Informa Markets

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January 11, 2010

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Free information- Water, water everywhere

Insurance company Fortis says as many as 20-30 per cent of insurance claims costs on property are for escape of water from inside the building, with the most common being from the effects of a burst pipe. In addition, recent research by the firm revealed that as many as one in five business owners and managers responsible for premises would not know where to locate the water shut-off valve in the event of a major leak or burst pipe.
Consequently, Fortis and the British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA) have teamed up to help businesses avoid a repeat of the disruptive leaks and internal water damage that led to a massive increase in insurance claims last winter by providing a free downloadable risk-management guide, which outlines key guidance and tips for protecting against escape of water.

As well as lagging pipes and checking joints, says the guide, there are other simple checks that businesses can make. Key advice from the toolkit includes:• How heating should be managed when premises are left unattended;
• Making sure pipes, the loft and header and water tanks are appropriately insulated to stop freezing and bursting in areas most at risk;
• Ensuring staff with responsibility for the premises know where the stopcock is and have a clear plan for what to do if there is an escape of water;
• Regular inspection of pipes and plumbing joints, especially those in vulnerable locations and those that are plastic and therefore more likely to degrade.
Commenting on the campaign, Adam Clarke, underwriting director at Fortis, said: “The advice guide offers very practical help that can be applied by businesses of all s but is especially useful for those smaller and growing firms that don’t have in-house maintenance staff. By following the expert tips we have prepared, businesses could gain valuable peace of mind and, crucially, avoid vast expense and disruption during the colder months.”

Steve Foulsham, BIBA’s technical services manager, added: “Businesses need suitable cover but different policies have different terms, and a broker is best placed to advise on the most suitable protection. The cost to businesses if they are unable to trade is a big concern and we are urging them to take action before lower temperatures start leading to losses.”

The guide is free to download from

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