance agent for counsel and insight relative to the risks involved and the technology available to mitigate those risks,” he added.


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 aged 18 and above, among whom 1,516 are homeowners. For this study, the sample data is accurate to within +/- 2.8 percentage points using a 95% confidence level. The full results from the 2023 Home Water Damage Prevention Report can be found on The Hanover’s website.