Preventing water damage in your home.

In insurance terms, escape of water or leaking water is when water leaks out from pipes or appliances in the home, causing damage to your property. These include radiators pipes, central heating systems, washing machines and dishwashers.

So what can you do to prevent leaks in your home?

  1.  Look out for early signs of a leak. You may notice a drop in water pressure, a damp patch on a wall or ceiling or small puddles in cupboards or near appliances. Try and find out why and where it could be coming from straight away. These are signs of a small leak which could get worse if not dealt with.
  2.  Can you hear a drip? An unexpected dripping noise could be a sign that there is a leak hidden under the bath or behind a wall.
  3. Maintain grouting and seals around baths, showers and taps. Watch out for mould which can be a sign of decay and lead to leaks.
  4. Look after your heating system. Have your boiler and heating system serviced regularly by a professional. If your system is well maintained it's less likely to spring a leak. 
  5. Unblock plug holes regularly. There are products you can buy to do this. Routine maintenance will help prevent a minor problem from becoming a major leak. Make sure you use a reputable tradesperson to do your plumbing work. 
  6. Keep an eye on the weather. When freezing temperatures are expected, set your central heating to 10 degrees day and night. Insulate pipes and water tanks. Especially in areas more likely to freeze such as lofts or outbuildings.
  7. Know where your stopcock is. And how to turn it off. To test your stopcock, run a nearby tap and make sure it is completely stopped when the mains water is switched off. Or you could fit an auto stopcock. This is a gadget that can recognise a leak and shut off the water supply to prevent damage
  8. Let us know if you’re going away. Tell your insurer if your home will be empty for a long time, such as when you go on an extended holiday. Follow any advice they may give, such as turning off your water supply.
  9. Read your policy documents carefully and keep your insurer’s details to hand. In case you ever need to make a claim, save your insurer’s phone number and your policy number in your phone.
  10. The best piece of advice we can give you is maintain your property to avoid wear and tear.

Help and guidance

If you want to understand more about how home insurance works, or how you can keep your home protected, our FAQs and guides can help.

Find more of our home insurance guides

How to check if you’re covered

If you’re an existing home insurance customer, here’s a link to our policy booklets so that you can check what’s covered, what’s available as additional cover, as well as advice on making claims and frequently asked questions.

View your policy booklets View policy booklets.