When you’re thinking about taking out a new home insurance policy (or renewing your existing one), one of the decisions you’ll need to make is whether to include Trace and Access cover. In this article we do a quick refresh on what Trace and Access is and why you might want to include cover in your home insurance policy.
Hold Up, What Exactly is Trace and Access Cover Again?
Trace and Access cover is included in many home insurance policies. It covers the cost of locating and exposing a water leak. For example, say you suspect that you have a water leak, but you aren’t sure where the source of the leak is. With Trace and Access on your policy you’d be covered to employ a Trace and Access specialist, who’d be able to locate the source of the leak and make it accessible for repair.
It’s important to note that Trace and Access does not cover the cost to repair the leak. This is often (but not always) excluded from most policies, meaning you can’t claim for that. Nor does Trace and Access cover the cost to repair the damage caused by the water leak. In most cases your insurer would class that as an ‘escape of water’ claim that would be covered by a separate clause in your policy.
So, Is Trace and Access Worth It?
With the exclusions above you might be wondering if paying slightly more for Trace and Access cover is worth it. Perhaps you take the chance to save a little money, pay for a specialist when you have a water leak, or locate the leak yourself?
Before you make your decision, it’s worth noting the following:
Trace and Access Typically Costs Several Hundred Pounds
Most Trace and Access companies usually charge between £400 and £600 (plus VAT). This is quite a substantial amount that you won’t be able to claim back from your insurer if you haven’t got Trace and Access included in your policy.
Often, You’ll Need a Specialist
Water leaks are not always easy to find. Often, they can be hidden away inside wall cavities, underneath flooring, or behind layers of other hard surfaces. Trace and Access companies will employ a range of specialist equipment to accurately pinpoint the source of a water leak, meaning the damage caused to your home in finding the leak is minimised. Non specialists (e.g., general tradespeople) often won’t have access to such specialist equipment or a wealth of experience in the area.
Accessing a Water Leak Can Be Costly
Sometimes gaining access to a water leak is simple. It might be as straightforward as making a small hole in a wall. However, sometimes it’s not this simple. What if your water leak is underneath very expensive flooring, behind expensive kitchen units, or hiding within a high specification bathroom? There may be some excavation work needed to reach the water leak and this may cause collateral damage. Most policies with Trace and Access would cover this (within reason). But without Trace and Access you could be facing a very expensive bill on your own.
A Water Leak Could Be More Likely Than You Think
According to the Association of British Insurers, an average of over £1.8m per day is paid out in water leak insurance claims. Such claims account for around 20% of all household claims. Leaks are particularly prevalent in winter months as pipes freeze and potentially crack. In short, a water leak is a real possibility!
So, Should I Include Trace and Access Cover?
In most cases, adding Trace and Access cover to a policy does not cost a substantial amount. If this is the case, then our advice would be to include it. It might cost you a little extra, but the benefit and long-term saving to you could be substantial. Some insurers may include Trace and Access cover as standard and at no extra-charge. If this is the case, then this really is a ‘no-brainer’!
We hope that you have found this article useful. Be sure to take a look at the related articles below, which go into a little more depth around key topics: