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17/04/2012

Millions Of Customers Mis-sold Water Pipe Insurance

A watchdog has found that millions of British homeowners have been missold expensive and potentially unnecessary water pipe insurance of around £35 a year.

Which? has found 10 of the 12 largest water companies promoted the supply pipe insurance, despite many customers automatically being covered by their free policies.

They have calculated that customers could have spent more than £100m on the insurance, which they say they “don’t need and won’t claim on.”

The revelation, which relates to third-party water pipe insurance providers Homeserve, comes as water companies face accusations of wasting water through failing to repair their own leaks during the drought.

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As households submit to a summer-long hosepipe ban, nearly half of companies have been criticised for not doing enough to stop mains supplies leaking.

Last month it was reported nearly 300m gallons of water could be lost per day though leaks and companies have vowed to improve.

In an article for customers, Which? wrote: “Millions of customers buy specialist insurance they don’t need and won’t claim on.

“All ten water companies offer their own free pipe repair schemes, which you are automatically entitled to use. But information on these schemes is often hard to find on the companies’ websites.

“According to Homeserve’s marketing, 8% of homeowners have a water pipe emergency, such as a leak, ‘at some point’.

“Given that people could own their home for 20 years or more, we think the risk of your water supply pipes rupturing is relatively low, so it makes sense to check the cover offered by your buildings insurance policy and water company before forking out for expensive cover you’ll probably never use.”

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Millions Of Customers Mis-sold Water Pipe Insurance - A watchdog has found that millions of British homeowners have been missold expensive and potentially unnecessary water pipe insurance of around £35 a year.