A guide to water leak detection systems

2 minutes

Escape of water claims account for over a fifth of all home insurance claim payments, with an average of nearly £9,000 paid per claim[1].  In addition to the costs associated with escape of water, there is also the disruption. The source of a leak can take time to find, and drying out and repairs can take months. The damage caused by a sudden water leak when a pipe bursts can be devastating and it’s not uncommon for homeowners to have to move into alternative accommodation during this time.

Escape of water and the resulting disruption can be avoided by having a water leak detector.  Insurers are increasingly specifying the installation of a leak detection system, particularly after a water leak claim. But what is a water leak detector?

Water leak detection systems

A water leak detection system monitors the flow of water through a pipeline. When abnormal behaviour is detected, the system either cuts off the water flow, alerts the home owner to the leak or, depending on the type of system installed, does both.  Leak detection technology has improved over the last few years, with devices enabling connection and management via smartphones. As a homeowner, it’s a good idea to install a leak detection system, particularly when undertaking any refurbishment work.

What water leak detection system should I have?

Aston Lark doesn’t recommend any particular make or model of leak detection system, but here’s some guidance:

  • It’s important to check that any device you purchase is both compatible with your home’s water system and acceptable to your insurer. Even if your insurer doesn’t require a leak detector, they may offer a premium discount or a reduction in your excess at renewal, so check before you buy.
  • Check that the device you are buying can shut off the water if it detects a leak – some require you to turn the water off yourself.
  • Check how water is monitored. Some devices monitor the incoming water flow, others require sensors under baths, sinks, dishwashers etc which then link to a wireless hub, which in turn links to a shut-off valve and/or your device.

Why do I need a water leak detection system?

  • A good water leak detector will both detect and prevent water leaks, reducing the likelihood of a potential disaster at home.
  • It may help keep your home insurance premiums down. For more advice on home insurance premiums read our article: Ways to manage your home insurance premium.
  • As the UK home insurance market shifts to what is known as a ‘hard market’, we’re finding an increasing number of clients being refused insurance due to a less than perfect claims history. More than one escape of water claim in five years may make it difficult to find home insurance and even a single recent claim may make it difficult to move insurers. 

Why do I need a broker?

A specialist home insurance broker, like Aston Lark, can talk to you about your property and help you navigate your way around water-related home insurance issues.  We can also make security and safety recommendations. This can be for safes, alarms, cameras, and locks, as well as other smart home technology. It’s just one of the many benefits of using a broker. 


1:  Chartered Insurance Institute           

Insurance advice

To speak to Howden about your insurance, please call 020 8256 4901 or email privateclients@howdeninsurance.co.uk