How you can understand and mitigate Escape of Water risk

  • Water damage is a continuing problem for many organisations that own or manage properties
  • Escape of water is one of the most common domestic property claims, with insurers paying out £930m in 2018
  • Since 2014 the average cost of an escape of water claim has increased from £2,119 to £3,242 in 2018, an increase of 40%

Freezing temperatures can present serious hazards to people and property and are, unfortunately, becoming increasingly common. In early December 2019, temperatures plummeted as low as -10 in some parts of Britain.  And it was not that long ago,  in March 2018the Beast from the East took hold, bringing with it up to 50cm of snow in higher areas.

One of the biggest risks during periods of extremely cold weather is escape of water, which is among the leading causes of property claims. The Association of British Insurers says insurers paid out £930m in water damage claims in 2018, with the average cost per claim rising 40% since 2014.

Prolonged periods of very low temperatures can lead to pipes freezing and bursting, which can have serious consequences for customers. It can often leave people without water and electricity, and facing costly repair bills.

Escape of water rightly does not make the news as a flood would do, but research with Public Health England has shown that the effects of a large claim can have the same distress as a flood, with the disruption of customers out of their homes for long periods of time.

Grace Flowers, Head of Product & Portfolio Insights for Zurich comments: “Escape of Water is one of the most common causes of damage to property and can cause extensive damage and interruption. We want our customers to be protected in the best possible way, and that’s why it’s so important to ensure we help our customer’s protect their homes and businesses as much as possible. Just a few simple measures can have a big impact which can be really helpful going into the winter period.”

To help customers understand how widespread this issue is Zurich has put together an Escape of Water Guide covering all aspects of these losses from outlining the causes, to bringing in construction risks, to how technology is trying to address the issue.

You can find a link to our escape of water interactive guide here.