So often, we hear about ‘escape of liquid’, and how it can wreak havoc with your home. But what exactly counts as escaped liquid, and how can you stop it from happening?

We’ll run you through what you need to know, from prevention through to what insurance should cover.

What does home insurance cover for water damage?

Any home insurance worth its salt should cover water leaks. For example, Budget Direct Home Insurance (and Home & Contents Insurance) covers loss and damage caused by a sudden escape of liquid (or slow escape of liquid that you couldn’t have known about). So if a pipe bursts all of a sudden, or minor dripping inside a wall builds up over time, you’ll most likely be covered.

But it’s not just the loss and damage that should be covered. We’ll also cover the reasonable costs to investigate the cause of a water leak if the source isn’t clear. Sometimes water damage will rear its ugly head, but there isn’t an obvious pipe that’s broken down. It’s important we nip the source of the issues in the bud, so the damage doesn’t get worse over time.

But to actually understand if your insurance covers water damage, always refer to the relevant Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) and your Insurer. If you’re a Budget Direct customer, you can find your PDS online.

What is ‘escape of liquid’?

‘Escape of liquid’ is basically what it sounds like – when water escapes from somewhere, usually causing damage. This could be caused by a wide range of situations around the home, including:

  • a washing machine that breaks down
  • a bathroom pipe that bursts
  • a fixed heating system that leaks
  • an aquarium or waterbed that ruptures.

However, we do not cover leaks that are considered preventable. An example of this would be damage caused by leaks in shower walls and bases due to normal wear and tear to tile grout and silicone joints. 

How to Prevent Water Damage in the Home

Ideally, the escape of liquid would be prevented before it ever has a chance to damage your property. To help minimise the chance of it happening, here are some simple steps you can take around the house:

Inspect Your Flexi-hoses Every 6 Months

Flexi-hoses are some of the most common causes of water damage in the home. So, if you’re going to start anywhere to prevent an escape of liquid, it’s here.

At least twice a year, lightly run your fingers and thumb along the length of the braided hose. Generally, it should feel flat and smooth. If you pick anything rough, spiky, or bulging, this could mean the hose is fraying or unravelling.

If that’s the case, it’s worth having a plumber/tradesperson change them over for you.

Check Manufacture Dates

Whether it’s old hoses or heating systems, if a water system on your property has a manufacture/maintenance date, make sure you’re aware of it.

Plenty of Flexi-hoses around the house will have 5-year warranties. If that’s the case, that’s the manufacturer’s way of saying they only see it surviving for 5 years. At that point, you’re best off replacing it safely, before it has a chance to leak.

Check For the Early Signs of Water Damage

Don’t ignore a few random drops you might see under the sink. If you spot the early signs of escaped water, you’re actually lucky – you’ve probably caught it before it could cause any damage. Make sure you keep the area dry, keep water from touching any cabinetry or walls (if possible) and have the leak repaired/resolved as soon as possible.

Don't Come Home to a Flood of Problems

If you’re going away on holiday, turn off your water at the main. The water main is usually located outside, near the front of your house. If you turn the valve handle clockwise completely, you’ll stop water from reaching your house.

That way, if a pipe does decide to burst while you’re away, the potential damage will be minimised.

Making an ‘Escape of Liquid’ claim

If the worst happens and you need to claim on water damage, we’re here to help.

If you’re at home when your Flexi hose bursts, turn off the water at the mains to minimise the damage before calling us. We’ll get an assessor around to investigate the damage and work out what’s required to get your home back in order.

If we accept your claim for escape of liquid, we’ll pay reasonable costs to investigate, especially if it’s causing damage to your home or contents.

And if you choose Budget Direct you can receive 30%^ off your first year’s premium when you purchase a new Home and Contents policy online.