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Spending a penny: Bathroom damage is most common cause of home insurance claims

January 29, 2019


  • A third (33%) of all home insurance claims by room arise from the bathroom with repairs costing over £4,400 on average
  • Top reasons behind damage to homes include mould, a leak or burst pipes, or accidental damage by a family member or friend
  • Brits value the contents of their home at over £11,680, with the living room estimated to be the most expensive room in the house

It may well be the room where Brits spend the least time[1] but if there’s a disaster in the home, it’s most likely to be in the bathroom, according to new analysis of claims data by Zurich UK.   A third (33%) of all home insurance claims arise from the bathroom and cost, on average, £4,419 - meaning bathroom accidents could be costing UK homeowners millions.

With an estimated £11,680 worth of contents in homes it’s not the bathroom that immediately springs to mind as the most valuable. Brits actually believe their living room is the most valuable room in the home with contents worth £2,553. However, accidents in the living room account for just 7% of all claims with repairs costing on average £2,685. 


After the living room, Brits think the most valuable rooms in their home are the kitchen, valued at £2,194, the study (£1,792) and the master bedroom (£1,717).


Phil Ost, home insurance expert at Zurich, said: “When we think about the value of our homes our thoughts naturally turn to where we have the most gadgets, from TVs to the newest ‘smart home’ technology. However, water from burst pipes or leaks can easily spread throughout the home and cause significant damage before they are even detected. So, while we may value our living rooms the most, if disaster strikes, it's the bathroom that could leave our finances in deep water. At this time of year, when temperatures start to drop below zero and the threat of frozen or cracked pipes increases, it pays to make sure you have the right cover in place.”


The top reasons behind damage to UK homes: 

  1. Mould - 22%
  2. A leak/ burst pipes - 20%
  3. Accidental damage by a family member/ friend - 11%
  4. Accidental damage by pets - 9%
  5. Accidental damage by children - 7%
  6. Damage to the roof - 7%
  7. Accidental damage caused by DIY - 5%
  8. Damage from a storm (excluding to the roof) - 4%
  9. A fire - 1%
  10. A wall falling down - 1%



Notes to editors

For media enquiries, please contact:

Teamspirit PR

020 7360 7878 /

Zurich claims data related to the period March 2014 to October 2018.   Bathroom claims were responsible for 32.5% of the total claims by room, and the living room 6.8%. 

All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc.  Total sample size was 2037 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 5th - 6th November 2018.  The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).

Zurich in the UK

Zurich provides a suite of general insurance and life insurance products to retail and corporate customers.

We supply personal, commercial and local authority insurance through a number of distribution channels, and offer a range of protection, retirement and savings policies available online and through financial intermediaries for the retail market and via employee benefit consultants for the corporate market.

Based in a number of locations across the UK - with large sites in Birmingham, Farnborough, Glasgow, London, Swindon and Whiteley - Zurich employs approximately 6,000 people in the UK.

Our Corporate Responsibility strategy aims to create value for both our company and for society as a whole. We use our core skills, risk and investment management expertise, to have a positive impact on both. For more information about the Zurich's commitment to Corporate Responsibility and the Trust's work, please visit our website here.

Zurich Globally

Zurich Insurance Group (Zurich) is a leading multi-line insurer that serves its customers in global and local markets. With about 53,000 employees, it provides a wide range of property and casualty, and life insurance products and services in more than 210 countries and territories. Zurich’s customers include individuals, small businesses, and mid-sized and large companies, as well as multinational corporations. The Group is headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland, where it was founded in 1872. The holding company, Zurich Insurance Group Ltd (ZURN), is listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange and has a level I American Depositary Receipt (ZURVY) program, which is traded over-the-counter on OTCQX. Further information about Zurich is available at

[1] 1% of Brits say that the bathroom is the room where they spend the most time in the house