Properties situated along old Victorian water pipes in London are at greatest risk of flooding, according to research by Hamilton Fraser Total Landlord Insurance. Analysis of claims* over the last 10 years shows a clear link between flood claims in locations closely matching the city’s Victorian water mains.
This comes after 150 properties were affected by flooding in Finsbury Park on Tuesday due to a ruptured pipe. One claim following the Finsbury Park flood has already been reported to Hamilton Fraser Total Landlord Insurance in which the ground floor of a flat in N5 has been submerged in four inches of water damaging all the furniture, floors and walls.
‘Escape of Water’, defined as ‘when water has entered the property by the mains water supply causing damage’ e.g. a burst pipe, is the number one property insurance claim. It accounts for 34 per cent of all claims paid out by Hamilton Fraser Total Landlord Insurance over the last decade.
When overlaying insurance claims data from the last ten years onto a Google map on which Victorian sewer lines are plotted, clusters along older Victorian pipes are evident – suggesting a correlation between London’s ageing infrastructure and the propensity for escape of water incidents. For example, between 2017-2018 there were 45 reported cases of escape of water along Victorian plumbing lines in Kensington, 28 in Shepherd’s Bush and 27 in Brixton.
“These figures show that one of the biggest potential threats to properties in London is an issue that many of us are not even aware of,” says Melissa Choules, Senior Claims Technician at Hamilton Fraser Total Landlord Insurance. “London has a serious problem when it comes to the risk of flooding.
In the Capital, there is a greater percentage of old buildings with plumbing that was first laid down over 150 years ago and that has been working over-capacity for decades. This is especially worrying for property owners in the capital, who appear especially vulnerable to escape of water incidents.”
Here’s some advice on what to do if your property experiences a flood:
- Turn off the gas, water and electricity
- Where possible, move items upstairs or stack on top of tables or worksurfaces
- Do not touch any sources of electricity
- Use sandbags or floorboards to prevent water entering through doors or windows
- Seal airbricks with plastic covers, cloths or towels
- Depending on severity, emergency services may organise to help pump out water or alternatively you may have to instruct specialised contractors to assist
*Report analysed 5,000 landlord insurance claims over a 10-year period
Hamilton Fraser Total Landlord Insurance is part of the Hamilton Fraser Group of companies,including mydeposits, Property Redress Scheme, CMP and Landlord Action. Their award-winning landlord insurance offering, Total Landlord Insurance, has been specialising in providing comprehensive cover for landlords since 1996.