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Home insurance and its relevance to bathroom flooding

There are many reasons to take out home insurance but few are as important as covering your property against the risks of bathroom flooding.

Research by the AA for the winter of 2008-2009 found that there was a 450 per cent surge in home insurance claims relating to home floods caused by frozen pipes. In all, it estimates that around £40million in claims were lodged for flood-related damage such as ruined carpets and collapsed ceilings. Perhaps no room in the home is more prone to flooding than the bathroom – so how can you avoid claims and ensure you are well protected in case the worst happens to your bathroom?

Bathroom Flooding - How insurance can help

Home insurance is divided into two aspects – buildings insurance and contents insurance:

Buildings insurance: This covers the structure of the home as well as its permanent fixtures and fittings, and, depending on the policy may also incorporate underground pipes and cables, glass in doors and windows, and outbuildings. Typically it protects a property against risks including theft, fires, subsidence, storms, malicious damage and flooding.

Contents insurance: This protects the possessions in your home including electrical items, furniture, carpets, curtains and clothing. Typically these items will be protected against risks including fires, storms, flooding and theft on either a ‘new for old’ basis meaning the insurer grants a brand new replacement for damaged items; or on a ‘wear and tear’ basis in which a percentage of what you originally paid for an item is deducted for depreciation.

Bathroom Flooding – Buildings & Contents Insurance

When looking for suitable home insurance to protect against bathroom flooding you should consider taking out both buildings and contents insurance and pay close attention to the policy’s terms and conditions to ensure there are no caveats to the protection offered against flooding.

Bathroom Flooding - What to look out for in a home insurance policy

Most home insurance policies include some ‘exclusions’ – these are circumstances in which you are not covered. Some of the instances in which you may not be covered include:

During construction: Make sure you inform your home insurance provider before having any work carried out in your home as you may not be covered while major renovations take place.

Escape of water: This relates to burst domestic pipes, broken valves and joints, blocked drains and even taps that are left running. It usually refers to the accidental discharge or overflowing of water or steam from heating or air conditioning systems and plumbing; and can also include ‘rupture’ which is damaged caused by sudden and accidental bursting or cracking of a system. According to the Association of British Insurers, ‘escape of water’ was responsible for around £40million of claims in the first six weeks of 2009 alone. Due to the frequency of these claims, some home insurance companies began excluding ‘escape of water’ from their policies so check the terms and conditions carefully to ensure you are protected.

Negligence: You may not be protected against bathroom flooding if the insurance company deems you to have been negligent in some way. For example, if you have repeated leaks due to faulty pipes or systems that have not been installed or maintained properly you may not be covered. It is also your responsibility as the property owner to deal with issues such as corrosion and deterioration; and seepage, such as cracks in floors or walls.

Occupancy: If you plan to leave your home unoccupied for a period of time, check the policy’s terms and conditions. Typically you will not be covered against escape of water if your home is left unoccupied for more than 30 days (policies vary).

Sewer back-up: This is commonly excluded from home insurance policies so check the terms carefully.

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Bathroom Flooding Frozen Pipes Collapsed Ceilings. Home Insurance - Contents & Buildings Insurance Cover

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