Wednesday 27 May 2015
Escape of Water Claims

Insurance is designed to protect you when the worst happens and you suffer financially or physically from the unforeseen.

Although your insurance policy will provide you with a significant level of protection, there will be certain events that are not normally covered by standard policies. It is therefore important that you are aware of and understand these exclusions. In addition, as a customer you have certain responsibilities to ensure that you do not breach any of the conditions of the policy. The advice below will help you fulfil those responsibilities.

Your insurance company is committed to paying all valid claims, so if you follow this practical guidance, we can get you back on your feet as soon as possible.

What is escape of water?

Escape of water is one of the most common causes of damage to properties. It is important that you are aware of what is and isn’t covered. Put simply, an escape of water claim would arise when damage is done to your property as the result of a burst pipe or malfunctioning boiler for example. It wouldn’t apply if water leaked into your property through the roof.

What is and isn’t covered

All insurance policies have limits on what is covered and although not comprehensive, we have listed below some of the common areas of a claim that will be unlikely to be paid.

  • Depending on the circumstances and policy wording its unlikely there will be any cover for the cost of the repair of the pipe or water apparatus itself. It’s important to bear in mind that the cover is for damage to the building or contents resulting from the escape of water.
  • Most insurers won’t cover damage from a gradual deterioration or wear and tear – the cover is intended for sudden, unforeseen damage due to burst pipes, for example.
  • It may sound obvious, but insurers will only pay for those parts of the building and contents that have been damaged.

(Please speak to us for a detailed appraisal of your policy).

Speeding up the claims process

Time is of the essence with escape of water claims. In order for us to be able to get the claim settled quickly and effectively, we need as much information from you as soon as possible. Equally, you have a right to expect certain commitments from your insurer and these are also listed below.

What we need to know from you

  • When was the leak/damage discovered, where is it, what caused it and how long has it been occurring?
  • If it is flats or apartments, it is very helpful to know all properties affected and relevant contact details. In addition, who has the authority to discuss and agree claims on behalf of affected parties.
  • Is the property occupied and if not, when was it last occupied?
  • Has the leak been stopped or fixed? If not, please provide details why this is not possible.
  • We need you to give an appraisal of what damage has been caused and how bad it is.
  • If you have an estimate for cost of repairs, please let us know.
  • Are you still able to live at the property or has the damage forced you to live elsewhere?
  • Prior to the leak, has any recent work been carried out in the property or in the vicinity of the leak? We may be able to recover from a third party if they have caused the leak, which will make life a lot easier for you.

What next?

Depending on the answers to the above questions your insurer may:

  • Agree a figure for the cost of repairs without the need for an estimate.
  • Request estimates are obtained for the repairs.
  • Ask a surveyor or loss adjuster to visit to help guide you through the claim process.
  • If the property is uninhabitable, the policy may pay for you to stay in alternative accommodation or pay for loss of rent. However, not all policies have this cover so speak to us about this when buying the policy.
  • Install drying equipment to assist with the drying of the property as it is important that the property is dry before repairs are completed. You may hire your own dehumidifiers but our suppliers may have more suitable equipment for the size of the property which helps speed up the drying process.

If you are unsure about any aspect of your policy and what will and won’t be covered in the event of a claim, contact us for all the information you need.