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Water damage in your home - how to prevent it putting a dampner on your day

Gow-Gates Insurance Brokers

Water leaks are the most common insurance claim in Australia
Did you know that home insurance claims relating to water damage are now one of the most common, not to mention costly, types of claims being seen in the Australian insurance market today?

We understand that water damage resulting from floods and storms are often unavoidable, however, what about those internal leaks that no-one thinks about? Damage from internal leaks arising from things such as blocked pipes and worn out flexi-hoses are on the rise. As such you need to be made aware of the havoc they can reap on not just your personal possessions but also the impact these claims can have on your insurance premiums in the future. These losses can also impact any business premises as well – water will leak anywhere.

According to a recent article published by Chubb ‘Get Smart about Water Leaks’, the average water damage claim has soared dramatically from $17,627 in 2014 through to $30,361 in 2018. That’s a whopping 72% increase in only 4 years.

Water damage chart*Based Chubb Insurance average size of “attritional” or everyday claims (excluding natural disaster catastrophe events) for Australia, 2014 – 2018.

These numbers are only expected to increase as modern homes are being built with more bathrooms and laundries located on upper levels. Making sure you are aware of the risks inside your own home is the first step.

Are you protected?

Having insurance in place is crucial to ensure that you are adequately protecting your home and your personal belongings. There are also many proactive steps you can take to mitigate your risk before it results in a loss.

In many a case, most homeowners are not even at home when the damage occurs, so ensuring that you have protection all year round, especially whilst you are away is pivotal.

Shut-off valveOne of the newest and most popular protection measures you can take is installing water shut-off devices within your home. These devices are designed to firstly, detect any water leakage whilst in its early stages and secondly, to automatically shut-off the water supply reducing the severity of the damage.

One example we have recently seen involved a client who went away for the weekend only to return to find out that he had a pipe burst in their kitchen. Fortunately, the client did have a ‘shut-off valve’ installed which took to action after only 30 minutes, reducing the severity of the damage. Although they had minor damage to some of their furniture and carpet, the damage could have been a lot worse had they not had the necessary safety measures in place.

We also recommend that you check all flexi-hoses secured to your ‘in-home’ appliances regularly. These hoses have a lifespan of only 10 years and can pose a serious threat if they were to burst. Ensuring you are monitoring/replacing them as necessary helps to avoid any nasty surprises in the future.

Other measures which can be implemented to reduce damage:

  • Check for blocked gutters to ensure there is no obstruction of water flowing.
  • Regular checks for damage or corrosion to your plumbing.
  • Ensure the drain lines to your air conditioner are unobstructed.
  • Check the foundation of your home’s walls and floor for cracks and water seepage.

For more information on the risk and what you can do to mitigate loss, please refer to Chubb’s website: