Scroll down

Water, Water Everywhere!


It is estimated that one in five claims made on home buildings and contents insurance policies are for damage caused by water leaks.  Whilst insurers will be breathing a sigh of relief that the frozen pipe season is over for another year, they remain acutely aware that leaking washing machines, dishwashers, baths, showers and storage tanks represent constant threats throughout the year.

It is estimated that one in five claims made on home buildings and contents insurance policies are for damage caused by water leaks.  Whilst insurers will be breathing a sigh of relief that the frozen pipe season is over for another year, they remain acutely aware that leaking washing machines, dishwashers, baths, showers and storage tanks represent constant threats throughout the year.

According to the Association of British Insurers, the total cost of escape of water claims rose from £529m to £654m between 2014-2016 and High Net Worth (HNW) clients can be particularly vulnerable.

Why is this a bigger risk for high net worth clients?

HNW homes are often unoccupied more frequently as their owners may travel more often and they may have second homes. This leaves their properties at risk from undetected water leaks and for longer periods.

The buildings themselves may have multiple bathrooms and expensive internal fixtures and fittings, such as cinema rooms and gymnasiums often developed below ground level which increases the values at risk.  Features such as underfloor heating and wet rooms, could increase this risk further.

HNW homes usually contain valuable items such as fine art, antiques, expensive floorings and furnishings with fabrics that can be difficult to replace all of which increase the cost of a potential loss.

One of the most common causes of escape of water is wear and tear of pipework. Large, old properties tend to have vast amounts of pipework, which corrodes over time.

Water access points and pipes in older properties can also be difficult to find and get to. For example, they could be located under parquet flooring, which would need to be removed to investigate the problem, which is an expensive operation.

So, what can homeowners do to manage the escape of water risk?

There are some simple precautionary measures that can be taken to significantly reduce the risks.

For example:

  • Understanding the layout of a property, including the locations of pipes and where water access points are on all floors.  This will make it easier to identify a leak early.
  • Turning the stop valve once every six months to prevent it seizing up.
  • If the property is likely to be unoccupied for long periods, in the winter months, it is recommended to keep it heated to at least 10ºC and to install lagging.
  • Ask a trusted neighbour to look out for leaks.
  • Smart technology can also help. A wide range of water leak detectors is now available, many of which can be linked to smartphones to warn homeowners if a leak is detected. Some can even connect to other household smart devices, for example to shut off the water supply in the event of a leak.

What do I do next?

See what our Private Client team can do for your domestic insurance arrangements by calling your usual Franklands contact.  Alternatively, let us know the renewal date of your current policy at highnetworth@franklands.co.uk.

Source:    https://www.directline.com/home-cover/cost-of-water-claims

https://www.abi.org.uk/news/news-articles/2017/11/water-pressure--tackling-the-rising-costs-of-escape-of-water-claims-must-be-a-key-priority-for-the-industry-says-the-abis-james-dalton/

Sign up for our newsletter

Get social

Quality insurance, expert advice - call us for your FREE no obligation review on

Tel: 01332 545720