If burst pipes in a cold snap cause a leak somewhere unexpected in your house or you notice a discoloured area on your wall or bubbled paint work, you'll want to know the cause and fix the issue quickly to save any more damage. That’s where trace and access cover comes in.
Trace and access cover may be part of your home insurance building policy. This means if damage from a leak appears in your home, you can call in a specialist to find the source and the trace and access costs will be covered, up to the sum you’ve insured and subject to excess. Some insurers pay for the actual repair of the leaking pipes as part of this cover, but not all will.
With Saga buildings insurance, trace and access cover also includes the costs of reinstatement, which means putting back any walls, floor or ceilings that needed to be removed to get the problem fixed.
If you notice water or oil where it shouldn’t be in your home, it can be hard to know if you have a small problem on your hands, or something worse. While some leaks are easy to find and fix, trying to identify the source of others can be more difficult, time-consuming and expensive.
If you have trace and access cover in place, you can work with your insurance company to get specialist help to find the leak and repair the underlying issues without causing more damage.
Without trace and access cover, costs can quickly mount up and leave you seriously out of pocket.
Trace and access cover is included in Saga Plus policies and will cover up to the sum insured, and for Saga Select policies we will pay up to £5,000.
Within these sums insured, Saga Buildings Insurance covers tracing water leaks or oil leaks in your home and fixing them, even if it’s caused by wear and tear. That's why on our policies, we actually call this feature Trace, Access & Repair - because we don't just find the leak, we also fix it.
If the leaking water or oil has caused further damage to your buildings or contents, you'll also be covered for that damage under the Escape of Water section of your policy, which all Saga policies include as standard.
We won’t cover the costs if your home was unfurnished or unoccupied at the time of damage.
Trace and access is for finding the source of water or oil damage, which means if there's no actual damage, the cover doesn't apply as this would be considered general maintenance instead.
And we can’t provide trace and access cover for leaks caused by subsidence, ground heave, settlement or landslip. Or repair to underground services, including broken clay pipes or collapsed pitch-fibre drains that are a result of wear and tear. However, you may still be covered by your buildings policy’s accidental damage to underground services.
Check your policy schedule and policy book for a full description of exclusions in your policy.
No. However, we do cover accidental damage to underground services (including pipes) within the Saga buildings policy, so you may still be able to claim if there's a problem.
When you find a leak you should take action straight away to limit the damage:
Then you need to contact us straight away with details of your trace and access home insurance policy so that we can help you.
You'll find the number you need for your buildings underwriter in your policy documents. You can use this to get in touch about trace and access leak detection.
We’ll send in a specialist to make an initial assessment and estimate the work that needs doing. Then we’ll give you the go ahead to have the leak trace work done, so you can get the issue resolved and get back to normal.
Keeping your house maintained and in good condition is all part of the job of being a homeowner. If you want to reduce the chances of a leak causing you a problem in your home, think about taking these steps:
Check taps, toilets, sinks and baths and keep them well-maintained.
Know where your stopcocks are – inside and outside your home – and be ready to use them to cut off the water supply in an emergency.
Check your pipes regularly where you have appliances fitted, looking for any drips or leaks.
Lag all the water pipes and tanks that you can get to, not forgetting the loft.
Don’t drill into the walls without knowing where the water pipes are.
If your pipes do freeze, turn the water off at the mains and thaw them out slowly using hot water bottles.
If you leave your house empty for any length of time, close the water supply off before you go.
Staying alert to potential issues means you’re less likely to find any nasty surprises – and if you do, you can use your trace and access cover to find a quick solution.
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