Question

Home Insurance claim for Trace and Access


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I just thought I would seek advice from our wonderful community.

I recently suffered problems with my central heating, with the boiler pressure dropping and having to be topped up every day.

Unable to find any obvious sources of leaks and no signs of any water damage from ceilings etc, I decided to call in the experts, a Trace and Access company, it appeared that any cost would be covered by house insurance, less of course the excess

After numerous tests he eventually found the leak under the floor in the hall.

After talking to my insurance company this morning with a view to making a claim for Trace and Access costs, I was informed that as the building wasn't damaged the claim would not be covered, regardless of the fact that if I had just kept topping up, eventually it would have caused damp problems.

Has anyone else suffered claim rejection on those grounds and what did you do to rectify the situation.

I don't know now if it's worth bothering, I'll only get about £300 back, and future renewal premiums will rise in the event of a successful clsim


17 replies

Hmmm, I’m no expert, but I see the insurance company’s point. They insure against damage not maintenance costs. But you could push them a little harder and see if they cave.

Good that you’ve found and fixed the problem — always look on the bright side of life...

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@25 quid 

I too see their point, but the policy makes no mention of only if the building is damaged, it just says the cost of tracing and accessing the leak would be covered, but not the actual repair which is classed as maintenance.

As said I'm not sure it's worth the stress of claim and counter claim with appeals etc for a small return, they would try getting it back by hiking the premium anyway

But yes, grateful that I can now have a shower without going downstairs to top up the boiler first

@Duppy You may find hidden away a reference to payment for damage only. As you say, if you had ignored this there would have been damage they would have to pay for but there hasn’t. Also with such minor issues the excess is greater than the repair cost.

In a way it is as if say your oven develops a fault that could cause damage to the house but you get their in time to prevent it. They won’t pay for the repair to your oven. There are though some policies that can provide this sort of cover.

If the cost of your repair was not too great, and probably mostly covered by your excess, it is not worth the effort. But check the accidental damage provisions, if any, in your policy. Sometimes such can cover this where for example a person bangs a nail through a pipe.

We should always read our policies. It is surprising how tucked away there are hidden liability avoidance words. A couple of years back I renewed my house insurance. The quote said out buildings are covered. When the policy came yes outbuildings were covered but only if attached to the house. My garage is separate from my house, 3 feet away. That would not be covered. I told them what they could do with their policy and went elsewhere where there was cover.

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@G4RHL

The leak stemmed from a failed gate valve fitted to the system donkey years ago, I've been here 30+ years, it must have been there then, although why you would fit a valve in an inaccessible position fails me.

 The trace and access cost ,£495 +vat, ( not bad for less than  a days work ) the excess 250 so I would only get just under 350 back.

Hour right about reading through policies, it also applies to quotes especially from comparison sites.

I had some work done years ago to replace a collapsed drain, the insurance paid it (less excess)  , a few years later getting a quote on a comparison site, to the question have you had any claims the last 3 years, I truthfully answered no. A month or so after accepting a quote I received a letter informing me they were increasing the premium due to the previous claim. When I queried it, their conditions state have you made a claim in the last 5 years,  I missed it and had to pay up as it was too late to cancel.

I always check and recheck now

it just says the cost of tracing and accessing the leak would be covered, but not the actual repair which is classed as maintenance.

So that sounds like you can claim.

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As we know, insurance companies will try every trick in the book to avoid paying out. As it's a smallish amount, is it worth the stress of appeals, there are far more important things to worry about

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Its proberly a bit late now. But for future ref may i suggest telling the insurance company you were doing some home improvments and accidently hit a pipe. This would then proberly be covered as it was accidental damage and not a deliberate action which is what they will say the tracing company's action were. 

There a sneaky bunch these insurance companies. 

Its a little white lie admitted but to date GOD has not struck me down in a ball of fire.

@Duppy which is probably what the insurance companies bank on you doing. “Tracing & accessing “ though does not cover repair. For that you would need “tracing, accessing and repairing.” On the other hand they must expect a repair will follow to prevent a bigger claim. A repair though is not in these circumstances accidental damage which would be covered.

On past claims disclosure I had had a claim within three years one year and I disclosed it in getting quotes. When the policy arrived for the company chosen it said there had been no claims! I rang them and they rectified at no extra cost. I still wonder whether this was more than a bug, I had double checked what I was being quoted for.
 

It would not surprise if some put a clause in saying claims can only be made for incidents arising on a Monday or a Thursday!

Sorry about the white space above!

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Its proberly a bit late now. But for future ref may i suggest telling the insurance company you were doing some home improvments and accidently hit a pipe. This would then proberly be covered as it was accidental damage and not a deliberate action which is what they will say the tracing company's action were. 

There a sneaky bunch these insurance companies. 

Its a little white lie admitted but to date GOD has not struck me down in a ball of fire.

Unfortunately the trace and access company take photos of every step, you can see clearly it was a leaking  underfloor valve to blame, do they excuse wouldn't work.

It wasn't so much the accessing I needed it was the trace, where the leak was it was in a position I didn't even know pipes were present. I did follow him though as we went checking with a thermal camera, so I now have a bit of an idea of the pipe runs

@Mavis1 That would be fraud. Obtaining a pecuniary advantage by deception. For which a prison sentence can be imposed. But then that might be a good thing for you need no longer worry about energy costs or even other bills!!

Aha, is that how they trace it (thermal camera)? Interesting — follow the heat. Nice.

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Haha. 

Prison aint so bad. Did spend one night there but got let out when they realised that no one could prove i knew what they thought i knew.

Luckily now that im all grown up i no longer have to pay the energy bills. Phewwww. 

I have been in a number of prisons over the years, male and female, but not by reason of enforced visits I hasten to say!

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Your meant to break out not in. 

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@Duppy 

Who was the policy with?

 

It begs the question as to when test & trace would pay out. In the circumstances where obvious damage has occurred it’s far more likely that test and trace wouldn’t be needed,  it’s precisely because you can’t see the damage that you need it!  I would argue that if test and trace is mentioned in the policy wording, and the insurers do not intend to pay out for it, the contract should make that very clear. I think were you to end up at the insurance ombudsman you’d have a good case to argue (not sure whether it would succeed)

Mending a leak is not maintenance. 

I think they are trying it on but as there is probably a huge excess for escape of water and it will affect future quotes, maybe the prudent thing is to take it on the chin. Bummer - I hate insurance companies

The insurers will also take the stance that you don’t get compensation for what has not happened, but only for what has. I could not count the number of people I have come across who think the former.
 

“I could have broken my leg.”
 

“But you didn’t.”

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The insurers will also take the stance that you don’t get compensation for what has not happened, but only for what has. I could not count the number of people I have come across who think the former.
 

“I could have broken my leg.”
 

“But you didn’t.”

 

“I could have broken your leg” is far more persuasive

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