Water leak damage & Insurance Claim

Insurance claims for leaks and water damage.

You are welcome to ask us to review your policy as part of our leak detection process, the terms used are fairly common and we are pretty familiar with finding the bits you need in the policy documents.

About 95% of leak detection is carried out, as part of an insurance claim for water damage. Depending on the insurance company, we find that dealing with an insurance claim can seem to be worse than the leak!

Due to insurance companies often making errors in dealing with claims and either leaving customers without cover or under quoting works and costs, we recommend using an independent claims handler who acts in your best interests. We work with a number of companies who will deal with your insurance claim and undertake the restoration works.

We are not linked to them or recommend them for financial gain, but recommend the ones we refer to, for standing up for their customers.

In a similar manner to our ‘no find – no fee’ leak detection, the margin they make on the works negotiated allow them to provide this professional service at no charge to you. This ensures you receive what is required to return your home to the condition it was before the leak, without compromising the quality of work or materials. It greatly simplifies the process and provides independent assurance of the quantity and quality of works as they already have a pool of quality contractors.

Why allow an insurance policy costing a few hundred pounds to dictate what happens to your home worth hundreds of thousands?

If you have kids or grand children, I’m sure you have seen Disney’s ‘The Incredibles’, the video clip has some humor, but Disney’s writer of ‘The Incredibles’ must have worked in insurance, as the clips below show.

Writer of Disney's 'The Incredibles' must work in insurance!

Understanding the process

Normally a phone call is the first contact when making an insurance claim, we find this is often the point where confusing information is given and cause of most the future problems our customers experience.

1. Read your documents before contacting your insurance company

2. Understand what they will and will not cover before you call

3. When you call, take notes & refer to the relevant parts of your documents

Your insurance company will have an array of policies, what is covered in yours may not be available to the operative when you call; often they will err on the side of caution and tell you something is not covered that you later find is…

Understanding what is insured & where responsibility starts and stops.

While hopefully your insurance company will be sympathetic and helpful, we find that some people expect the insurance company to ‘take over’ and deal with everything for them. This is not normally the case, but they may send a ‘Loss adjuster’ to liaise with you, assess the damage and costing to repair.

To speed up getting a leak stopped and limit the damage, insurers normally expect you to deal with the leak and reimburse costs to you later. This gives you the time to fully investigate your options and take time to research your claim.

Before contacting your insurance company, read your documents.

If you cannot find them, look on your insurer’s website, if this is not possible, you can ask for a copy. It is best to deal with an insurance claim with your documents in front of you and having made yourself familiar with them.

Understand phrases referred to and what is relevant to you.

Your documents will have all sorts of information, most of this is not relevant to a water leak, and certain words and phrases are commonly referred to. It is important to understand how ‘escape of water’ and ‘trace and access’ interact.

An example would be a leak from pipes hidden in a concrete floor:

Escape of water cover would repair the damage this caused; however if there is no visible damage. Accessing the leak causes damage and escape of water would not strictly cover this, but trace and access would.

Repair

Almost exclusively, insurance will not pay for the repair to be carried out, this is considered to be maintenance of the property. This can sound bizarre when often it is nothing more than a small plumbing fitting than has failed. However it is logical when it could be a large value item such as a boiler at fault. However if a leak has caused rust to block a heat exchanger, then this could be considered as consequential loss from the leak.

Betterment

Your insurance company has a responsibility to return your property to the same condition as you enjoyed before the leak.

As new flooring and decoration will be ‘new’ this will often be ‘better’ than immediately before the leak occurred. However it will be the same materials as before, if you had vinyl flooring and emulsion walls then this is what will be restored; you cannot expect marble floors…

The reverse is also true; we have met clients with £10,000 solid parquet floors, who have been told they must accept £100 cheap laminate flooring as a replacement. This not the correct or fair as the ‘risk’ insured was parquet and not cheap laminate.

Common terms used:

    • Loss Adjuster – Assesses the scale, cause and validity of the claim
    • Risk – What is insured (your property)
    • Peril – Cause of the damage or loss (water)
    • Hazard – What has caused the damage or loss (e.g. split pipe)
    • Escape of water – Documents refer to a water leak as ‘escape of water’ and cover is for anything that this has damaged.
    • Trace & Access – Most policies now include ‘trace and access’ and this is usually about £5000. This covers finding the leak (trace), exposing the leak (access) and the cost of repairing the damage caused during access.

With just 1 call we can locate the leak and assist with your insurance.

We can attend and locate the leak, we then refer you to one of the claims handlers we work with who  will deal with your claim, attend the loss adjuster meetings and arrange the access and restoration works to be carried out.

Insurance_paperwork

Alternatively if you wish to deal with the insurance yourself, we will always provide what help we can, there are 8 common steps when you have a leak…

1. Read your documents before contacting your insurance company

This is vital as mistakes are often made on the phone by claim telephonists (such as suggesting there is no claim or that certain things are not covered).

2. Understand what they will and will not cover before you call

You need to find the relevant subsections and wording of the cover documents, such as your excess amount, escape of water cover and importantly ‘Trace & Access” cover.

3. When you call, take notes & refer to the relevant parts of your documents

To avoid the mistakes mentioned above, have your current documents to hand and refer to them, taking notes (i.e. name/date/time). If a mistake is made, you need to refer to the relevant subsection to explain where cover is in place.

4. Arrange leak detection

Insurance will normally ask you to locate the leak at this point. As the location is not yet known, the extent of the damage caused by the leak and what is required to access the leak cannot be calculated.

5. Arrange loss adjuster meeting

Often, the insurance company will send an ‘assessor’ instead, with little scope to settle the claim.

6. Check settlement scope is comprehensive enough

Does the scope include all the works required? We often find customers have a scope inadequate to dry and repair their homes.

7. Arrange 2 or 3 quotes

The insurance company will expect at least 2 quotes to cover the work required, they will chose the cheapest. You must make sure you are happy to have this contractor, if you have any doubts find another before you use their quote.

8. Check settlement amount is enough to cover repairs

You may find the amount being offered is less than the lower quote. Insurance companies have fixed costings that can be artificially low.

See What Our Customers Say About Us
M. O’Connor
Can I just say how impressed I have been by UK Leak Detection’s professionalism in dealing with a difficult problem ...
Rachel Sadler
The plumber that came out to me via the UK Leak Detection was a friendly, helpful and efficient person. Who ...
W Cannon
Thank you for being so quick and effective in resolving my recent leak, with the insurance refund it has cost ...
M. Bruce
You have saved the day, waking up cold with no hot water was no joke. You found our leak so ...
K. Dunning
Super job, I was at my wits end and about to fill the pool in for what was a simple ...
Stefan Sedgwick
We manage an International Arena in Sheffield, which houses an ice rink. We started to develop problems a couple of ...
Denise T.
Outstanding service, explained what they could do and how much it would cost when I booked. Arrived promptly and found ...
Diane K.
Very prompt response to our leak. Excellent service, very knowledgeable and full of ideas on how to rectify the problem. ...

Insurance provider

We provide prompt and accurate technical leak detection in an industry that often views insurance as the path to a ‘quick buck’. Unlike our competitors, we only get paid for performing successful leak detections* as an insurer you will only be forwarded our invoice by the policyholder after we have successfully found the problem.

Our ‘no find-no fee’ service removes the danger of paying for failed leak detection and our ‘Trace and Access’ invoices are always separated from repairs.

All our engineers are CRB checked and will arrive punctually and deal with your clients professionally in what is often a stressful situation for them.

Our non-destructive methods reduce restoration costs and considerably limit the need to relocate policyholders while works are carried out, while providing them with a better ‘insurance’ experience.

  • Improved customer experience that reflects positively on their insurance
  • No conflict of interest (we do not carry out drying or restoration works)
  • Photographic reports with damp readings, thermography as required
  • Full range of technical apparatus carried by ALL engineers
  • Prompt action taken by our experienced engineers
  • Mitigation measures provided where possible
  • All engineers are CRB checked
  • Non-destructive and accurate
  • Lower restoration costs