Escape of water claims costs are rising, costing the insurance industry £2.5 million every day, according to the ABI. The equivalent of 48 bath tubs of water can escape from a single pipe and the effects can be devastating.
A summer warning
We often think of escape of water as a winter issue, due to freezing conditions causing burst pipes. But Home & Legacy claims research shows that July & August are the biggest months for escape of water claims. This is due to customers going away during the summer months. As a result of the property not being occupied the severity of any water damage can increase significantly as leaks often go undetected for days, sometimes even weeks causing your client substantial costs.
So, we're reminding our brokers and customers of these facts now that summer holiday time is upon us. If you're going away, switch off the water supply!
Case study - Escape of water during unoccupancy
Our policyholders had returned home from a three week holiday to the sound of a hiss coming from the downstairs WC. They discovered water on the tiles. A copper pipe supplying the downstairs toilet had corroded, causing the leak. Initial assessment was that damage rectification would be straightforward because the downstairs was not completely flooded.
Strip out and drying works began and it soon became apparent that the problem had extended far beyond the WC.
Despite initial appearances, due to the water escaping over such a prolonged period, water had run under the flooring in the hallway and the living rooms, even into the kitchen, damaging the floor throughout. The plaster on the walls had also blown and the carcasses of the kitchen cabinets were also destroyed.
The family home had recently been redecorated. The policyholders now faced extensive disruption, with replacement flooring, plastering and further redecoration required in the entire downstairs of their house, as well as a replacement kitchen.
Remember - escape of water is made worse by unoccupancy, which makes it a year-round problem. Don't forget to switch off the water supply by simply turning the stopcock when you go away.