A True Story
Recently, a tenant came to us saying that they had had a huge water bill due to a leak. The loss of water was being clocked by their water meter even though the tenant was unaware that there had been a leak.
The leak was fixed and South West Water waived the bill due to the circumstances.
The tenant found out from the next bill that another leak had occurred and this leak was then fixed and South West Water waived the bill.
The third time, the bill was the only thing letting them know that there had been yet another leak. But this time, South West Water stuck to their policy that they only waive 2 bills due to leaks. This time, the bill needed to be paid.
This left the tenant having to look elsewhere for help to pay the bill.
Our recommended Contents Insurance policy does cover this kind of water bill compensation. When we asked the insurers about our tenant’s case, they explained that it would be down to the discretion of the underwriters whether they would compensate for the bill that had incurred due to a 3rd leak.
Ocean has a compensation policy which stipulates that we will not compensate for water charges incurred due to water leaks (see page 4 of our Compensation Policy, at the end of 7.3). We would however, compensate for failure on our part to undertake an emergency repair within the required 24hrs timescale, following report of the leak. In this tenant’s case, unfortunately, the leak had not been reported to us till after the charges had been incurred.
Learning a hard lesson
The tenant has now been left with the bill.
To avoid this happening to you, we would recommend:
- Reading your meter regularly to familiarise yourself with your water usage.
- Report unusually high or irregular usage that you cannot explain as a potential leak to South West Water straight away.
- Take out a Contents’ Insurance Policy
- Report internal leaks as soon as you discover them to Ocean and we will treat it as an Emergency Repair (24hr callout).