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Is Your Home Protected Against The Most Common Types Of Flooding?

Apr 13, 2008
There's been a lot of talk about flooding and insurance over the past year or so with all the rain, storms and flood damage. But Mother Nature has very little to do with the most common type of flood damage to your home.

According to Halifax Insurance, about 17 million Brits have had to deal with damage from water leaks casued by plumbing in their home, at a whopping cost of 1.8 billion a year for the past five years. That's an incredible amount of money we're paying for damage that is largely preventable.

Halifax includes in their estimation water damage caused to homes and belongings by burst pipes, leaking baths, showers, washing machines, dishwasher malfunctions and burst water tanks. They also include damage caused by carelessness, like leaving the water on to overflow when filling baths or sinks for the washing up.

There are ways to prevent some of the most common causes of water damage. Here are some of the tips offered by Halifax with a few more included for good measure.

* Protect your pipes from frost, the number one cause of burst pipes. Make sure that they're well-insulated.

* Check your water pipes and appliances regularly for weak spots.

* Once a month, turn off any appliance that might use water and check your water meter. Wait an hour -without using any water - and check again. If it reads differently, then you probably have a leak in your pipes. Get a plumber in to find the leak and repair it before it causes damage.

* Try not to over-tighten water taps. It weakens washers and causes leaks.

* Don't turn off your central heating for long periods of time during winter. That goes along with protecting your pipes from frost. If you go on holiday, set a timer to turn your heater on during the coldest periods of the day or risk coming home to a swamp in your living room.

* When it comes to plumbing, always have the work done by a reputable professional. Unless you're a qualified plumber, don't DIY it.

* Get approval for any repairs to water damage from your insurance company before you have it repaired to be assured of full reimbursement.

* Maintain your water fittings. Your home insurance will pay for damage from water leaks or burst pipes, but it won't pay to repair the pipe itself, especially if it wasn't maintained in the first place.

* Look into home emergency cover to deal with emergency repairs.

* Be sure that you cover your contents as well as your building. Water will play havoc with that gorgeous Oriental carpet - so insure it separately against damage. Your buildings insurance won't cover it.

If you're not certain whether or you're covered for water damage or if specific valuables are listed on your policy, check the fine print on your home insurance or contact your insurer. In many cases, you can add the cover relatively inexpensively.
About the Author
Find out which home insurance companies offer the best cover against flood damage to your building and contents by comparing insurers at http://www.uk-insurance-index.co.uk. You can also read home insurance reviews submitted by real customers.
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