Last updated: 11/08/2023 | Estimated Reading Time: 7 minutes
Most home insurance will cover water leak damage, whether caused by burst, frozen or weakened pipes. It’s typically described as ‘escape of water’ in your policy terms and conditions, so if you’re struggling to find mentions of leaks, look for this phrase instead.
But just because water leak damage is covered by your home insurance policy doesn’t mean that your claim will be successful. It’s important to follow a certain process when claiming on house insurance for water leak damage to give you the best chance of securing a payout.
In this guide, we’ll help you to understand what you need to do when you spot a leak and how to reach out to your insurer.
In This Guide:
- What Exactly is ‘Escape of Water’?
- How to Make a Successful Water Leak Insurance Claim
- Water Damage Insurance Claim Tips
- Claiming on House Insurance for Water Leak Damage the Easy Way
What Exactly is ‘Escape of Water’?
‘Escape of water’ essentially means any kind of leak that results in water being where it’s not supposed to be. Leaks are often the result of damage to pipes, but your water tank or an appliance like a fridge could also be the culprit. Leaks can vary in severity, with some of them causing very little disruption. Small leaks can easily be managed with a well-placed bucket until a repair man can come to take a look, while other larger leaks can be devastating. A burst pipe can quickly ruin furniture or dampen your walls, which is when you really need your home insurance to step in.
It’s worth noting that ‘escape of water’ usually refers to internal water sources rather than anything external, such as a flood or bad storm. To have this type of damage taken care of, you will need to check whether your home insurance policy covers natural disasters.
How to Make a Successful Water Leak Insurance Claim
For the best chance of securing a payment from your home insurance provider, you’ll need to act quickly and follow these steps carefully:
Emergency Damage Control
The first thing you need to do when you spot a leak is to take control of the situation. As mentioned above, this could be doing something as simple as placing a bucket under the leak or laying down some towels. However, if your leak is serious and causing a lot of damage, you may need to turn off your home’s water supply via a central stopcock. If you’re worried about the water getting into any electrical appliances or wiring, you should also unplug devices or turn off your electricity completely.
However, sometimes leaks aren’t obvious and it can be difficult to minimise their impact without having a specialist take a look. For example, if you’re noticing damp appearing across your walls, you may have a slow leak hidden somewhere in your home. In this case, you’ll need to call a professional as soon as you can to help you take back control.
Once you’ve taken steps to control your leak as much as you can, it’s time to put together a case for your insurance provider. The best way to do this is to take pictures and videos of your leak and any damage it has caused. Make sure you document damage to walls and floors as well as furniture and appliances. You may also need to keep taking photos as the leak progresses or after it has stopped, as mould can sometimes appear days later if your home is damp. Having photos of your home before the leak happened will also help to further your case.
Another type of evidence you may want to present are reports from professionals such as plumbers or builders. If you had to call someone to identify the cause of your leak, ask them for an official write-up on the problem to present to your insurer.
Get in Touch with Your Home Insurance Provider
Your home insurance provider needs to know about the leak as soon as you’ve gathered enough evidence to show them what’s happened. Rather than waiting until after the issue has been resolved, you should get in touch while the issue is ongoing to maximise your chances of receiving a payout. Read your policy documents carefully, as some home insurers may require you to consult them before booking extensive repairs or investigations. Booking a service that your home insurer doesn’t deem necessary can negate your claim and leave you with a hefty bill to foot yourself.
Trace and Access Investigation
It’s really important to book a professional trace and access investigation when you don’t know exactly where your leak is coming from. While it can be tempting to look into the problem yourself, leaks can be really hard to pin down and you may end up causing more harm by trying to reach the pipes you think are the problem. Water travels easily, so sometimes leaks originate in completely separate rooms from where the damage occurred.
A professional trace and access investigation will use techniques like thermal imaging and moisture surveys to assess where your leak is coming from. Most of their methods won’t be invasive, so your house can remain largely untouched until the leak is located.
Accommodate Your Loss Adjuster
Many home insurance companies will send a loss adjuster to your home to assess how much your claim is likely to cost. It’s important to cooperate with your loss adjuster, as they’ll be the person collecting all the evidence to support your case. Make sure you provide them with as much information as you can and remember that they’re not trying to trick you. While loss adjusters are usually sent by your insurance company, they don’t work for them directly, so their only interest is in making a fair assessment of the damage in your home.
Source Repair Quotes
More often than not, your home insurance provider will find a tradesman to complete the repairs on your home, but remember that you may have the option to find your own professional. Make sure you take some time to compare quotes and read reviews before making your final decision.
This part of the process will be referred to as reinstatement in your insurance terms and conditions. You’ll want to look out for any conditions your insurer has for the timeframe the work needs to be completed in and whether you will need to pay for the repairs or whether this transaction will be handled entirely by your provider.
Water Damage Insurance Claim Tips
To summarise, for the best chance of filing a successful water damage claim, you need to:
- Act fast! Get your leak under control as soon as possible
- Gather evidence and take lots of photos of any damage
- Call your home insurance provider to let them know what’s going on
- Identify the leak with a trace and access investigation
- Allow a loss adjuster to assess the damage
- Book your repairs and get ready to get back to normal
Claiming on House Insurance for Water Leak Damage the Easy Way
There are lots of different ways you could approach water leak damage, but the guide above is the easiest way to fast-track your return to normal life. Not only do these steps help you to minimise water damage in your home, but they also give you the best chance at securing a payout from your home insurance provider. Learn more about home insurance or get a quote for a new policy by getting in touch with our team here at Money Expert. We can help you better understand what home insurance could offer you or support you in your journey to find the right home insurance for your needs.