Are you dealing with drainage issues at home? This article will help you understand the types of drainage issues that you might need to handle and whether making an insurance claim could be an option for you.
Drains are a key element of your property. However, you likely won’t think too much about them until you notice an issue. The reason for this is simple. Your drains are hidden deep underground and completely out of sight. The first sign that there’s an issue could be a smell coming from your drains or evidence that your drains aren’t draining water at all. If you’re unlucky, it might be both.
Thousands of people deal with drainage issues on their property every year. It’s a particularly common occurrence later on in the year when there is heavier rainfall. When they notice an expensive issue with their drains many people contact their home insurance company. But does your cover provide the solution to drainage issues you need?
Common Drainage Issues
Before we explore whether your home insurance is going to be the answer, let’s look at some of the most common drainage issues for homeowners in the UK.
One of the most typical issues with drains is a blockage in the drain. This can start slowly and it could be years before the problem becomes noticeable. Alternatively, you might find that the problem develops suddenly. It largely depends on the cause of the blockage and whereabouts in the drain it is. This is also going to impact how easy it is to resolve. While there are DIY solutions to unblock drains, it’s often better to call in the pros.
Or, you could be dealing with a crack or fracture in your drains. These can typically be found near the joints in the pipes but they may also be further down the pipework. This can cause wastewater to leak into the surrounding areas and this, in turn, weakens the ground structure.
Alternatively, it’s possible that there are roots from trees and plants impacting your drains. Roots can bury deep into the ground and will eventually cause issues with the pipework. Roots dig deep to search for oxygen, water and nutrients which are all contained inside drain pipes. When roots go through the pipes, they often leave holes within the pipework. Smells and wastewater leak out which is the last thing that you want.
You might even find that there is a collapsed or broken part of the drain. This is a serious issue as it will ultimately mean that wastewater isn’t leaving the property the way it should. Instead, it will start to flow out around the surrounding areas. This could even lead to a sinkhole developing which will weaken the entire structure of the property while also attracting pests to the home.
It’s also possible that you have to deal with displaced or open joints around the property too. This can be caused by the ground becoming unstable due to increased levels of traffic. When there are gaps like this, you might find that wastewater again leaks around to surrounding areas. This is another problem that can lead to structural damage to your property.
Is It Possible To Claim For Drainage Issues?
It’s clear that issues with your drains can cause some massive problems for you as a homeowner. Some of the issues that we’re talking about here are going to be expensive to fix and difficult to correct in a short period. As such, it makes sense that you would contact your home insurance company, but will problems like the ones above be covered
The answer largely depends on a few key factors including your insurance company and your specific policy.
Typically, you’ll find that most building insurance policies will cover accidental damage to your drains. The question then becomes, what constitutes ‘accidental damage.’ Language like this is often intentionally unclear and it can mean that insurance companies can refuse to payout based on a technicality. That’s why it’s best to explore examples.
For instance, you might find that your drainage pipes have corroded due to old age. This is seen as a natural level of deterioration. As such, it’s unlikely that you are going to get a payout here under the ‘accidental damage’ umbrella.
On the other hand, if there has been an intrusion into your pipes from tree roots, it’s likely that you will be provided with a payout. This should fall under accidental damage.
It’s also possible that you can claim for damage to your drains completely but you’ll need to take out an extra level of coverage to do this. This is why you need to make sure that you do read your insurance policy carefully. If in doubt, you should always contact your provider and ask them about this possibility before you notice there’s an issue.
Which Pipes Will Be Covered?
It’s also important to be aware of where your responsibilities begin and end here. As a homeowner, you’ll be responsible for all drains that exist on your property boundary. So, if there is an issue with a drain on your property and it’s causing an issue for a neighbour, you’ll be responsible for fixing it.
For this reason, if a collapse or any damage occurs due to misuse or neglect, it won’t be covered through your insurance company. Instead, you’ll need to pay for the repairs yourself. Be aware that in some cases, you will need to take out coverage for specific drains that are on your property.
This is why it’s crucial to keep your drains well maintained and avoid any damage that wouldn’t be considered accidental. Cleaning your drains regularly and inspecting them on an annual basis is the best way to do this and keep your drains in the best possible condition.
Quick Clear Drainage
We hope this helps you understand whether your home insurance will cover drainage issues on your property. If you have already noticed a blocked drain at your London property, our expert team at Quick Clear Drainage can help. We’ll fix the issue and ensure that there is no further damage to your drains. Get in touch now and a friendly member of our team will be happy to assist you.