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Leaking pipes are top reason for home insurance claims

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Written by:
07/02/2013
Leaking water from pesky plumbing is the number one cause of home insurance claims, research has revealed.

The big freeze followed by a record wet winter has caused serious problems with homeowners’ pipework across the UK, according to Aviva.

Storm and accidental damage takes second place, while theft and fire lie in third and fourth position.

The insurer says while a leaking pipe could be a relatively minor issue, in comparison to fire and flood, it can ultimately cause a major problem which costs an average of £3,500.

At this time of year a frozen pipe in the loft can quickly become a burst pipe. This can cause water to gush through the house, ruining furnishings and belongings along the way and in some cases bringing ceilings down. For the homeowner this can mean months of disruption while their house is dried out and repaired.

Caroline Cooper, director of property claims at Aviva, said; “While freeze, floods and storm damage have hit the headlines in recent months and kept our claims teams busy, it’s no surprise to see that it’s the more normal everyday problems that can prompt most calls from customers. What can start as a small leak, or a frozen pipe, can lead to serious damage to ceilings, floors and your prized possessions if left un-checked or unnoticed over time.

“If you do find a leak then it’s worth getting it checked out by a plumber as soon as possible to prevent the problem getting any worse and, of course, ring your insurers who can fix any damage caused by leaking water.”

The data also shows that the under 25s are more at risk of accidentally damaging their belongings or having them stolen – with mobile phones, computers and cameras being the most likely to be damaged or taken. As people get older the risks, decrease with the over 65s the least likely to make a claim.

Cooper continued: “The data also highlights generational differences. With the younger age groups likely to have more of the latest gadgets, such as mobile phones, tablet computers and cameras, as well as a busy social life, there is increased risk of them being stolen or broken. At the opposite end of the generation gap the over 65s are likely to be more security conscious and take better care of their prized possessions.”

Top Home Insurance Claims
Most Common Claims (by frequency)

1. Escaping Water
2. Storm
3. Accidental Damage
4. Theft
5. Fire
6. Subsidence
7. Flood
8. Malicious Damage
9. Impact Damage
10. Freeze

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