“Tackling the rising costs of escape of water claims must be a key priority,” says James Dalton

ABI director of general insurance policy James Dalton has said the rising cost of escaped water claims should be the industry’s top priority next year.

Speaking today at the British Damage Management Association’s property claims conference, Dalton made the claim after the latest ABI figures show no let-up in what is consistently the most expensive claim for domestic property insurers.

He believes all parties in the claims and restoration process must work closely to get under the surface of what is going on.

In the first nine months of 2017, domestic escape of water claims cost £483 million, rising 1% on the same period in 2016 and up almost a quarter (24%) on the first nine months of 2014. And in the last three years the average cost of these claims has risen by nearly a thirdd (31%) to £2,638.

“We need to get below the surface of the issue,” Dalton said.

“While claims inflation generally is impacting on claims costs, escape of water claims remain a particular headache for insurers.

“We know that factors such as more hidden or integrated pipework and less damage resilient building materials contribute towards higher claim costs. With no sign that these costs will start to abate anytime soon, it is essential that all those in the claims and restoration chain work closely so that we better understand what can be done to help customers and reverse the rising cost of these claims.”