The potential for water damage in commercial or residential property is nothing new – but when it happens, the effects can be devastating. According to some of the UK’s leading Contractors All Risks (CAR) insurance underwriters, ‘water is the new fire’. Having seen the impact unexpected – and often uncontrolled – egress can have on the best laid plans, the industry is slowly starting to wake up to the importance of protecting sites from the damage caused by burst pipes and leaks. So, in a nod to World Insurance Day, we’re taking a closer look at leak detection systems, and why many UK insurers trust Waterguard with preventing costly, damaging water leaks.

Loved items can never be replaced, lost time is rarely recovered, and associated reparation costs can easily spiral out of your control — providing no end of headaches and stress. Water leak detection solutions can effectively monitor and track the flow of water through any pipeline. And, if at any point an abnormal flow is spotted, the system will immediately cut off the water stream to the building by closing a valve within the leak detector.

Although such installations aren’t compulsory (yet), the best-practice guidance issued by Construction Insurance Risk Engineers Group (CIREG), advises UK developers to consider investing in a leak detection system if they operate within the specialist field of Contractors All Risks (CAR) insurance. Of course, when not stipulated as a requirement of cover, the prohibiting factor to the installation of such devices is often the cost. But, for an average investment of £3,000 at the start of the project, developers could save thousands of pounds on the cost of their premiums – with some underwriters willing to foot the bill for the fitting and operation of the system.

Developers needn’t opt for an all-singing-all-dancing solution. While there are options to monitor water ingress in every room or level, there are much more cost-effective solutions which will automatically turn off the water supply outside of site working hours – in order to give peace of mind that if there is a leak, someone would be on site to notice it and act accordingly. While contractors that have previously fallen foul to the devastation a leak can cause will often include such a solution as standard, but there is work to be done in terms of educating the industry as a whole as to the benefits of such a precaution.

The risk is real with the ABI calling on insurers to prioritise reversing the rising cost of escape of water claims. ABI’s Director of General Insurance Policy James Dalton, “Tackling the rising costs of escape of water claims must be the number one priority for the domestic property insurance market.”

As a specialist partner of Aviva Insurance, Waterguard works with many risk management consultants and underwriters as they campaign to highlight the importance of the reduction of escape of water claims and how to utilise the knowledge available from us as water leak detection and prevention specialists.

With many insurers insisting on water leak prevention to fully provide homeowners house and contents insurance, with others offering lower excess premiums, it is financially advantageous to compare insurance asking your provider about water leak detection.

For further information on our range of leak detection systems, our partnership with trusted insurance companies, or to discuss a particular project, get in touch with one of our dedicated experts on 01226 244200.