UK experiences a flood of escape of water claims

Tuesday 1 February 2011

UK experiences a flood of escape of water claims

  • Average escape of water claim is £2,000
  • Larger, older properties more at risk

Whilst many of us are looking forward to Spring following the coldest December and earliest snowfall on record, spare a thought for those that didn’t escape the plummeting temperatures unscathed. Millions of homes have been damaged by water escaping from frozen pipes and heating systems which, if not identified early enough, could result in significant water damage. Contrary to popular belief, this problem isn’t restricted to Winter!

Whilst escape of water is particularly significant during the colder months, insurers have seen consistent increases in water related claims throughout recent years. Escape of water incidents in the home can come in all shapes and sizes with some posing an immediate threat to the occupier whilst others can go unnoticed for weeks or even months. A flood from a washing machine or a dishwasher in a kitchen can be spotted instantly and quickly resolved. However, a leak from a tap connection in a bathroom, or water tank in a loft can cause unseen damage for longer periods of time, and are often substantially more expensive to fix.

Ros Altmann, Director-General, Saga Group commented: “Escape of water claims can be a significant concern to homeowners and can often have an impact on insurance premiums. If homeowners take some simple measures like keeping the heating on low whilst on holiday to ensure pipes don’t freeze and ensuring somebody is checking their homes whilst they’re away, some of the more significant incidents could easily be prevented.

If you spot a leak in your property, it’s important to immediately cut off the water supply to the area before trying to assess whether to attempt some DIY. However sometimes us keen “DIY-ers” can often do more harm than good. Alternatively, call out a qualified plumber or make sure you have emergency cover with your Home Insurance that can offer peace of mind and adequate cover should it be necessary.”

How to prevent an escape of water

· If you’re planning a winter holiday and leaving the house empty, rather than turn the heating off completely, leave it on low and leave interior doors and loft hatch open so warm air can circulate through the house.

· Make sure that any water heating tanks in loft areas are drained down to a minimum level.

· Lag pipes that are susceptible to freezing, these can include interior pipes in lofts as well as exterior pipes.

· When laying insulation in lofts around pipes, lay it over, not under pipework.

· Make sure any old pipework that is susceptible to corroding is replaced.

· Make sure you know where the stopcock is in your property and how quickly water can be turned off should you need to.

· If pipes do burst, do not attempt to touch or fix any electrical appliance that may have been affected.


Editorial Notes:

Claims data from internal data, January 2011.

About Saga Home Insurance

Saga Home Insurance is designed for the over 50’s and provides buildings cover up to £500,000 and contents cover up to £50,000 as standard.

Saga’s wide–ranging cover includes:

· Cover for buildings insurance, up to £500,000 and contents insurance up to £50,000.

· New for old replacement of items if repair is not feasible, such as a broken mirror (including clothing and household linen with Cover Plus).

· Full protection when a home is unoccupied for up to 60 days in a row.

· 24 hour legal helpline.

* Discounts available

The 25% discount consists of an introductory, combined buildings and contents and online discount. In fact, 23% of customers achieved this discount in a survey of new business quotes, August 2010. Offer may be withdrawn at any time, is for the first year only and does not apply to our Saga Home Insurance TailorMade Policy.

Domestic Emergency provides cover for your household repairs and labour charges following unexpected emergencies involving heating, electricity supply, plumbing, drainage and damage to roofs through adverse weather or fallen trees. It also provides cover for permanently installed cooker/oven/hobs, alternative accommodation and the cost of removing rats or mice or the treatment and removal of wasps nests. With this option just a telephone call will see an approved tradesman dispatched to take care of the crisis quickly and efficiently, 365 days a year.

The information contained in our press releases is intended solely for journalists and should not be used by consumers to make financial decisions.

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