Research by Saga Home Insurance shows that almost half say that their biggest concerns in the home are fire (24%) and burglary (23%). But when it comes to incidents in the home it is in fact leaky pipes or burst tanks that should set hearts pounding.
One in six home* insurance claims are for damage caused by the escape of water, but only 9%** of over 10,000 over 50s surveyed said it was their biggest concern. Claims for fire account for just 2% and claims for theft are 11% of all home insurance claims.
Escape of water claims are one of the most costly claims and actually make up a quarter (25%) of the cost of all home insurance claims, more than any other claim type. On average, water leaks cost £1,347.80 to repair but can reach a whopping £100,000.
People living in London are the most likely to make a claim for the escape of water. In fact, they are 80% more likely to make a claim than the North East – the place least likely to make a claim for the escape of water.
Nowadays, many homes have two toilets, an en-suite as well as a family bathroom and a string of domestic appliances such as washing machines and dishwashers all hooked up to the water supply.
Roger Ramsden, chief executive, Saga Services commented: “Prevention is always better than cure and it’s particularly important for people to maintain their homes in the run up to winter which is when many of these claims occur as they may have to prepare the Christmas dinner in a dressing gown and wellie boots.”
Escape of water claims can occur all year round, however they are almost twice as likely to happen during the winter months as the summer and also cost more to repair. In fact, claims made during the winter cost three and half times more than claims made during the summer and some could be prevented by preparing the home for the winter.
Saga offers the following tips on how to prevent the escape of water:
• know the location of your stopcock;
• check insulation on water pipes and tanks and be sure to remember about pipes outside and in the loft;
• check radiator valves, overflows on toilets, water tanks and central heating tanks for leaks regularly;
• replace loose or damaged sealant around bath and shower fittings;
• don’t leave dripping taps dripping. Replace washers immediately;
• pull out large appliances regularly to check the plumbing connections ;
• repair damaged gutters and keep them clear;
• get damp patches checked as there could be a gradual leak; and,
• consider fitting a device to detect water leaks.
Notes to Editors
• *Data is based on Saga Home Insurance customers between January 2011 and July 2012
• **Populus interviewed 10,203 Saga customers, all aged 50 and over, online between 29th and 31st August 2012. Populus is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules.
• The table below shows the most common home insurance claims and the average cost for each:
|Top five causes for household claims
||Number of Home Insurance claims (%)
||Average cost of a claim |
|Escape of water
||Least Likely |
|To have no concerns regarding an incident in the home
|| North East (33%)
||London (20%) |
| To worry about escape of water
||North East (7%) |
| To worry about fire
||North East (18%) |
|To worry about burglary
||West Midlands (28%)
||(%) More likely than average to make an escape of water claim |
|Kent, Hampshire and Sussex
||(%) Less likely than average to make an escape of water claim |
| North East and Cumbria
|West and Midlands
||Problem most feared by over 50s
||Problem most experienced by over 50s |
|Escape of Water
Saga Home Insurance
• Saga Home Insurance is designed for the over 50s and provides:
• Up to a 25% discount when people buy a combined buildings and contents policy online **
• Up to £500,000 buildings and up to £50,000 contents cover as standard
• Higher levels of cover available through the Saga Home Insurance TailorMade policy
• New for old replacement of contents
• Full protection when home is unoccupied for up to 60 days in a row.
** 70% of people taking buildings and contents cover would have received an introductory, combined and online discount of at least 25%. Saga survey of new business January 2012.