Does House Insurance Cover Broken Drains?

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

One of the most common questions we get asked at ASL Drainage is whether or not house insurance covers broken drains. While it doesn’t take long to notice a drainage problem, most of us want the problem fixed right away. But there is no reason why having your drain fixed should also drain your bank account.

If There’s a Problem

When you notice there is a problem with your drainage system, for example your drains have suffered a collapse or some internal damage, all you can think about is getting them repaired as quickly as possible.

However, something you may forget to check is whether your drains are covered by your home insurance policy. Finding this out is not as tedious or difficult as you may have thought initially, and we thought we would clear a few points up for you in the event your drains begin presenting a problem.

Does House Insurance Cover Broken Drains?

Changes to the law in the UK mean that the homeowner is the person responsible for fixing your drains. While it used to be that homeowners had to maintain the private sewers within their property – in addition to multiple drains outside the property boundaries – since October 2011, the rules have changed.

Now, you are responsible for your drains and your drains only. Even if your drains meet your neighbour’s, you are only responsible and accountable for your section of the drainage system.

Drain Cover Depends on Your Insurance

As anyone would expect, your drain cover depends entirely on the type of insurance you have and your specific policy. However, it is common practice that most building insurance policies will cover any accidental damage to your drains.

However, problems such as pipe corrosion and natural deterioration will likely fall under the ‘accidental damage’ umbrella. Outside influences, such as root intrusion from trees or damage from excavation should be covered by your home insurance policy.

Which Drain Pipes are Covered by Insurance?

As a homeowner, it can be difficult knowing which drains you are responsible for within your property and which your insurance company covers. If your drain connects with that of your neighbour’s, you are only responsible for your section. Because you are responsible for the maintenance of the drains in your property, any collapses or damage problems as a result of neglect or misuse will not be covered by insurance. Instead, you will have to pay for any repairs.

Are Burst Pipes Covered by Insurance?

It is a fact that burst pipes should be covered by your insurance policy as they are generally the result of an accident or natural corrosion. If your drain pipes are in good condition and they just happen to burst, it is likely your insurance company will have you covered.

What About Pitch-Fibre Pipes?

Pitch-fibre pipes were a very popular material in the 1950s and 60s and they are often still found in homes and businesses today. However, the problem with these pipes is that any damage to them may not be covered by your insurance as they are deemed to be outdated, poor-quality, or are often replaced. If you’re unsure whether your drainage system has pitch-fibre piping or whether your insurance covers this, contact your insurance company to see what their rules are.

Leaking Pipes and Insurance

When it comes to insurance, leaking pipes are a tricky issue. Often, insurance companies will see a leaking pipe as a maintenance issue, rather than accidental damage. However, if you discover a leaking pipe in your property it is always worth tracing the leak back to where it began to see its cause as this could make you eligible for insurance.

A Blocked Sewer Pipe

If you have a blocked sewer pipe, it is important to get this problem fixed as quickly as possible as the waste build-up or leaking sewage can pose a significant risk to your health. While it is likely your insurance policy will cover the finding and clearance of your sewer pipe blockage, this may depend on whether or not the blockage and subsequent damage was caused by a natural occurrence, such as tree root ingress or storm water, or through improper usage, such as flushing sanitary items, baby wipes, and rubbish down the toilet.

Keep Your Drains Properly Maintained

The maintenance of your drains is your responsibility, to avoid any problems with expensive repairs and helping keep on top of any drainage problems. Therefore, regular cleaning and drain inspections is one of the best ways to ensure your drain pipes are kept in the best possible condition. This should prevent any future problems and avoid any costly pay-outs.

How Do You Report a Blocked Drain?

If you are experiencing the problem of a blocked drain, it is important you contact a drainage professional to fix the problem for you so that you no longer have to worry about it. Call Coastal Drains today and we will help fix the problem for you so that you no longer have to worry.

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