Escapes, Ingress and Flooding: Water the Causes?

Chartered engineers Andrew Reeves and Nicola Fallowfield-Smith, both of Hawkins’ Reigate Office, recently gave a presentation to Oak Underwriting on the various types of investigation tactics Hawkins uses after a claim involving water damage.

Nicola, who investigates both fires and escapes of water, has heard in the past that escapes of water claims are, “just not as exciting as fires.” However, there are many exciting causes that can bring about an escape: installation failure, material failure, system failure--there are even a number of cases that can be attributed to fraud. Where fires may turn evidence to ash, escapes of water may also leave more interesting physical evidence behind--which should always be kept for examination. In every case, Hawkins works to identify where recoveries might be possible. The best pieces of advice that Nicola can provide for any escape of water scenario are:

  • Always make sure the insured party retains the part of a pipe/fitting/system if it is removed by a plumber
  • Fittings do not unscrew themselves, and parcel tape is not an acceptable jointing solution

Andrew investigates various civil engineering losses, including those arising from either flooding or water ingress. He spoke about not only the types of flood resistance measures an insured party can take with their property, but also about the recovery prospects in these types of claims. The design and construction of buildings, with guidance from the building regulation standards, can help to prevent water ingress. However, basement waterproofing methods must still be maintained, and should also be chosen based on the climate and flooding risks of the nearby area. 

Basement tanking systemWater damage claims can result from escapes of water from pipes, household appliances, and tanking systems, but also from structural movement, surface water flooding, and drainage issues. If you would like to schedule a presentation at your office on the different types of water claims, please contact us

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