What is trace and access cover?

Trace and Access is often a misunderstood term, or a term that you may not hear of until you need it. In this short article, we explain what Trace and Access is and what it includes.

Trace and Access is a type of cover offered in a home insurance policy. It covers the cost of tracing the source of a water leak, exposing it (so that it can be repaired) and the subsequent damage caused by this process. However, it does not include the repair of the leak.

If you have a water leak at home, it may be obvious where the leak is coming from. For example you may be able to actually see water leaking from a visible pipe. However, on many occasions the source of the water leak may not be visible. It may be hidden behind a wall, in a cavity or beneath a floor. You may only be able to see the damage caused by the leak, for example a damp patch on your ceiling.

In these later cases, it may be costly and time-consuming to locate the source of the leak. Specialist equipment may need to be used to accurately pinpoint the source of the leak. In some cases, some exploratory work may need to be undertaken – for example removing floor boards.

Having Trace and Access cover as part of your home insurance policy means that your insurer will reimburse you for the cost to locate and expose your leak. Exposing your leak will allow an assessment of the damage caused and for the leak to be repaired.

Does Trace and Access include the cost of repairing the leak?

No, Trace and Access only covers the cost to locate and expose a hidden water leak (plus any damage caused by doing this). There is sometimes a maximum value that an insurer will pay out, for example £5,000. But this varies between insurance companies and policies. So it is best to check your policy documents or speak to your insurer to clarify what you are covered for.

Does it come as standard in all policies?

No, not all home insurance policies include Trace and Access cover. Although many policies do include it. Check your policy documents or speak with your insurer if you’re unsure if you have this cover.

What can I do if I don’t have Trace and Access cover?

You can still use a water leak detection specialist to locate the source of your leak. However you may not be able to recover these costs from your insurance company.

Will my insurer pay for the cost of Trace and Access directly?

In most cases, no. You will likely pay the your chosen company directly once your water leak has been found and exposed. The company will then provide you with a written report to submit to your insurer. Your insurer will then reimburse you for the cost.

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