Escape of water is a very common home insurance claim. It is typically caused by a water leak, usually from a tank or burst pipe. These leaks can come from a home appliance, heating system or plumbing. So, what is covered, how can you protect your home and what can you do to avoid making a claim?
Understanding Escape of Water and Flooding
Flooding is the first thing that comes to mind when most people see a large volume of water in their homes. While their effects and results are similar, there is a difference between floods and escape of water. Flooding covers water that comes into the home from outside. This is typically caused by weather phenomena such as storms, but can it be caused by burst water mains or overflowing rivers.
As mentioned above, escape of water describes a phenomenon where the source of the water is internal. The damage done by both can be significant, leading to considerable repair costs. This is why it is so important to have the right home insurance.
What Does Insurance Cover?
This is where things can get confusing because different insurance providers cover one or both. Depending on the provider you go with, you can protect the building, and the contents in your home from escape of water, flooding or both.
Knowing what is covered and which insurance provider will cover both requires a bit of research. Comparing different home insurance providers should let you know what they cover. You can use a comparison website to get affordable home insurance quotes that cover everything you need to be covered. An insurance comparison website will help you save a lot of time and money while ensuring you get enough of the right type of coverage.
Your home insurance provider might also provide additional coverage. For example, some will cover the escape of water caused by a pipe that burst due to freezing temperatures, damage to houses and costs involved with finding the source of a leak. Some will also bundle in home emergency cover. These are costs associated with labour and repairs associated with the escape of water. Some will also cover hotel stays if you are forced to leave the home to allow for proper repairs to be completed.
What Is Not Covered by Home Insurance?
Coverage for flooding is straightforward, but coverage for damage caused by leaking pipes, tanks, home appliances and others can be complicated. For example, insurance providers will not cover damage caused by wear and tear, poor workmanship and repairs or damage you did when repairing or remodelling the home yourself. You might be covered for the last one if you informed the insurance provider before going ahead, but that differs between providers.
Most home insurance providers will not cover damage that happened when a home was left unoccupied for 60 straight days. The reasoning is that the damage might have got worse since it was left to sit for too long, and you would have informed the insurance provider earlier if you had not left your home for that long.
Lastly, escape of water caused by sources that are not fixed is not covered. For example, you will not get compensation or help if you spill a large volume of water from a bucket or other similar source.
Preventing Damage Caused by Escape of Water
Your insurance provider expects that you take reasonable actions to prevent damage caused by escape of water. The insurance provider might refuse your claim if you do not demonstrate that you took some action after the damage started.
Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to prevent water damage. The most obvious is keeping an eye out for its signs. For example, you might notice dark brown patches on your ceiling which is a visible sign of a leak. Next, check for damaged, missing or cracked tiles, or missing grout and sealant. All these can cause water to seep into the underlying structure thereby causing damage.
Also, consider getting a contractor to install a leak detector. These devices monitor water usage and will shut it off if they detect a leak. You should also know where all your water valves are located so you can shut them off in case of a leak.
Never leave taps unattended and always check they are closed before leaving. If you have to do some work in the home, use a pipe detector or similar device to avoid drilling into a pipe. You can also get a contractor to do the job for you or to map out where all the pipes are to minimise the chances of anyone hitting them.
Escape of water is surprisingly common, and it can do a lot of damage. While insurance can help, it is better to minimise its chances of happening. Also, ensure you know what is covered so you can make a successful claim should something go wrong.