Could you bring your insurance premiums down?

Leaksafe specialises in designing and retrofitting leak detection and leak prevention equipment in blocks of flats with a poor history of water damage

Property management companies report that their involvement in managing the consequences of water leaks takes up to 80% of their time and is reflected in their charges to all occupiers in a block whether they have been affected by a leak or not. By proactively managing their escape of water risk residents can potentially better negotiate management charges.

Leaksafe employs a risk management approach when designing their systems to ensure that high-risk areas in flats or communal areas are protected while minimising disruption to occupiers and keeping costs affordable. They design leak detection systems that will pick up even low-level leaks characteristic of blocks of flats and if a leak is detected the system will automatically shut off the water but importantly, only to the flat affected. This is in contrast to a number of flow-based leak detection systems that will shut off water to the whole building when there is a leak.

LeakSafe are a solutions provider and use a range of technologies as well as leak detection including flow sensing, temperature, time out, PIRs to ensure that the system installed is appropriate for the building and - more important - for the people that live in and use that space. The components are designed not to be visible once installed so they will not compromise the existing finishes of a flat.

Systems can be designed that will:

  • Link into a building’s BMS (building management system) to alert when a leak is detected.
  • Link into a burglar alarm so that when the alarm is set it automatically turns the water off.
  • Include GSM modules to text alert individual occupiers, or concierges or response providers if a leak is detected to ensure a quick response and clean up. This option is ideal for occupants who are not resident all the time and who want the peace of mind and re-assurance that any leak is swiftly dealt with.

Generally, little is known about leak detection equipment by most property owners and occupiers, so Leaksafe provide a comprehensive service to their customers. Typically, LeakSafe conduct an on-site survey, learn about the property occupancy, review the claims history for the building and then recommend an appropriate system to be installed. They offer a nationwide installation service through a network of approved installers or will work with a building’s existing managing agents and contractors to carry out an installation.

Premium service

In one block of 30 luxury flats, the average water damage insurance claim for the previous two years was £250,000 per annum and at renewal the insurer imposed a policy excess on escape of water of £250,000 per claim. The insurer advised the property manager to meet with Leaksafe and following the installation of the company’s systems they immediately reduced the policy excess with a promise to review terms again at the next renewal date. During that period, nine leaks were detected and prevented, and there have been no insurance claims since installation, resulting in a reduction in premium that more than paid for the cost of installing the systems.

If you are interested in finding out an illustrative cost of installing Leaksafe systems in your building, complete the eight- question Enquiry Form you will find on our website or contact Mark Shrosbree on 0844 848 0488.

LEAK PREVENTION CHECKLIST

Do you have one for your block?

According to insurers, water damage is the number one source of claims for owners of high-rise homes. Leaks can cause problems at any time of year and at any stage in thelife of a building. So what can flat owners do to reduce the risk of costly claims for water damage in their block?

Leading insurer Zurich recommends residents put together a simple checklist to help prevent leaks. Obviously some types of water damage are unavoidable but it is worth taking precautions wherever possible. Taking action on this list of questions might help reduce the risk.

  • Are small leaks promptly repaired?
  • Is the cause of any leak analysed to determine whether it was an isolated problem or a symptom of a system-wide failure?
  • Are residents asked to notify the RMC or property manager if any dripping or leaking pipes, overflows or clogged drains are noticed?
  • Is there close monitoring of outside contractors whose work may affect hot and cold water systems?
  • Are there any liquid storage tanks or vessels inside the building or on the roof and if so, are they periodically checked for leaks?
  • Are pipe diagrams up to date? If not, they should be revisited, with all residents made aware of the location of shut-off valves and stop cocks.
  • Are shut-off valves “exercised” (opened, closed and lubricated as needed) at least annually in order to check they can be turned off in an emergency?
  • Is someone immediately available at all times with authorisation to call and bring in a professional contractor in case of emergency?

If the answer to any of these questions is “no” then the issue should be raised with an RMC director or discussed with your property manager.