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Trace and access cover

Trace and access cover

Never come across trace and access cover? You're not the only one – but it could prove vital in an emergency. Read our guide to find out all you need to know about this part of your insurance.

Chris King
From the Home team
minute read
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Posted 16 JULY 2020

What is trace and access cover?

'Trace and access' refers to the part of your home insurance policy that covers you for finding the source of a water leak. This cover could give you confidence to call a plumber to identify the source of a water leak, knowing the work is likely to be insured. It could prevent a lot of damage to your home as a result.

Finding the source of a leak can be an expensive and disruptive process. Trace and access cover could protect you from the costs of that work, plus any reinstatement that may need to happen afterwards. In some cases the leak might not be something that's covered under the insurance policy, this could be a result of a damp proof course failing or another maintenance issue. You wouldn't be covered for the damage caused in this situation, however trace and access should still cover you for any of the investigative work to find the source of the problem.

Unidentified leaks are far from an unusual problem – figures from the Association of British Insurers (ABI) show that insurance providers are paying out £1.8 million every day for damage caused by water leaks (known as an “escape of water”).

Does trace and access insurance come as standard?

Not always, no. Some home insurance policies include trace and access cover, and others don't. But you don't want to discover your policy doesn't cover you when a leak is happening.

We suggest checking your policy to see if you have any cover in place. Even if you do, most policies have limits of between £5,000 and £10,000 for this kind of cover.

I have trace and access insurance. What should I do if there’s a leak?

If water is escaping from your heating system and the cause isn't obvious, first contact your insurance provider to get their advice. If you have home emergency cover, they may recommend sending their own approved tradesman to prevent further damage by trying to trace and isolate the leak.

You're likely to need to keep any relevant information and evidence – such as photos of damage – so check with your provider what they expect when you contact them.

Remember, while trace and access insurance will help pay for any damage caused in trying to find the leak, it won't cover anything damaged by the leak itself – this is what the main part of your home insurance policy is for.

Do the same rules apply with underground pipes?

You're usually responsible for the pipes that run underneath your land. These could include water, gas and sewage pipes, as well as electricity and TV cables.

If you notice a leak, trace and access insurance could help pay for the cost of any investigative work to identify the problem. If your drain is damaged, check what your insurance says about drains, pipes and cables. For example, it could provide cover for tree root damage to pipes.

Use our comparison service to compare home buildings insurance to find a policy that includes trace and access cover.

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**For the period 1st March 2020 to 31st May 2020, 11,723 people responded to the recommend question, 11,015 responded with a score of 6 or above, therefore 94.0% are likely to recommend

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