Jump in water damage claims prompts warning

With almost 10,000 claims lodged for water damage to homes insured by RACQ in the past three years, the Club has issued a warning to Queenslanders to turn off their water main before they set off on Christmas holidays.

The data revealed pipes connected to dishwashers and taps had burst and caused extensive damage to homes, with the costs of the average claim also jumping by 20 percent. 

RACQ spokesperson Lucinda Ross said with December and January the peak times for insurance claims for water damage, holiday-makers needed to prepare before they lock up their property and hit the road. 

“When closing your house up for holidays, you may think the obvious ways to protect it from damage are to shut the windows, empty the fridge, and lock the front door,” Ms Ross said.

“Unfortunately, far too many homeowners are forgetting to turn off their water main, leaving their house open to the real risk of water damage if a pipe bursts – something that’s becoming more common.”

Ms Ross said the Club had also found there was a common problem with a product called Flexi Hose, installed in many Queensland homes, which resulted in a spike in claims. 

“To avoid coming home to a flooded property, shut off the water mains and leave a small amount of water in the pipes, just to make sure the pipes don’t dry out,” she said.  

“But it’s also important to get under the sink, or ask a plumber, to check whether you have a Flexi Hose installed and if it’s nearing expiry. Most homeowners don’t realise this particular product is prone to bursting and needs to be replaced – otherwise it might result in a leak.

“By doing a few simple checks and switching off that water main, it’ll reduce your risk of coming back from holidays to a water logged home.”