New research highlights homeowners’ lack of preparedness for non-weather-related water damage, despite water damage ranking as the second most prevalent cause of insurance loss claims.

The Hanover Insurance Group released its “2023 Home Water Damage Prevention Report” to raise awareness about the risks of water damage from leaky pipes, appliances and other household sources.

Despite being a leading cause of homeowners’ claims, only 17 percent of homeowners said non-weather water damage is their biggest damage concern regarding their homes.

Only 17 percent of homeowners said they have a water sensor in their homes.

In comparison, 84 percent have smoke detectors, 51 percent have fire alarms, 48 percent have security cameras and 34 percent have burglar alarms.

Higher net-worth homeowners are more willing to invest in preventive measures, yet only 22 percent of homeowners with incomes of greater than $100,000 currently have water sensors in their homes.

The insurer says prevention education is necessary, since 68 percent of homeowners indicated they were not familiar with water sensors, while 61 percent have never heard of a water shut-off device.

Of those studied, 86 percent of homeowners cited reasons that would make them more likely to install a water sensor or shut-off device. The top three reasons overall were: receiving a discount (45 percent), learning that installation was easy (31 percent) or obtaining a recommendation from a professional (28 percent).

“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. “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.”

To support customers with their home water mitigation efforts, The Hanover has recently partnered with Water Security Solutions (WSS) and StreamLabs, taking a proactive and collaborative approach to risk management. WSS helps customers determine the best compatible water mitigation system for their home plumbing configuration, and provides discounted pricing on the options. StreamLabs manufactures smart water leak monitoring and water shut-off devices that can be installed by customers and qualify them for applicable discounts on their insurance premiums. The two vendors are the newest additions to The Hanover’s Partners in Protection program.