Households are being pressured to purchase additional water leak coverage, despite the fact that most are already protected by their home insurance policies.
Several major water companies are now advertising for online customer insurers that provide emergency plumbing and sewerage services.
Some even send homeowners several letters that sound urgent and promote third-party providers.
Needless: Many who sign up for leakage coverage may find themselves paying twice for the same coverage because their home insurance offers nearly identical protection
These warn households that they are responsible for repairs to water pipes on their properties and could face huge bills of up to £548 if they don’t take out insurance.
Companies also lure customers with tempting discounts, meaning policies cost just 75p per month for the first year.
But customers who fail to cancel their policies later face a bill shock as prices could rise by more than 1,670 percent when the introductory offer ends.
And many who sign up may find themselves paying twice for the same coverage because their home insurance offers nearly identical protection.
Our findings come as water companies face heavy criticism for failing to fix their own leaks. It is estimated that providers in England and Wales lost more than 1 trillion liters of water due to leaky pipes last year, says water regulator Ofwat.
Most suppliers, including Affinity Water and Southern Water, work with third-party insurer HomeServe, which has 1.5 million customers in the UK.
A letter to Southern Water customers, seen by Money Mail, claimed HomeServe would fix any problems, “which is reassuring when you consider that without protection, it could cost £548 to locate, excavate and repair a water main.” to repair. supply leak and £296 to unclog your private drains’.
Walks: Companies lure customers with discounts, meaning policies cost as little as 75 cents a month for the first year, but prices can rise by more than 1,670% when the introductory offer ends
A Money Mail reader says, “I’ve received several letters from my water supplier in conjunction with HomeServe. The last came in August.’
But while the company has an attractive offer of just £9 for the first year, this rises to £159.84 on renewal unless you unsubscribe.
And letters don’t remind customers until halfway through the second page to check if they already have protection.
HomeServe’s Plumbing and Drainage Policy covers burst pipes, clogged toilets, leaky overflows and dripping faucets.
Still, all typical home insurance policies, which cost an average of £162 a year, according to comparison site MoneySuperMarket, cover “water escape.”
This includes damage from burst pipes, clogged toilets or leaking appliances such as washing machines and dishwashers.
The Association of British Insurers (ABI) says it pays out an average of £1.8m per day in claims for water leaks. Coverage for repair costs varies by insurer. Some include this by default, while others require you to purchase an add-on.
An insurer may reject your claim if it believes you are at fault – perhaps if you ignore a slow leak, making the problem worse.
But you can add accidental damage cover to your home insurance policy, which can pay out if, for example, you rupture a pipe while carrying out construction work.
Some minor issues HomeServe claims to cover, such as dripping faucets, may not be included in your home insurance policy.
But HomeServe does charge a deductible of £30 per claim. The provider also excludes coverage for boiler failures, problems with gutters or digital shower systems.
Most home insurance policies should cover households for spills as they are among the most common home insurance claims
Alice Haine, personal finance analyst at Bestinvest, says: ‘Water companies are pushing for unnecessary pipe insurance from outside private companies, sometimes even using scare tactics.
“Still, most home insurance policies should cover households for leaks, as they are among the most common home insurance claims.”
Homeowners are responsible for the private water supply lines that run from the boundary of their property to their home, as well as the internal pipes, fittings, and drains.
A Southern Water spokesperson said: “As with many other utilities, we have a partnership with HomeServe, which we believe will provide a useful service to many customers.
“We always recommend that customers check their home and contents insurance policies to make sure the product is right for them.”
A HomeServe spokesperson says, “Every time a customer chooses to purchase or renew a product from us, we ask them multiple times to check for any coverages. We also make it very clear in advance what customers will pay if they renew with us.’
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