Lifestyle Guides

What is escape of water?

So your pipes have burst, or there’s a leak in your kitchen ceiling from the bathroom upstairs. Don’t panic!


Escape of water is one of the most common claims made on an Admiral Home Insurance policy and our Claims Team has dealt with hundreds in 2019 so far.

This guide will help explain what our escape of water cover protects you against, what you should do if you spot escape of water and what happens after you’ve made a claim.

What's covered by escape of water cover?

All three of Admiral’s Home Insurance policies cover water escaping from:

  • Fixed water tanks
  • Water pipes
  • Fixed central heating units
  • Domestic appliances such as washing machines or dishwashers 

The common misconception about escape of water cover is that it will protect you against all water damage in your home. However, this isn’t the case; different parts of your policy will cover you for different types of damage and it’s important that you know the difference. Read your policy documents if you're ever unsure about what you're covered for.

I have a leak, what should I do?

If you suspect escape of water and it is safe to do so, you should:

  • Turn off the main water supply for your home to prevent further damage
  • Turn off the power and avoid electrical appliances. Get in touch with an electrician first if you have to stand in water to turn off the mains electricity
  • If you have Home Emergency Cover on your policy you can call our 24-hour Home Emergency Helpline on 0345 609 4375 and we'll find you a service provider
  • Take some photos of the damage

Once a plumber has assessed the damage and provided you with a report, give us a call to discuss your claim.

What happens next?

Damage varies from claim to claim but for more severe cases it normally involves three processes:

  • Cleaning and drying out - the affected areas could take several weeks to dry out. To speed up the drying process, give walls, floors and furniture enough space for air to circulate. Cleaners will also need to wash and disinfect every surface in your home including floors, walls and shelves once they are dry
  • Stripping out – affected furniture and fixtures will need to be stripped out and damaged plaster removed
  • Repairs – it may be some time before your house has dried out enough for you to start cosmetic repairs. Walls need to be fully dry before they can be re-plastered and redecorated

For smaller cases of escape of water damage, your property might just require the cleaning and drying out process.

If the damage is severe and needs building work, you can choose your own builder to carry out the repairs or we can give you a construction team. Getting your home back to normal after escape of water damage can take time, you may also need alternative accommodation during this process.

How to claim for water damage

If you’re insured with Admiral Home Insurance you should call 0333 220 2035. We are available 24 hours a day. You may have trace and access cover to source and fix the leak. Each insurer is different, so check your policy documents to see what applies to you.

Tips for keeping your home leak-free

Sometimes escape of water damage is unavoidable and even the best prevention methods will not always work.

  • Invest in a stud finder if you’re doing DIY. This will help you locate any pipes that may be hidden behind walls or floorboards
  • Keep your gutters and downspouts clean and clear
  • Wrap or ‘lag’ your pipes to help avoid frozen pipes
  • Know where your home’s stopcock is and how to switch it on and off
  • Install a flood detection device which will notify you of a leak
  • Keep the seals around the shower and bath well maintained

If you’re leaving your home unoccupied for more than five days between November and March, there are steps you can take to avoid burst pipes

  • Keep your home constantly heated to 12°c
  • Leave your loft hatch open if you have one
  • If you’re going away for a longer period, consider turning off your water supply and draining the system.
  • Each insurer is different, so check your policy documents to see what applies to you.

Home insurance and water damage


Common causes

A whopping 87% of all escape of water claims come from burst or leaking pipes.


Common causes

13% of escape of water claims come from faulty heating.


Common causes

15% of escape of water claims come from blocked drains and overflow damage.


Worst time of year for escape of water?

Whatever the time of year, you could be at risk of escape of water. The highest number of claims are during the autumn months at 35%.


Where do most claims happen?

East Midlands - 5%
East of England - 10%
London - 7%
North East - 5%
North West - 12%
South East - 13%
South West - 8%
West Midlands - 7%
Yorkshire and The Humber - 8%
Northern Ireland - 3%
Scotland - 17%
Wales - 6%


Common areas that spring a leak

The kitchen is the joint top room for the biggest number of escape of water claims at 20%.


Common areas that spring a leak

20% The family bathroom shares the top spot for most claims.


Common areas that spring a leak

Who would've thought it? Over 9% of escape of water claims are caused in the living room.


Common areas that spring a leak

Hallways and stairways make up 9% of escape of water claims.


Common areas that spring a leak

You never know where you might spring a leak with 6% of claims caused in the bedroom.

Source: Admiral Home Insurance Claims, October 2019 - October 2020

The easy way to manage your policy on the go