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Why might a Trace and Access claim be refused?

Whilst most Trace and Access claims proceed smoothly, sometimes claims may be scrutinised or refused by insurers. Without becoming an insurance policy expert, it can be difficult to know what you’re entitled to claim for and what may be legitimately rejected. In this article we take a brief look at some of the common reasons behind the refusal of a Trace and Access claim.

Before we get started, it’s important to note that every insurance policy is different and there is no all-encompassing ‘rule-of-thumb’ that can be applied. With that said, this article should hopefully point you in the right direction, so that you can ask the right questions and get back to doing more ‘fun’ things as quickly as possible!

Escape of Water vs Ingress of Water

One of the key things to understand about water damage related insurance claims is the difference between an ‘escape of water’ and an ‘ingress of water’. These two key terms are often mistakenly understood to mean broadly the same thing, when in fact they are distinctly different.

An ‘escape of water’ refers to water escaping from a closed system, for example a central heating system. It is the classic ‘water pipe leak’ scenario. Some insurance polices will attach Trace and Access to escape of water cover, meaning that an escape of water needs to have taken place for Trace and Access costs to be covered.

On the other side, an ‘ingress’ of water usually refers to water coming in from the outside. It may be coming in through a window, door, or roof. This is distinctly different from an escape of water, and thus some insurers (depending upon the policy) may query or refuse related Trace and Access claims.

A grey area can be found when water leaking from a system outside of your home subsequently runs into your home. For example, you may have a leaking pipe in your garden or driveway which then causes water to enter your home. Such cases may be more complicated but can result in multiple insurance claims, one for an escape of water and one for an ingress of water.

An Insurable Event Must Have Occurred

Another common reason for the refusal of a Trace and Access claim is that an ‘insurable event’ has not occurred. Translated into plain English, this means that you can’t claim for something that either hasn’t happened, or that you’re not insured for.

The most likely example is that you suspect a water leak, but Trace and Access determines that there is no water leak. In some cases, you will not be covered for Trace and Access costs as there was no water leak to find (no insurable event has taken place).

Water Damage Must Have Occurred

It has been known for Trace and Access claims to be rejected on the basis that no water damage has occurred. Whilst this argument has been known, it has also often been successfully challenged. There are very few cases where a water leak does not cause some damage. From the discolouration of walls, ceilings, and furnishings, to hidden damage that might not be immediately obvious.

The key here is to do a thorough examination of both the source of the water leak and where that water subsequently travelled, documenting it with clear photographs and report. With this evidence to hand, this argument can often be successfully challenged.

Related Reading

We hope you found this article useful. For some more in-depth explanations around the key topics mentioned in this article, be sure to read: