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Homeowners spend £850 on water damage caused by neighbours

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Written by: Christina Hoghton
10/05/2017
Each year people spend a combined total of £707m repairing damage caused by water leaking into their home from a neighbour’s property.

On average, each incident costs £858 to repair and in the last five years alone, over four million people across the UK (8%) have experienced damage to their property because of an escape of water from a neighbour’s home.

One in seven have had to fork out over £1,500 to repair the damage, while one in 20 have spent more than £2,000, according to Direct Line Home Insurance.

Damage is done

Unfortunately, the first time many are aware that their neighbour is having plumbing issues is the point when water starts leaking into their property (43%), often when it has already caused significant damage. In fact, people are more likely to be the one notifying their neighbour of the leak (29%) than being notified by their neighbour (8%).

Rebecca Clapham, head of household products at Direct Line, warned: “Water can cause significant amounts of damage to someone’s home. What looks like a fairly small amount can seep through floorboards, get behind tiles and cause thousands of pounds worth of damage to someone’s home. Identifying the source of the leak as quickly as possible is essential, but if you don’t know where it is, switching the water off is a good start.”

Clapham said given the high cost of water damage it is important people check that their buildings, or contents insurance policies provide them with sufficient cover.

“People need to take the time to understand what is and isn’t covered. If they are not happy with the level of protection, they should remember most insurers offer a cooling off period to allow customers to take time to read the small print after purchasing a policy,” she said.

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