What is escape of water?

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

leaky tap

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 2016 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?

All three levels of Admiral Home Insurance 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 are ever unsure about what you are 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 0800 6523 117 and we will be able to find you a suitable service provider
  • Take some photos of the damage

Once a plumber has assessed the damage and provided you with a plumber's 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 dr

  • 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 requires building work you can choose your own builder to carry out the repairs or we can provide a construction team for you, but getting your home back to normal after escape of water damage can take time. You may also need to seek 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. 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.

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