Water leaks are quite common. Sometimes they’re so minor that you barely notice them.
Contrarily, sometimes they’re very extreme and large-scale to the extent that one considers claiming on their house insurance due to the damage caused.
If that’s your case and you don’t know where to start, continue reading for a detailed overview of how to make a successful water leak insurance claim.
When Should I Make a Water Leak Insurance Claim?
Understandably, not every water leak will lead to an insurance claim. So, what exactly draws the line between whether you should or shouldn’t make a water leak insurance claim? There are a few factors to guide you, including:
- The scale of the water leak and the resulting damage incurred
- Your no-claims bonus terms
- Whether you will have to pay excess insurance if you’ve exhausted your limit
To illustrate, a minor faucet leak or a tiny pipe leak aren’t worth pursuing an insurance claim, since you’ll probably end up paying more than if you were to fix it through outsourcing a plumber.
That’s especially true if your insurance involves high excess payments or if you’ll be putting your no-claims bonus at risk.
By all means, we’re not implying that you should avoid insurance claims altogether or that minor leaks can be inexpensive. In the end, it all comes down to your sense of experience and your analysis of the situation.
Over time, we’ve come across cases where a bathroom leak was just that — a leak, yet we’ve also seen the same leak causing significant damage to floorboards and even electrical circuits.
What if you’re unsure? No worries! Our leak detection and repair specialists can provide you with a damage assessment caused by your leak. Just reach out!
The Process of Making a Water Leak Insurance Claim
If you’ve received the necessary assessment or you already know for a fact that you must make an insurance claim, the first thing you need to do is not to wait.
You’d be surprised at how many home insurance providers reject or challenge water leak insurance claims just because they weren’t reported instantly. Even a few days is too long. Report it as soon as it happens!
What exactly needs to be done, though? Here are the steps:
Documentation Is Crucial
Document every single aspect of your claim. The tiniest of details matter, even the ones you think don’t.
Create a file and note down the details of the leak as well as the damage to your home. If possible, accompany the descriptions with photos, phone logs to validate your calls to the insurer, and screenshots of email communication for convenience.
Pinpoint the Source of the Leak
You can’t fix what you don’t know is broken, right? You need to identify the exact source of the water leak to be able to repair it.
Sometimes, the source of the leak is right where you wouldn’t expect it, like behind a wall, under the floor, or similar. Make sure you trace the source before the repairing process begins.
Over time, we’ve come across home insurance policies that include “Trace and Access” coverage, which means if you seek a specialist to trace the source of the water leak, you can reclaim the cost of that service. Double-check to see if that’s your case.
Start Repairing the Water Leak
Just like how quick the reporting process needs to be, so does the repairing! You must repair the water leak at the soonest because the longer you leave it, the more damage it will cause.
Not to mention, your home insurance provider will ask you to corroborate that you have taken every step needed to minimise the damage caused by the water leak.
Does repairing the leak guarantee compensation?
In most cases, insurers cover the cost of repairing the water leak. However, others tend to compensate you for the damage the water leak caused to your home, rather than the repair.
Settle on the Cost of Repairs
This is a relatively challenging part. Here’s where you have to reach a mutual agreement with your insurer on the cost of repairing the damage to your home.
It’s common practice for insurers to request that you provide them with quotations from several companies to repair the damage. Do that, but make sure to save the quotes you collect.
On the other hand, some suggest specific companies to choose from or send a representative, called a loss adjuster, to assess the damage and ensure that your insurer won’t end up paying more than they should and that the repairs are within the context of your claim.
Reminder: this is exactly where your documentation will come in handy!
Either way, as long as the cost is more or less the same with minimal variances among the companies, choose the company you feel is most qualified.
Fixing the House Damage
Once you reach an agreement concerning costs, you can finally proceed with repairing the damages. While this may seem like the end of the road, it isn’t.
Again, make sure you add to your documentation file as the process continues. Keep a record of the repairing process, take photos (if possible), and save any communications with your repair company.
Finalising the Process
Once the damage is fully repaired, you’ll need to sign some paperwork to confirm your satisfaction with the repairs and that the claim can be settled or closed.
Your insurer then coordinates the payment, either to you or to the company itself. If it’s to you, you’ll be in charge of promptly transferring the money to the repair company.
Can My Insurance Claim Be Challenged?
It’s highly unlikely. Water leak insurance claims are among the most seamless ones to go through.
However, around 10% are challenged by home insurance providers. Out of our experience, here are some of the common stumbling blocks that create space for insurers to challenge your claim:
As we’ve stressed, as soon as a major water leak happens, you need to act quickly and report it immediately! Delays are among the most common reasons for rejecting insurance claims.
Insurers go the extra mile to verify that you have swiftly responded not only in reporting the claim but in minimising the damage caused to your home, too.
Sometimes, the water leak is a result of negligence. Many leaks can be prevented if the appropriate measures are taken. For instance, a leaking bath due to a missing bath seal is sufficient reason for your insurer to challenge your insurance claim.
Accordingly, make sure your windows, central heating system, roof are consistently maintained, appliances and connections are operating well, bath seals are in place, and similar.
What Won’t My Insurance Claim Cover?
An insurance claim doesn’t cover everything you ‘claim’ happened. Some conditions don’t fall under the claim, which we’ll highlight below.
General Damage to Your Home
If the damage to your home wasn’t caused by the water leak, you can’t claim for a repair.
Your home insurance provider will only cover the charges for restoring your home to its state before the water leak, but not to its original condition when you first moved into the house.
Wear and Tear Occurrence
Items have their lifecycle, just like anything in the world. If you’re claiming to repair a product that suffered from general wear and tear, your claim won’t be successful.
There has to be a documented, specific incident that led to the water leak. For instance, if a tile has been damaged by the weather, which is a natural occurrence, you can’t claim to maintain it.
More often than not, blocked drains are a result of failure to care for them properly. They’re commonly used for disposal of items that shouldn’t be disposed of through them, resulting in their blockage.
That’s why your insurer will anticipatedly not compensate you for your blocked drains.
Sometimes, individuals claim compensation for the time consumption that the process of the insurance claim takes. While it’s true that the duration can be lengthy, it’s nearly impossible to receive compensation for your time.
In that case, you may consider hiring a repair company with water damage repair expertise.
Making a successful water leak insurance claim in the UK is a rather straightforward process.
All it takes is showcasing that the situation was absolutely out of your hands and that you took swift action when the water leak occurred
Documenting every step of the process, timely communicating with your insurer, and being open to mutual cost agreements will undoubtedly make for a hassle-free process and quick resolve.
In case you are facing any challenges, feel free to reach out to us. Our team of experts can absolutely help you!