Water companies have been pushing expensive supply pipe insurance despite offering their own free pipe repair schemes, according to a report by consumer watchdog Which?
Claims company Drain Claim’s chief executive David Hayes said the findings came as no shock and the practice of putting unnecessary third party insurance onto customers should be stopped.
And he called on Which? to take a closer look at the practices of insurers with regard to drainage insurance claims, an area where he believes home owners are being short changed out of receiving the full and thorough repairs which they are entitled to under their home insurance policies.
Hayes said that water supply disruptions were in numerous cases covered by home insurance policies as were many problems relating to sewage pipes.
He said that both the water supply companies and insurers should be seeking to ensure their customers understand exactly what their policies cover.
“On a daily basis we are seeing the home insurance industry wriggling out of countless drainage insurance claims by using the term ‘serviceable’, a term that we have yet to find a definition for in any home insurance policy documents,” he said.
“As far as the innocent insurance customer is concerned the word ‘serviceable’ does not exist when then take out their policies and yet it is being wielded more and more by insurers to convince customers that serious drainage problems can be resolved with a cheap sticking plaster style repair. “This risky solution leaves customers vulnerable to even greater sewage problems in the future.
“It is extremely alarming to see home owners not only being upsold additional water pipe insurance policies, but also misled into believing they do not have a valid case when they attempt to make a claim on their home insurance policies.
“Customers desperately need clarity and easy to understand home insurance policies which clearly set out what is and is not covered with regard to their water and waste pipe systems.
“Insurance providers have a legal duty of good faith and fair dealing with policyholders and they must be held accountable for actions which contradict this obligation.”
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