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Don’t water down your home protection – how to prevent the escape of water

Don’t water down your home protection – how to prevent the escape of water


When it comes to nightmare scenarios in the home, water escaping from burst pipes and faulty appliances are certainly up there.

Ceilings might collapse, floors warp and electrics blow. And worse case ‐ a property may become too unsafe to stay in.  These problems can cause major disruptions to your day to day life and are normally quite expensive to put right. The most recent figures from the Association of British Insurers show the average insurance claim for an escape of water is £2,6381.*

Of course, most homeowners would prefer to avoid the stress and hassle of having to claim in the first place. The good news is that water damage is often preventable ‐ here’s what you can do:


Know your enemy ‐ the most common causes of water damage to the home

To reduce the chances of it happening, it’s useful to understand the causes. For instance, last year we found that 93% of our customers’ claims for water associated damage were due to burst or leaking pipes.**

Other common causes include:

  • A faulty appliance such as a washing machine, dishwasher or fridge
  • Old, corroded or disconnected pipes
  • Poor workmanship
  • Blocked pipes and drains


Prevention is key – here’s what you can do

There are a number of ways you can help prevent the escape of water into your home:

Lag pipes and water tanks – insulate pipes to stop them freezing in cold weather in lofts, basements and outside spaces. For guidance on lagging your pipes take a look at our ‘how to’ video.

Upgrade old fittings – old joint fittings on pipes that allow the flow of water can corrode, split and leak.

Install water leak detectors – the best ‘smart’ leak detectors can automatically cut off a home’s main water source, shut down boilers and alert you over moisture build up.

Maintain bathroom seals – slow leaks into walls and floors around showers and baths can cause major long‐term problems, including damp and even subsidence.

Check for low water pressure – if you’re constantly having to top up the water pressure in your boiler, it could be a sign of a leak.


It’s important to take swift action if you find a serious escape of water ‐ here’s what you can do

Turn off the water supply into your home – this is usually via your home’s stopcock.

Shut down your boiler ‐ doing so prevents water from continuing to pump around the central heating system and stems the leak.

Turn off the electricity supply ‐ it’s important to get an electrician in if you suspect live electrical wires are in contact with any water.

Open all the taps in the house to drain the system – this helps prevent further damage.

Get in touch with your insurer – here at Policy Expert we want to help you get your home back on track as soon as possible.


Policy Expert

Being the number 1 rated UK home insurance provider on Review Centre it goes without saying that our customers come first. If you have any questions or you’d like to learn more about your cover, we’d be delighted to help. There are a number of ways you can get in touch.


*Data from, November 2017

** Policy Expert, internal data 2019


Published 28th January 2020