Underfloor Leaks: What you should know

Does home insurance cover underfloor leaks?

You’re in the middle of cooking dinner when you notice a puddle of water forming at your feet. You frantically search for the source of the leak and find it’s coming from under the floor. You have a serious problem and need to act fast. But a terrible thought pops into your head: does my home insurance cover underfloor leaks? That’s what we’re going to uncover in this article.

Are leaks covered by a standard home insurance policy?

Before we get into underfloor leaks, it’s important to define what an insurance company means by a ‘leak’.

It’s not a leak, it’s an escape of water!

According to MORE THAN:

“Escape of water is the technical term used to describe a leak in your home. It could include situations such as a burst pipe or a faulty washing machine connection. If water has escaped from where it is meant to be and caused sudden damage to your home, then we’re talking about an ‘escape of water’ claim on your home insurance policy.”


What leaks are covered under standard home insurance?

You can never be certain about what’s covered, which is why we recommend giving us a call if you have discovered a leak. We’ll help you understand if and how you can make a claim for everything you are entitled to. Making sure you discover the full extent of the damage can be the difference between a successful claim and an unsuccessful claim. Remember, depending on the type of water damage, you may be covered under buildings insurance or under contents insurance.

However, in general terms, if the leak has been caused by a failing to any of the following, you should be able to make a claim:

  • Burst pipes
  • Blocked toilets
  • Water tanks
  • Radiators
  • Central heating boilers
  • Washing machines
  • Dishwashers
  • Shower
  • and your bath

When is a leak not covered?

Escape of water coverage may not extend to the following items – you will need to check your policy wording to be sure:

  • Wear and tear caused by lack of maintenance to your grout or sealant
  • Damage from a gradually operating cause
  • Dripping taps, while annoying will not usually be covered
  • A burst pipe outside which has not caused damage to your contents or the interior of your property

Whilst an untrained person may dismiss the damage and decide that you can’t claim, it’s best to get reassurance from a professional loss assessor. As qualified building surveyors and insurance claim experts, they know how to identify water damage and negotiate a successful claim on your behalf. Don’t miss out on your claim, contact us today to find out how we can help you.

What is trace and access cover?

Trace and access cover is a type of insurance that covers the cost of finding and accessing a water leak in your home. If you have a water leak, burst pipe, or other problem with your plumbing, trace and access cover can help pay for the cost of finding the source of the leak, although usually not the repairing of it. 

A standard buildings policy will then typically take over and cover the costs of fixing the damage that the leak has caused. This can damage to walls, floors, or furniture. Trace and access cover is usually included in your buildings policy up to certain limits, but you may need to double check with your home insurance provider if you have sufficient cover in place.

Am I covered for trace and access as standard?

Trace and access cover is usually included in most insurance policies, you can usually see from your policy schedule or booklet if this is included. 

What are trace and access costs?

Most buildings insurance policies includes trace and access cover, usually up to £5000, which can pay for the cost of a plumber to detect and locate, and reinstate any areas that have been opened up to get access.

Or, to put it another way, to locate a leak that’s not obvious will require exploratory work. This could mean lifting floorboards, opening up a screed floor or knocking holes in walls. Anything that is damaged in the process of exposing the pipework and tracing the leak is considered a cost.

Don’t forget, any damage to your contents can be claimed for under your contents insurance.

How do I make a trace and access insurance claim?

If you have a leak in your home, you may need to hire a professional to help you find the source of the leak. This process is called trace and access. Once the leak is found, you can then make an insurance claim.

If you need to make a trace and access insurance claim, please call PCLA today. We will be able to provide you with free advice and support. We can even manage your claim on your behalf and negotiate a full settlement with your home insurance provider. Our insurance claims expert will be able to decipher your buildings and contents insurance policy to determine what level of cover you have in place. With our support, we’ll make sure you get reimbursed for the full costs of the repairs.

How can you tell if you have a water leak?

There are a few ways you can tell if you have a water leak. You may notice water stains or damp patches on your walls or ceiling, or hear the sound of running water even when all your taps are turned off. If you have a water meter, you might also notice a sudden increase in your water usage. These are all strong indications that you have a hidden water leak. However, the most common leaks are easily discovered – you’ll discover a puddle on your floor or drips from the ceiling!

What to do if you discover a leak

If you discover a leak, the first thing you should do is turn off the stopcock. This will limit the damage that could be caused by the leak. If the leak is small, you may be able to fix it yourself by tightening a pipe or tap. However, if it is a larger leak, it could end up causing serious damage to your home which could end up costing you a lot of money to repair. In any case, we recommend you contact PCLA to speak to an independent loss assessor. We will provide you with free and impartial advice.

Making an insurance claim for an underfloor leak

If you discover damage caused by a leaking underfloor pipe and want to make a claim, there are some things you should consider first.

Your insurance company may decide to send a loss adjuster to investigate the cause of the leak and the extent of the damage. Once the loss adjuster has finished their investigation, they will prepare a report for your home insurance provider. This report will be used to determine whether or not your claim is covered by your home insurance policy.


It’s up to you to be able to negotiate with the loss adjuster and your insurance company. However, you can appoint an independent loss assessor to work on your behalf. It’s their job to submit a full claim for all of the water damage to your property.

Call PCLA today

We all know that water damage is a pain, but it’s especially difficult when it’s caused by a leak in an underfloor pipe.

Not only is it hard to spot, but it can go undetected for a long time. And left untreated it has the potential to cause a lot of damage to your home.

With PCLA, you can rest assured that you’ll get the help and support you need.

We can help you make a claim on your home insurance for water damage caused by a leaking underfloor pipe. We have a team of experienced professionals who can help you get the compensation you deserve. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you!

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