How The Right Plumbing System Could Help You Cut Your Home Insurance Premium
Caeva O'Callaghan | January 29th, 2020
Plumbing systems don’t affect your BER rating, but home insurance companies still want to know what’s lurking behind your walls and inside your pipes. Why is that?
As it turns out, your plumbing is one of the most likely causes of a disaster in the home. Leaky pipes, water damage, flooding – all of it can be compensated for by insurance companies. So, before they give you a quote, they want to know what they’re dealing with.
In this article, we’ll take a look at:
- What’s the best house plumbing system for me?
- Will plumbing affect my home insurance?
- Why do home insurance companies want to know about my plumbing?
Ripping out your entire system and starting anew isn’t always a feasible option. In this article, you’ll find tips on optimising your existing plumbing to lower your home insurance.
Types of plumbing systems
The cost of your home insurance will take into account the kind of plumbing you have. It’s important to know what system you’re using before you begin to make modifications. You’ll have two systems – for hot, and cold.
Direct water system
This plumbing system brings cold water in from outside and distributes it around your house. This feeds cold taps in the kitchen and bathroom, and sometimes (but not always) a cold water storage tank in your attic.
Direct systems have high pressure from the mains. Great for power showers, but this can lead to “water hammer”. That banging you hear is the pipes rattling in the walls, and against each other. This can lead to leaks, burst pipes, and a higher cost of home insurance.
Indirect water system
Only the kitchen cold water tap and the cold water storage tank are fed by the mains. Other outlets are then fed by gravity from your cold water storage tank in the attic.
Indirect systems have disadvantages. The tank takes up space and as it contains standing water, may not be 100% safe to drink from. But they give you a reserve if the water is ever shut off, which means in cold weather you can easily stop pipes from freezing.
Types of fuel
What fuel you use to power the heating source for your plumbing will greatly impact your home insurance. Put simply, some fuel is more dangerous than others.
Got oil? Old tanks can leak into the soil and concrete floors and foundations. This is a disaster not only for your garden and the environment, but also for your home insurance. Oil spills are no joke, and lead to very large claims. All contaminated soil must be removed, including excavating under the house and rebuilding from the ground up.
Solid fuel is good for the environment, as long as the wood you use is from a sustainable source. Natural gas and electricity are safer options, but your house may not be connected to the mains gas network.
Biggest risks – and how to avoid them
According to Claims.ie, pipes and plumbing are the biggest causes of insurance headaches in Irish households. Escaping water and leaky systems top the list, ranking higher than water damage from storms, subsidence or even natural floods.
In cold weather, the water inside pipes can freeze. When the ice expands, this can lead to burst pipes, which you may not notice until it’s too late. Always lag (insulate) pipes in the attic where it’s colder, and in very cold weather turn all taps on just enough to drip. This keeps water flowing through pipes, and less likely to freeze.
If water hammering already gives you a headache, it may be time to update your system before the headache turns into a nightmare. High-pressure systems can lead to pipe bursts, so consider switching to an indirect system if it’s a big problem.
Plumbing and home insurance
Always tell your home insurance broker about any changes you plan to make to your home and what the potential impact has on your insurance. Also, ask their advice: they’ve seen it all before, and your broker will be able to give you professional advice to keep your home insurance premiums to a minimum.
Also, bear in mind that for older homes that were built before 1920, some insurers may insist that the house has been re-roofed, rewired and re-plumbed in the past 30 years before insuring the property.
Talk to the team at QuoteMe.ie with any of your House Insurance questions.
One of the key benefits of using the services of an insurance broker for your home insurance is that you can ask us any questions you have regarding your home insurance policies and get immediate expert advice from an independent trained professional. So, if you have any queries regarding your heating or plumbing systems and how they may affect your home insurance, please call us on 0818 224433 or 042 9359051.
You can also get a home insurance quote with us directly online. We compare the market to get you the right cover for your individual circumstances. We look forward to hearing from you soon.