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Sometimes leaks within the home are hard to locate. Patches of damp or mould can appear without any clear source; this is where trace and access leak detection specialists come in. They use a variety of leak detection equipment to locate undetected leaks in your home plumbing system.

However, this can be a costly service, averaging between £400 and £600. It therefore might be worthwhile considering trace and access cover as an add-on to your home insurance policy, so that you’re covered for the cost of the service.

For help with your water leak or trace and access insurance claim, visit ClaimRite.

Find Hidden Water Leaks – Paid For By Your Insurer

Trace and access cover is a component of property insurance policies in the UK that provides financial protection for the costs associated with water leak detection. Its primary purpose is to cover the cost to find hidden leaks, including any necessary damage to the walls, ceilings or floors of your house in order to access them. It also assists you in making an insurance claim for the cost of the water leak damage itself.

Why Hire Leak Detection Specialists?

Plumber using a portable leak detector.

Expertise And Efficiency

A trace and access specialist will be able to locate water leaks which are not visible to the naked eye. Using specialist equipment, a leak detection specialist is capable of finding a leaking pipe in your wall, ceiling or floors, which would otherwise be invisible. They use equipment such as thermal imaging and moisture meters to cover large areas at a time and find the leak in your home. Afterwards, the water leak repair can be carried out.

Sound technology is also used to identify the sound of running water from a dripping tap or pipe through walls, to within a few centimetres of accuracy. This gives the plumber a much better idea of where the leaking plumbing is within the house, and allows them to access and repair the water leak without causing unnecessary damage.

Notably, a trace and access plumber can usually reach your home within three hours of your call. This means that you’ll get specialist help to quickly deal with the problem.

Thermal imaging of plumbing within a wall.

Preventing Further Water Damage

Hidden water leaks can cause serious water damage to your home if left unaddressed. By promptly identifying and addressing the source of the problem, this cover helps prevent additional damage, such as water seepage, mould growth, or structural issues that could escalate if left unattended.

Cost Coverage

It covers the expenses associated with uncovering and repairing the damage, including fees for a professional plumber, builder, and any necessary dismantling or repair to affected areas.

Aspects and Limitations

Scope of Coverage

Trace and access cover typically applies to instances where there is damage caused by hidden water leaking within the property’s structure, such as plumbing, heating systems, or hidden pipes. However, coverage may vary among policy providers, and some policies may have specific exclusions or limitations.

Plumber accessing leaky pipes in a wall.

Limits on Pay-outs

Policies usually have a limit on the amount that can be claimed for trace and access. This limit may differ depending on the insurer and the specific policy terms. A typical trace and access limit on a household policy is £5,000.

Exclusions

Certain conditions may not be covered under trace and access, such as a pre-existing leak known to the property owner before the policy inception, wear and tear, gradual damage, or damage caused by external sources like storms.

One point of note is that if a policyholder discovers a leak and reports it straight away, regardless of how long the leak is perceived to have been ongoing, then the insurer will normally be unable to deny the claim based on the reasoning that it is a gradual or pre-existing incident.

Professional Expertise Requirement

Policies might specify the need for using accredited professionals or approved contractors to carry out the trace and access work to be eligible for coverage.

When To Call For Trace And Access

Now you have a greater understanding of the trace and access service and the associated cover from your insurance company. However, it’s important to know the obvious signs of a hidden water leak and when to call a leak detection specialist:

Sounds Of A Water Leak

If you hear water gushing or leaking, but can’t see any sign of an external leak, that indicates you have hidden pipe leaks.

Considerable Waste Water

If you notice that you’re using far more water than normal, reflected in your water bill or on your water meter, perhaps you have a hidden leak.

Loss of Water Pressure

Have you noticed an inexplicable loss in water pressure? If the water pressure is still low after doing all the standard checks, contact a trace and access plumber.

Trace And Access Case Studies

Here is an example of the kind of situations where leak detection can be of benefit when experiencing hidden water leaks in the home:

Patch of damp on a wall.

Hidden Pipe Leak

A property owner notices damp patches on the wall but cannot identify the exact source of the water seepage. Trace and access cover would fund the costs associated with investigating and accessing the concealed plumbing or pipework to locate the leak.

Underfloor Heating Leak

If there’s a leak in the underfloor heating system causing damage but it’s not immediately visible, trace and access cover can help cover the expenses involved in accessing the concealed heating elements and locating the leak.

Ceiling Leak

Water stains appear on the ceiling without any obvious source. Thermal imaging equipment would aid in the investigation to determine the cause of the leak, avoiding unnecessary removal of pipes, walls and floorboards to identify the source.

Conclusion

In essence, trace and access cover within UK home insurance policies serves to financially support hidden damage and water leak detection within a property, though its coverage and limitations may differ among policies and insurers.

If you would like to speak to an expert about this or any other aspect of your claim, call our free Property Claim Helpline on 0800 002 5819, for a no obligation consultation.

Disclaimer

All content within this or any column, or via the free helpline, is provided for general information only, and should not be treated as a substitute for the Insurance advice of your own broker or any other insurance professional. Claimrite is not responsible or liable for any decisions made by a user based on the content of this site or the free helpline.

Claimrite is not liable for the contents of any external internet sites listed, nor does it endorse any commercial product or service mentioned or advised on any of the sites. Always consult your own Insurance broker if you’re in any way concerned about your insurance cover.