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There she blows! Water woes cost homeowners

18th September 2012 Print

Almost half of Saga Home Insurance customers say that their biggest concerns in the home are fire (24%) and burglary (23%). But when it comes to incidents in the home it is in fact leaky pipes or burst tanks that should set hearts pounding.

One in six home insurance claims are for damage caused by the escape of water, but only 9% of over 10,000 over 50s surveyed said it was their biggest concern. Claims for fire account for just 2% and claims for theft are 11% of all home insurance claims.

Escape of water claims are one of the most costly claims and actually make up a quarter (25%) of the cost of all home insurance claims, more than any other claim type. On average, water leaks cost £1,347.80 to repair but can reach a whopping £100,000.

People living in London are the most likely to make a claim for the escape of water. In fact, they are 80% more likely to make a claim than the North East - the place least likely to make a claim for the escape of water.

Nowadays, many homes have two toilets, an en-suite as well as a family bathroom and a string of domestic appliances such as washing machines and dishwashers all hooked up to the water supply.

Roger Ramsden, chief executive, Saga Services commented: "Prevention is always better than cure and it's particularly important for people to maintain their homes in the run up to winter which is when many of these claims occur as they may have to prepare the Christmas dinner in a dressing gown and wellie boots."

Escape of water claims can occur all year round, however they are almost twice as likely to happen during the winter months as the summer and also cost more to repair. In fact, claims made during the winter cost three and half times more than claims made during the summer and some could be prevented by preparing the home for the winter.

Saga offers the following tips on how to prevent the escape of water:

know the location of your stopcock;

check insulation on water pipes and tanks and be sure to remember about pipes outside and in the loft;

check radiator valves, overflows on toilets, water tanks and central heating tanks for leaks regularly;

replace loose or damaged sealant around bath and shower fittings;

don't leave dripping taps dripping. Replace washers immediately;

pull out large appliances regularly to check the plumbing connections ;

repair damaged gutters and keep them clear;

get damp patches checked as there could be a gradual leak; and, consider fitting a device to detect water leaks.