How to: prevent making an Escape of Water claim during the winter

Escape of Water losses are the most common type of property claims in the UK. We've got some advice to help prevent claims this winter...

We are fast approaching the time of year when we focus the majority of our attention on planning for the festive season ahead, or using up the last few days of our unallocated annual leave for Christmas shopping, or planning our next holiday to counteract the darkness that comes with the clocks turning back and the drop in temperatures. 

One thing that we often overlook is the potential impact of an escape of water (EOW) incident at our homes this time of year. To be frank we have much more interesting and fun things to think about!

The last thing we want, as and insurer, is for our customers to experience an escape of water claim, especially during the festive season, as inevitably it forces people out of their homes and into alternative accommodation. 

One thing is certain, as brokers you will speak to some clients this winter who will have firsthand experience of the disruptive nature of an EOW claim. It is worth remembering that the majority of the time all it takes is a simple risk management regime to prevent water leaks or identify them quickly before they escalate into something much worse.

Here is a list of simple measures we advise customers to take during the colder months in particular: 

  • Service boilers regularly via a qualified engineer
  • Maintain pipes and drains to avoid blockages
  • Replace washers to avoid dripping taps
  • Locate and test the stopcock regularly
  • Check the sealant around showers, baths and bathroom fittings
  • Check the hoses on domestic appliances as vibration can loosen connections
  • Check the overflows on toilets, sinks, baths, water tanks and central heating header tanks are working properly
  • Investigate signs of damp from appliances, radiators or pipework
  • Especially on colder days, keep heating on a constant low temperature to prevent pipes from freezing.

The most impactful water leaks are often those which are overlooked or unnoticed and build over a long period of time, or leaks which occur whilst people enjoy time away and leave the home unoccupied. We’ve had many unlucky customers call us shortly after returning home from a winter holiday to find their homes and contents unrecognisable following a significant water leak.

The likelihood of a water leak whilst the customer is away can be reduced by taking a few precautions:

  • Turn off the water supply when going on holiday
  • Turn off and drain the system at the mains for longer unoccupancy periods
  • Ask a friend or family member to check the property on a regular basis

Whilst we advocate customers following the above advice, sometimes claims will inevitably occur. In the event that the worst does happen and one of your customers does suffer an EOW, rest assured that we will put it right.




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