Has Spring Sprung a Leak?

State Farm® paid out $1.3 billion in water losses in 2013 and they're on the rise

Aurora, Ontario. April 7, 2014 - The spring thaw has finally sprung and with it comes water; lots of water.

Babbling brooks, rushing rivers, drenching downpours and torrential torrents can cause significant damage to your home or business; particularly in the basement, where electronic equipment, furniture and other belongings are susceptible to water damage.

In 2013, State Farm paid over $1.3 billion for more than 180,000 water loss claims as a result of burst frozen pipes, flooded basements, and broken appliance hoses. That's an average of $7,200 per claim. Water losses are rising even though many of these accidents are preventable.

In Canada, Ontario led the way with 4,470 State Farm water-related claims, followed by Alberta with 560, and New Brunswick with 120.

The top 5 states with the most water-related claims were:

  1. Texas 21,700 claims
  2. California 17,900 claims
  3. Georgia 10,200 claims
  4. Pennsylvania 9,100 claims
  5. New York 8,700 claims

Understanding what your insurance policy covers will keep your head above water when there is a water loss. Reviewing your policy annually can help you make an informed decision about adding any coverage you need.

Homeowner policies do not cover flood losses. Back-up of sewer or drain is an additional endorsement that may be purchased for accidental loss caused by water or sewage that enters through a sewer or drain located inside a home or building. It also provides coverage if water enters and overflows a sump pump well that is located inside the dwelling.

Maintenance of your home is vital when it comes to preventing water damage. Preventive maintenance can be cheaper and easier than tearing out and replacing a floor because of an undetected leak from a toilet or pipe.

Suggestions to help reduce water damage:

  • Pull out everything under sinks monthly and check for moisture all the way back to the wall
  • Check water lines to ice makers, disposals, dishwashers and other appliances. Be sure not to kink or puncture water lines if the appliance is moved
  • Check the sump pump at least once per month as the metal pole on pedestal pumps can corrode, plus the float and intake can become stuck or clogged
  • Check your drains and gutters every few months. Water can seep into your home if leaves and debris block gutters and drain pipes
  • Gutters and downspouts should extend far enough from the foundation to carry water away from the dwelling. The ground should slope away from your home, garage and outbuildings
  • Inspect your roof yearly. Make sure you don't have any loose shingles
  • Inspect window frames and look around windows and doors for gaps between the sills where caulk needs replacing
  • Replace appliance hoses with a tougher hose that's covered in flexible, braided steel
  • Items stored in basements should be shelved or kept off the floor and furniture should be on casters or shims and arranged away from floor drains

Don't let water losses sink you. Remember that water will go where it wants, when it wants, so take care of problems immediately.

Additional Resources

Wet basement problems/solutions

How to maintain your sump pump

Maintaining your washing machine

Water-leak detection systems

Ways to prevent sewer backup

Media Contact

John Bordignon
State Farm Canada

About State Farm

State Farm has been serving Canadians since 1938. State Farm and its affiliates are the fourth largest auto insurance provider, and the seventh largest property and casualty insurer in Canada. In addition to providing affordable car insurance rates, State Farm has more than 525 Canadian agents and 1300 employees providing insurance and financial services including mutual funds, life insurance, vehicle loans, critical illness, disability, home and auto insurance to our customers in Ontario, Alberta and New Brunswick. For more information, please visit®, join us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, or see us on YouTube.