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Water pressure – tackling the rising costs of escape of water claims must be a key priority for the industry says the ABI’s James Dalton

  • Latest ABI figures show no let-up in the rising cost of escape of water claims.
  • All parties in the claims and restoration process must work closely to get under the surface of what is going on.

Speaking today at the British Damage Management Association’s property claims conference the ABI’s Director of General Insurance Policy James Dalton said that tackling the rising costs of escape of water claims must be the number one priority for the domestic property insurance market in 2018. His call comes as latest ABI figures show no let-up in what is consistently the most expensive claim for domestic property insurers.

  • Latest ABI data shows that, in the first nine months of 2017, domestic escape of water claims cost £483 million, rising 1% on the same period in 2016 and up 24% on the first nine months of 2014.
  • Between 2014 and 2016 the total cost of domestic escape of water claims jumped by 24% from £529 million to £654 million. 
  • In the last three years the average cost of these claims has risen by 31% to £2,638.

James Dalton said:

“We need to get below the surface of the issue. While claims inflation generally is impacting on claims costs, escape of water claims remain a particular headache for insurers. We know that factors such as more hidden or integrated pipework and less damage resilient building materials contribute towards higher claim costs. With no sign that these costs will start to abate anytime soon, it is essential that all those in the claims and restoration chain work closely so that we better understand what can be done to help customers and reverse the rising cost of these claims.”

An ABI consultation with leading loss adjusters and damage management companies confirmed that factors contributing to the issue include: more plumbed-in domestic appliances; more central heating; an increase in en-suite bathrooms and downstairs toilets; more complex plumbing systems; hidden and integrated plumbing and the use of less damage resilient materials such as chipboard. 




Notes for Editors


1. Enquiries to:
Malcolm Tarling                        020 7216 7410    Mobile: 07776 147667
Sarah Cordey                            020 7216 7375    Mobile: 07860 189071


2. The Association of British Insurers is the voice of the UK’s world leading insurance and long-term savings industry.

A productive, inclusive and thriving sector, we are an industry that provides peace of mind to households and businesses across the UK and powers the growth of local and regional economies by enabling trade, risk taking, investment and innovation.


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4. More news and information from the ABI is available on our web site, www.abi.org.uk.

Last updated 23/11/2017