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Last updated: 23/07/2020 | Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutes

Trace and access cover

Not many people have heard of trace and access cover, so you’d be forgiven for assuming that it can’t be as important as other types of insurance. However, trace and access cover could prove to be a very shrewd investment in the event of water leak in your home or on your property.

In our guide, we’ll be explaining what exactly trace and access cover is, why you might need it, and what you need to think about when taking out a policy.

In This Guide:

What is trace and access cover?

Trace and access cover relates to water leaks in your home and the damage that can be caused by them. You may not have given it much thought, but tracing a leak in your home can be a very disruptive and damaging process, as well as being quite expensive too. With trace and access cover, not only can you handle a water leak quickly, but you can cover further damage being done to your home as a result of the leak.

These types of policy typically give you protection from the plumbing costs associated with a water leak in your home, as well as any repairs that need to be done as a result.

Do I need a trace and access cover policy?

Having an unidentified leak in the house isn’t uncommon. The Association of British Insurers (ABI) figures show a total of £1.8 million being paid out by insurers every single day for damage caused by water leaks, or ‘escape of water’ as it’s called by the industry.

Think about how expensive and disruptive a water leak would be to you and your home. Is this something that you could comfortably handle? Or would it be a good idea to take out an insurance policy to give you the peace of mind that if the worst does happen, it’ll be taken care of.

Is there anything that trace and access insurance doesn’t cover?

There are some cases in which your specific kind of leak isn’t covered by a particular insurance policy. Examples of these kinds of exclusions include leaks caused from a lack of maintenance, or leaks as a result of a damp proof course having failed.

Even though you may not be covered for the damage incurred by fixing such water leaks, you may still be covered by your policy for the cost of the plumber’s investigative work to get to the root of the problem.

Does trace and access insurance come as standard?

Trace and access cover doesn’t typically come as standard. Sometimes trace and access is included in home insurance policies, sometimes it isn’t.

This is why it’s important for you to check your home insurance policy documents and wording to see if your existing insurance covers trace and access, and if it does, what exclusions or limits there are. Typical limits for this type of cover are in the range of £5000 to £10,000.

You don’t want to find out that your policy doesn’t cover you after the leak has already happened, so it’s best to check beforehand.

What about underground pipes?

Many people are unaware of the fact that they are responsible for any pipes that run underneath their land. This includes electricity and TV cables, as well as gas, water, and sewage pipes.

If you do come across a leak on your property, your trace and access policy should cover the costs incurred in having a plumber come around to identify the source of the problem.

You’ll need to read the fine print of your policy carefully to see what exactly is covered by your insurer when it comes to cables, pipes and drains. If you have a damaged pipe, you may find that your insurer does provide cover for damage to pipes if the damage is caused by tree roots.

What should I do if I have trace and access cover and I find a leak?

If you find that water is leaking in your home the first thing you need to do is contact your insurer. Ask them to advise you on what you need to do, and make sure you follow their instructions so that you don’t inadvertently do something that causes further problems.

Insurers will usually send out an approved tradesman to your home in order to trace and isolate the leak and to prevent further damage.

You’ll need to keep as much information as possible to use as evidence when you make a claim on your policy. So take any photos of the damage caused, keep receipts, and do everything else that your insurer advises so that you can make your claim without a hitch.

It’s worth remembering that it’s your home insurance policy that will cover the damage caused by the leak itself, not your trace and access policy. Your trace and access policy will pay for the damage caused by the plumber in trying to discern the source of the leak, as well as the cost of their labour.