What Are The Most Common Claims On Home Insurance?
Caeva O'Callaghan | January 4th, 2022
Here at QuoteMe.ie we’ve dealt with all sorts of claims – but what are the most common types of home insurance claims you might need to make?
Water damage is the most common house insurance claim in Ireland, by far. According to Aviva, one of Ireland’s largest insurers, escaping water and storm damage top the list of the ten most common claims against home insurance.
Ireland is a rainy, wet country – and this means a lot of home insurance claims relating to water. No matter if it’s rain, floods or leaky pipes, water is the number one cause of damage and subsequent claims in our country.
In this article, we’ll go over the following questions:
- Are frozen pipes covered by home insurance?
- I left my taps running – is this covered by home insurance?
- How can I protect my home from water damage?
Bear in mind, home insurance policies don’t always cover every type of leak or flood. Find out how you’re covered before you’re left high and dry.
Are frozen pipes covered by home insurance?
Yes, as long as you weren’t negligent in maintaining your pipework. Your home insurance policy will cover you if one of your pipes bursts and causes water damage in your home – in fact, this is one of the most common claims. However, as always, it’s best to prevent these kinds of accidents in the first place.
Water expands as it freezes. A lot of pressure can build up behind chunks of ice if a pipe is warm and cold in different places, causing pipes to split and burst. This is a big risk during winter, so keep taps dripping in very cold weather to prevent a potentially catastrophic claim. Drain water from outdoor taps and cover them with foam cladding (or that odd sock you can’t find the matching one for), and disconnect and put away hoses and sprinkler systems until summer. You should also make sure that you insulate water pipes that run through unheated areas of your home, such as the attic, cellar, or garage.
Paying for water lost through a burst pipe is no joke – especially if you have a water meter. There’s little worse than paying higher bills for water that did nothing but damage your home.
I left my taps running – is this covered by home insurance?
Yes, it is. Accidents happen – even insurance companies know this! Your home insurance will cover these kinds of domestic floods if you or the kids left the taps running.
Home insurers consider taps left on as flood damage, just like cases of natural flooding, even though you might personally be responsible. If your overflowing bathtub or sink is a result of negligence on your part, your insurance will cover you just like if it happened because of mechanical failure. After all, we’re all human.
If the tap’s only been running for a few minutes, your structure and possessions may be fine and a couple of hours with the mop will prevent having to make a claim. This would certainly work out to be more cost-effective for you, and prevent waiting weeks for a claim to be resolved.
But if the taps have been running for a couple of hours or more, you may have to say goodbye to your no-claims bonus. You’ll need to pay for ruined flooring, peeling wallpaper, new electrical wiring or equipment like dehumidifiers or carpet cleaners.
As always, if your property hasn’t been maintained properly, your insurer may reject your claim. So if your tap was faulty and kept running even though you switched it off, your claim would be invalid because you should have replaced that tap long ago.
How can I protect my home from water damage?
Maintaining your home to a good standard should decrease the risk of water damage. Insulate your pipes properly, take wintering precautions when the cold weather sets in such as leaving taps to drip and wrapping a sock around outside faucets, and generally keep everything in a good state of repair.
Flooding is a major risk in some parts of Ireland, and no matter how much you maintain your home it may still get flooded by outside forces. At certain times of year or during certain weather conditions, there are things you can do to protect your home.
Firstly, invest in some good sandbags. Placing these in doorways and around the perimeter of your home will stop most water from entering. Apply coatings and sealants to windows and doors, and maintain these regularly. Watertight seals will help stop water creeping in and doing more damage.
You might want to consider raising your electrical outlets and switches if you live in a flood prone area. If water reaches your electrics, it could be very costly to repair.
Checking your policy carefully will let you know if your flood-damaged contents are covered by your home insurance policy. Alternatively, you can get your broker to check your policy for you. Some policies only cover the structure of your property, and won’t replace your waterlogged belongings.
Worried about flooding in your area? Or considering adding flooding protection to your policy? Talk to us today, and we can arrange a competitive quote. Call us between 8.30am and 5.30pm Mon-Fri on 0818 224433 or 042 9359051.