If you own or rent a property, then you need to make sure that it’s suitably insured. But what happens if there’s an incident that leads to significant damage to your property? Such as a water leak.
Trace and access cover may not be a familiar term, particularly if you haven’t experienced any major damage to your home before. So, what actually is trace and access cover and why do so many homeowners opt for insurance policies with this option included?
What is trace and access cover?
Your homeowner’s insurance policy may provide you with trace and access cover if you have a problem with a water leak. For example, it should help to cover the costs associated with finding and fixing the leak.
A leak detection expert can in addition to pinpointing the leak also expose the source so that the problem can be properly dealt with. As a result, the damage caused by leaks and the cost of repairing them are not covered within the scope of trace and access cover. However, with the help of a loss assessor, these costs are usually recoverable under a separate insurance claim.
What does trace and access actually cover?
- The cost of a leak detection specialist to locate the source of the leak.
- Any damage that was caused as a result of their investigation into the leak’s source. For example they may need to dig into a floor or make a hole in a wall.
- Reinstatement costs, including materials, incurred for repairing the wall or floor after the leak has been repaired.
Trace and access doesn’t provide cover for:
- the damage caused by leaks are not covered within the scope of trace and access cover.
- the cost of the actual repair itself.
Does trace and access insurance come as standard?
The answer is not always. However, according to Defaqto most home insurance policies include trace and access cover. Nevertheless, you do not want to be surprised when a leak occurs during the course of your policy.
Whilst there’s a good chance you already have some coverage in place, you should check your policy documents to see if there are any limits on the cover you have. For example, there might be a low limit on your particular policy. Call PCLA for free advice if you have any questions regarding your level of insurance cover.
What are the costs involved with trace and access?
If you have a leak that isn’t obvious, it can be difficult to find the source of the leak. For example, a leak in pipework that is concealed behind walls, floors or ceilings. In this case the process of investigating can be expensive and also very disruptive because of where the leak is.
In our experience the best solution is to use a professional leak detection service. These experts have specialist equipment that can locate the source of a leak in the most efficient manner possible. Not only does this cause minimal disruption to you, but it will usually save you money in the long run. And, these costs can typically be recovered as part of a water damage insurance claim. Call PCLA today if you want help tracing your leak.
How to make a claim for trace and access?
The simplest and easiest way to make a claim to recover the costs associated with trace and access, is to call PCLA. We are fully certified insurance practitioners. We also have a team of leak detection professionals who can assess your leak quickly and efficiently. PCLA will also manage any insurance claim on your behalf and deal with your insurance company. Ask PCLA for help regarding your trace and access claim today.
Why might a trace and access claim be refused?
You might be surprised to learn that a trace and access claim could be denied by your insurance company. A few possible reasons include:
- If it’s very difficult to determine whether there has been any water damage at all.
- Insurance companies like to use terms like ‘escape of water’ which could mean a burst pipe. Or ‘ingress’ which refers to water that has entered your home from the outside e.g. a flood. Trace and access provides cover for ‘escape of water’ claims but not from water ingress.
- If there has been no insurable event. In other words, if the problem has not been caused by burst water pipes or a leak.
What to do if you find a leak?
If you notice that there are damp patches on your walls and a musty smell in the air, contact a leak detection service to find out whether you are experiencing a leak. They’ll have the skills and expertise to determine the source of the water and stop or control the flow of the water if necessary.
There’s always a chance that this will be disruptive and expensive, which is why it’s so important to have trace and access insurance.
Is trace and access the same as leak detection?
No. Trace and access is an insurance product while leak detection is the service provided to locate a leak.
Trace and access cover is generally included with most buildings insurance policies. If used, it makes it possible for a home owner to claim reimbursement for the costs associated with finding the source of a water leak, exposing it, and repairing the damage resulting from the leak.
I have trace and access insurance. What should I do if there’s a leak?
Call PCLA as soon as possible and arrange for one of our leak detection professionals to locate the source of your leak. We can also help record any relevant information and take photographs in case there’s a need for a further insurance claim.
You need to remember that while trace and access insurance can help pay for any damage caused when you are trying to locate the leak, it won’t cover anything that has been damaged by the leak itself. This is what a standard home insurance policy is designed to cover. If you want to learn exactly what is (and crucially isn’t) covered by your insurance policy, you can call PCLA for free advice and support.