Burst pipes – Understanding how they are covered

  • March 07, 2017 | Written by Lily Howard

Image courtesy of www.oceansideplumbing.com.au/

This type of 'claim' is becoming more and more common and it is important to know what circumstances are or are not claimable. Here are a few guidelines and examples to help form a better understanding of this type of claim:

The repair or replacement of a leaking or rusted pipe is considered to be a normal maintenance related cost.  Other common maintenance related issues also include:

  •  Leaking bath or shower taps
  •  Shower waterproofing
  •  Silicone sealing needing replacement
  •  Rising damp
  •  Roof waterproofing

Damage in terms of your Barker Private Clients policy wording is defined as:
Physical loss or damage caused by a single, sudden, unintentional and unexpected event, which occurs at an identifiable time.

A leaking or dripping pipe is not the result of sudden damage and would therefore not be covered. A leak caused by a pin hole for example would be something that has occurred gradually and over a period of time.

Check out the following common scenarios:

1. A Burst pipe (sudden event) with resultant water damage:

We will pay for the locating, repair of the pipe as well as the "putting back" e.g. re-tiling and replacing any other resultant water damaged areas e.g. ceilings damaged, carpet damaged etc.

2. Deteriorated or rusted pipe, pin holes, slow leak or damp over time:

These instances would not qualify as an insurance claim, as there is no sudden water damage.  Loss is caused by gradual deterioration over a period of time.

3. Deteriorated or rusted pipe - but sudden burst/ collapse of a pipe with the sudden appearance of water:

We will pay for the resultant water damage to, for example; ceilings, carpets or laminated flooring and cupboards. The locating of the leak and the repair as well as "putting back" e.g. re-tiling will be for the unit owner or - if located on common property - body corporate's account.

It is important to apply a regular amount of maintenance to your home, to avoid minor leaks turning into major problems.

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