Every home can fall victim to frozen or burst pipes and without insurance, even a small leak can be costly for homeowners to repair.
Escape of water refers to liquid that’s leaked from somewhere inside your home and caused damage.
That might be caused by:
When a pipe bursts, there are three typical costs that could arise from it:
Each of these costs will be covered by separate elements of your home insurance but you might not have cover for all three as standard features of your policy.
When you find home insurance quotes, read the policy documents to see what protection you'll have. A good insurance policy will cover you for:
Accidental damage that causes water escapes might not be covered as standard on your home insurance.
You can have accidental damage cover added to your policy, as an optional extra to cover you for things like accidentally drilling through a pipe, or an overflowing bath.
Claims relating to accidental damage from DIY projects can be a common area of insurance disputes, so make sure you read your documents and check any exclusions.
Your home insurance policy documents will tell you how you’ll be covered for escape of water and trace and access, as well as the excess you’ll have to pay if you need to make a claim.
Some policies state that only tradespeople appointed by your insurer can make repairs, so don’t arrange any work before checking your policy unless it’s an emergency. Otherwise your insurer might not pay out.
Some insurers may also charge a different excess to your standard policy excess for escape of water claims.
Provide details of the water damage and have your policy in front of you to refer to.
During the call note down the date and time, the name of the person you spoke to and what was said. Keep any letters you receive, and copies of letters you send.
If the location of the leak is unknown, and you have trace and access cover on your home policy, your insurer can arrange a plumber to find it.
Until the leak is found, your insurer can’t assess how much damage has been caused or the level of repairs needed.
Take photos and videos of the damage - you may be asked to provide evidence as part of your claim.
If you have to get any emergency repair work done, keep all the receipts.
Your insurer will send a loss adjuster to assess the damage and decide what repairs are necessary.
If you need alternative accommodation because your home is uninhabitable, this will be verified by the loss adjuster too.
Your insurer will either arrange for tradespeople to come and repair the damage, or it’ll pay out a settlement so that you can arrange the work yourself.
For the latter, your insurer will expect you to get at least two quotes for the work and is likely to choose the cheapest.
If the water damage occurs due to an overflowing bath or a drilled through pipe, you’ll only be covered if you have accidental damage insurance.
 Based on independent research by Consumer Intelligence during 1 February 2021 to 28 February 2021: 51% of consumers could achieve a saving of up to £104.90 with GoCompare buildings and contents insurance based on a comparison of 37 companies.
Page last reviewed: 15 June 2021