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Septic Tank Troubleshooting Checklist

Are you having problems with your septic tank?  Follow our Septic Tank Troubleshooting Checklist to find out what’s going on! If your septic tank has been quietly working away underground for years without bothering you, it can be a bit of a shock when things start to go awry.  If you think you might have… Read more »


Should I buy a house with private drainage?

There are many upsides to living somewhere more rural.  All that lovely fresh air and bracing walks through the fields.  But there are other things to think about when contemplating a move to the country – and it’s not necessarily something you’d want to dwell on for too long.  Drainage.  No one likes to talk… Read more »

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My septic tank discharges into a ditch. Is this ok?

Many people are not sure what type of off mains drainage system they have.  After all, unless you are something of an expert, it can be pretty tricky working it out since they are tucked neatly away underground.  And if the system is working as it should do, most people are happy to leave it… Read more »

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Half of septic tanks failed inspections in Ireland

A recent news report highlighted that in Ireland in 2016, half of septic tanks failed inspections that were carried out on them.  The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) has warned that this poses serious health risks not only to the families living in the properties, but also to the environment.  This is because many property owners… Read more »

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Is a septic tank baffle repair possible?

Questions about septic tank baffle repair might not keep everyone awake at night, but if you have a property with an off mains drainage system such as a septic tank, and you’re having some septic tank problems, you’ll want to know the answer. It might help to explain what a baffle is, and what it… Read more »

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My septic tank is leaking above ground – what should I do?

If your property has a septic tank or other off mains drainage system, you’ll be hoping for years of trouble free service from it.  After all, it’s tricky to know what’s really going on underground, and you might be blissfully unaware of any trouble brewing….until it surfaces above ground!  If you’ve found us because carrying out… Read more »

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Off mains drainage – a beginners guide!

Many people dream of a move to the country – rolling hills, tweeting birds and quaint cottages with thatched roofs.  I mean, what’s not to love?  All that fresh air, no rush hour traffic and taking the dog for long walks through the fields.  But that’s not all that’s different when compared to town and city life.  If you… Read more »

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5 things to consider when choosing your buildings insurance for a septic tank.

Let’s face it, the world of buying insurance has gotten all the more confusing in recent years.  There are websites selling insurance, aggregator websites selling other companies’ insurance, and websites about which aggregator website is best.  Given that one of these websites is, I think that just about sums it up. So, when you… Read more »

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The best questions to ask when buying a house with a septic tank

You’re making that move to the countryside.  The picture postcard cottage you’ve had your eye on for a while now is finally going to be yours, and you can’t wait.  All that fresh country air, tweeting birds and……the smell of a failing septic tank?  Now, that was never part of the plan!  Don’t let nasty… Read more »

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Septic tank emptying – why, when and how?

Septic tank emptying – why should you do it, when should you do it and what’s involved? So, most of us know what’s involved in filling up a septic tank.  Although of course it’s not just yesterday’s lunch that finds its way into your septic tank, there are other types of waste that end up there… Read more »

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How to clear a blocked soakaway – the UKDP guide!

Your drainage system has been ticking away nicely underground, you’ve had it emptied regularly and all seems fine.  Then you notice strange things afoot – a boggy patch above where the soakaway system is, the septic tank overflowing or your toilets taking longer to flush than usual.  How do you know what’s causing the problem? … Read more »


The top 5 reasons why insurers turn down septic tank insurance claims

Most people don’t even realise that, often, the costs of resolving septic tank problems or soakaway problems are covered by standard buildings insurance policies.  We’re often called by people looking for a specific septic tank insurance policy – but no such thing really exists, because typically cover is already provided by buildings policies.  So, that’s… Read more »

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You can trust your insurer to do the right thing. Right?

Having spent the last 8 years dealing with insurers over claims for septic tank problems, we have a bit of a mixed opinion on whether you should be able to trust them to do the right thing when you need to claim.  I find that people tend to fall into two camps when it comes to views… Read more »

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Another shared septic tank problem sorted!

Septic tank problems can be pretty unpleasant at the best of times. But for those homeowners with a shared drainage system, a shared septic tank problem can cause real headaches! Septic tanks typically just serve one property, but sometimes they can be shared by ten or more.  Now, this makes life a little more complicated when it comes to… Read more »

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What does a septic tank replacement cost?

You’ve noticed some unpleasant smells in your back garden.  You might have even been told by your septic tank emptying company that your tank is damaged and needs to be replaced.  Unfortunately, septic tank problems can be trouble both for your nose and your bank balance.  So you’re probably wondering, what does a septic tank… Read more »

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Help us to support Cancer Research UK!

In August 2016, a very dear friend and former UKDPer Mark Robinson lost his fight against pancreatic cancer.  Mark was an inspiration to us throughout his brave battle with this disease, and he showed tremendous positivity in the face of such adversity. In Mark’s memory, and in order to raise funds for Cancer Research UK, our Technical… Read more »


Is your septic tank covered by homeowners insurance – even if your insurer says no?

Most of us don’t want to think too much about what happens to the contents of the loo when they’re flushed away. But if you’re having septic tank problems, you might find yourself having to deal with the whiffy reality of where it goes when your drainage system stops working.  Your toilets might start taking longer to flush, you… Read more »

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Is our drainage claims handling service too good to be true?

Well, on the surface, being told that the drainage claims handling service we offer sounds `too good to be true’ seems like a really nice compliment.  But it’s something that we hear a lot, and we wonder if sometimes it might stop people with septic tank problems picking up the phone. If we told you… Read more »


Failing septic tank system? Make UKDP your first port of call.

`Failing septic tank system? Make UKDP your first port of call.’ It’s not just a headline I’ve written (although of course I do think you should make UKDP your first port of call for any septic tank problems!), this actually came from a testimonial that we were very glad to receive recently. Here’s the full review… Read more »


UKDP saves Christmas!

Yes, you read the headline right! Even though it seems like an awfully bold claim.  We always strive to make our customers happy by getting their septic tank problems sorted for them as soon as possible. But the UKDP team were particularly delighted when we received an email from a customer which started `Firstly, thank you for saving Christmas’! Now,… Read more »

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Rain affecting your septic tank? We can help!

This is a great time of year for many reasons, but one major downside is the unpredictable British weather.  Each year we’re told we’re going to get the coldest, hardest winter we’ve seen in decades….and yet all we seem to get is a whole load of rain.  Torrential downpours and flooding seem much more likely these days… Read more »


Septic tank insurance claim turned down?

Not many people know that sometimes, the cost to fix septic tank problems at your property is covered by the buildings insurance in place. That can be pretty good news, especially if the drainage system needs to be replaced, as costs can run to thousands of pounds. So, if your insurance policy says you’re covered, then it… Read more »


Septic Tank Winter Care Maintenance Tips!

As the nights draw in and there is a distinct chill in the air, thoughts start to turn to getting the heating on and – dare I say the dreaded C word – maybe even Christmas.  Something that might not be at the front of your mind is how best to look after your septic… Read more »


Could a pre-purchase drainage survey save YOU £12,000?

Could a pre-purchase drainage survey be the best investment you’ll make? In most situations, you’d consider putting £350 in to get £12,000 out to be a pretty good return on investment.  If you’re buying a new property, arranging a pre-purchase drainage survey with UKDP could achieve just that. When you’re eyeing up your new home, the… Read more »

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Tree root damage to a septic tank? Here’s how we can help!

All sorts of things can happen to septic tanks that stop them working.  Things that you might not have even thought about – for example, tree root damage to a septic tank.  It’s hard to believe that roots from trees or shrubs can be strong enough to grow through the walls of a septic tank – or… Read more »


Is a septic tank repair possible?

Is it possible to fix a septic tank? If your septic tank stops working, it can cause all sorts of nasty problems – mainly for your nose, but also sometimes for your bank balance.  If you’ve started to experience septic tank problems, you might be wondering if a septic tank repair is possible?   Or will the tank need… Read more »


Septic tank in clay soil? Find out why it matters and what you can do.

A property owner recently contacted us through our website, explaining that they had a septic tank in clay soil and asking us if this might be the cause of their septic tank problems. Here at UKDP we spend every day talking about septic tanks and other off-mains drainage systems (and yes, we are as interesting as we sound), so we… Read more »

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Septic tanks vs. sewage treatment plants – what’s the difference?

Ok so `septic tanks vs. sewage treatment plants’ might not be much of a battle worth watching, but if you have a property with an off mains drainage system – or are thinking of buying one – it’s worth knowing the difference. This is all the more important bearing in mind the change in legislation… Read more »

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Why is my soakaway not soaking away?

Is your soakaway not soaking away? If you’re sat in your garden basking in the lovely sunshine that we’re currently having, the last thing you want to be interrupting your daydreams is nasty niffs coming from your drainage system.  Or worse, your dog rolling around in what looks like dirty water, pooling somewhere near where… Read more »

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Who are the top ten insurers for your septic tank?

Here at UKDP we like to consider ourselves experts in two things – anything to do with off-mains drainage, and insurance claims.  You’d be right in thinking that those two things combined make for fascinating daily office chat, and yes we are all available for after dinner speaking bookings. Our knowledge does come in handy… Read more »

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What is a percolation test?

What is a percolation test? A percolation test is used to decide whether the soil at a property is suitable for a soakaway system (also known as a drainage field).  If the ground is suitable, a percolation test will then decide how big a soakaway system needs to be. It is crucial that a percolation test is undertaken before… Read more »

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What is a septic tank baffle?

Are you baffled by what a septic tank baffle is?  Ever wondered what they actually do?  Ok, it might not be one of life’s greatest puzzles, but if your property has a septic tank, then it’s worth knowing what’s what. First of all, it’s useful to know how a septic tank works.  All of the wastewater… Read more »

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Septic tank wars! What happens when shared septic tanks go bad?

Ok, so the title may sound a little over dramatic, but at UKDP HQ we often receive calls from property owners who have a shared septic tank with their neighbours, and things have turned a little ugly. Now, a shared septic tank problem isn’t that much of a `problem’ when your neighbour is the type who feeds… Read more »

What not to flush in a septic tank

The top ten things you should never flush into a septic tank

Septic tanks take all the waste water from your property’s toilets, sinks and showers.  So we probably don’t need to spell out exactly what you should be flushing into it.  Instead, we thought we’d focus on some of the things you should never flush into a septic tank, to avoid any septic tank problems in future (or… Read more »

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How do you know when a septic tank is full?

If your property has a septic tank, you’ll probably know that it typically needs emptying around once a year.  This can vary, of course, depending on all sorts of factors, such as whether you’ve had lots of visitors at your property who have been filling it up quicker for you!  So, how do you know when a… Read more »

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The top ten things to check when buying a property with a septic tank.

Have you got your heart set on that lovely country cottage?  Can you picture yourself walking the dog through the open fields or sitting in the garden with nothing but the sound of birds tweeting? We don’t want to shatter that peaceful image, but if you’re thinking about a move to a rural area, you’ll need… Read more »


What type of drainage system do you have? A UKDP video guide.

Septic tanks, cesspits and sewage treatment plants. If you live in a house that’s not near a main sewer, your property will be connected to one of these types of drainage systems. Ok, so it might not be a subject matter you aspired to become an expert in, but it’s important to know what’s lurking… Read more »

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Septic tank regulations – the whats, whys and wherefores.

I’ll admit it, I started this article on septic tank regulations reluctantly. The prospect of trawling through pages upon pages of regulations and legislation relating to septic tanks and drainage fields was a little off putting. There’s one way to lose hours of my life that I’ll never get back, I thought. But then I… Read more »

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Septic tank overflowing? Here’s what to do….

Septic tank overflowing? Here’s what to do…. So there you are, sat in your garden enjoying a nice leisurely cup of tea (or glass of wine, if it’s that time already). The birds are tweeting and the sun is shining. Lovely. And then you get a whiff of something. Something really quite unpleasant. Has next… Read more »

Septic tank insurance needed here!

The ten most common septic tank problems

Nasty stuff bubbling up in your garden? Toilets not flushing properly? Noticing some unpleasant whiffs in your garden?  Here’s our guide to the ten most common septic tank problems. With your septic tank tucked neatly away underground, you’ll be hoping that it’s ticking along nicely. The last thing you want to be contemplating is paying… Read more »

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How your septic tank works – the ultimate guide!

Knowing about how a septic tank works isn’t the kind of knowledge that will make you a hit on the dinner party circuit overnight. But in spite of the unpleasant subject matter, if your property has a septic tank then you really should know what’s going on underground. If you have any septic tank problems,… Read more »

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Good Service from UKDP

Even when faced with lengthy and complex claims, UKDP are committed to providing the best customer service throughout the entire claim process and we are pleased to have received the following comments from a satisfied customer in Cornwall: ‘Extremely good service all the way through the process – the claim did take some time although… Read more »

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UKDP and Aquasource (SW) Ltd

UKDP are pleased to confirm that another septic tank company has now joined our network of expert contractors. Aquasource (SW) Ltd are a small family run business and have been in the industry for many years specialising in Sewage Treatment Solutions and Water Bore Hole drilling services. Their expertise and experience are exactly the qualities… Read more »

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Fantastic feedback for our claims team

At UKDP we always aim to ensure that every customer has a great experience when they contact us about their septic tank problems. We are extremely pleased to have received the following comments from a satisfied customer in Moray, particularly as their claim was very complicated: ‘I’m not a drainage expert, and when we knew… Read more »

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How your Septic Tank works

We’ve updated our article on How Your Septic Tank Works to bring you the ultimate guide! Check out our new post here.

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Flooding and off mains drainage

Luckily for most of us, extreme flooding is not very common, however given recent events in the north of the UK it’s important to familiarise yourself with the steps to take to best deal with these unforeseen events. Flooding causes devastating damage inside and outside your home. Take a look at the following helpful practical… Read more »

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UKDP and White Rose Installations

UKDP are pleased to announce that we have approved another contractor partner. Based in Selby, North Yorkshire, White Rose Installations began working with UKDP on the 26th November and already we have started working with one of their customers to register an insurance claim for a damaged septic tank. White Rose Installations are experts in… Read more »

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Positive feedback for UKDP and our approved contractor in Cornwall

At UKDP we always aim to ensure that every customer has a great experience when they work with us.  Our most recent testimonial, from a happy customer in Cornwall gives us and our approved contractor Flow Patrol very positive feedback, well done to all involved! “Just wanted to let you know that Dean and Robin… Read more »

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UKDP proud to become a member of British Water

UKDP are proud to announce that we are now members of British Water. Becoming a member of British Water reaffirms our commitment to our customers in ensuring that we promote best practice at all times, and that we remain at the forefront of any changes in legislation surrounding off mains drainage. The repair or replacement… Read more »

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What type of drainage system do you have?

We have updated our article on `What type of drainage system do you have?’ – please check out our new version here!    

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Another Satisfied UKDP Customer!

At UKDP we always aim to ensure that every customer has a great experience when they work with us.  Our most recent testimonial, from a happy customer in Kent gives us very positive feedback, well done Sam and Rob! “The assistance and hassle free solution that UKDP has provided has been highly valued. Sam and… Read more »

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UKDP on YouTube!

UKDP are excited to announce that we have our very own YouTube channel. Our field manager and chief editor Angus Mitchell has been busy creating and posting all our latest news and videos. Our most recent video features a step by step guide to show you how to identify what drainage system your property might… Read more »

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UKDP Pass 3000 Claims Mark

UKDP have successfully dealt with over 3000 claims to date for customers with damaged underground services. Do you have a damaged or backed up septic tank, cesspit or sewage treatment plant? Have you experienced pooling in your garden? Been suffering from a nasty smell coming from your septic tank? Contact the team at UKDP today for… Read more »

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Growing the UKDP contractor partner network

We are pleased to say that we are now partnering with a new contractor, Kee Services. Based in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, the team at Kee Services has a great reputation in domestic and commercial products and services in the off mains drainage market. Their commitment to customer service and maintaining the environment makes them a perfect… Read more »

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Welcoming a new member to the UKDP management team

We are very pleased to announce that UKDP now has a new Non Executive Director, in Malcolm Ward.  Malcolm started working with us in 2013, as part of a government scheme developed to help small and medium sized businesses grow . In that time, Malcolm has brought his invaluable experience to the management team in… Read more »

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`I felt very confident with you in my corner….’

Unfortunately, we often see incorrect decisions being made by insurers, loss adjusters or the drainage companies they appoint when assessing claims for damaged drainage systems such as septic tanks, cesspits and sewage treatment plants. Often, this is down to a lack of understanding of the very detailed nature of these systems, and the various types of damage that can cause… Read more »

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What type of drainage system does your property have?

Cesspits, septic tanks, sewage treatment plants, soakaways……when drainage systems are tucked away out of sight, it can be hard to know what lurks under the ground.  If your property doesn’t connect to a main sewer, it will have its own self-contained system, which may even be shared with a neighbouring property. We’ve produced a simple… Read more »

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Not everything should go `pop’ this Christmas!

Everyone hopes for a winter wonderland at Christmas, but sometimes we just end up with some good old British rain. Serious downpours can play havoc with drainage systems, and our team are starting to get more and more phone calls from property owners whose septic tanks or sewage treatment plants have literally `popped’ out of the ground!  Sometimes,… Read more »

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Insurance claim for drainage turned down?

Here at UKDP we are receiving an ever increasing number of calls from property owners who have already approached their insurer about damage to their property’s drainage system.  Unfortunately, the reason for their call is inevitably that their insurer has turned their claim down (insurers call it a `repudiation’), and they are not happy with… Read more »

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Septic Tank Man – the next superhero?!

In America, it seems they take a much more light-hearted view of septic tank problems!  Septic tank problems may not always be a laughing matter, but one US company has  gone so far as to create a video of Septic Tank Man – with an irritatingly catchy Country style song that will be stuck in your… Read more »

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Commercial Drainage Or Septic Tank Problems?

Commercial drainage systems, particularly those not connected to a main sewer, can cause real problems when they stop working.  We have dealt with drainage problems affecting hotels, pubs and campsites and have seen first hand the effect this can have on the business and its owners – from bookings being turned down to customer complaints… Read more »

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Isn’t it just `wear and tear’?

`Wear and tear’ is a phrase we hear a lot in dealing with insurance claims for damaged septic tanks, cesspits, soakaways and treatment plants.  Some insurers will call it `gradual deterioration’.  Either way, it’s a phrase which is often used when an insurer or loss adjuster turns a claim down.  Your insurance policy is there… Read more »

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Homebuyer drainage surveys – don’t buy without one!

We receive a number of calls and emails from property owners who have recently purchased a property connected to a septic tank, cesspit or sewage treatment plant, and who have found soon after the sale has gone through that there are significant problems with the drainage system. A standard property survey may look at the drainage… Read more »

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How long is a piece of string?

Most of our customers want to know how long their insurance claim for drainage problems might take to get settled. Of course, it’s hardly surprising – when a property’s drainage system fails, it can be stressful and very unpleasant for its owners. The team at UKDP strive to ensure that claims are progressed as quickly… Read more »

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Work with UKDP to get the right decision on your claim

When a septic tank, cesspit or sewage treatment plant is damaged and in need of repair or replacement, it can be very costly for the property owners affected, with costs often running to thousands of pounds. Drainage systems that don’t connect to a main sewer are very complex in their nature, not least of which… Read more »

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Damage To Shared Septic Tanks

Resolving problems affecting shared septic tanks or other drainage systems serving shared by two or more properties can be really difficult. This is especially the case if the problems affecting the septic tank can be covered by insurance – suddenly there are a number of property owners, loss adjusters, insurers and contractors needing to be… Read more »

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Septic tank popped out of the ground?

With the extreme weather the UK has seen in recent months, we’ve had an increase in calls relating to septic tanks or sewage treatment plants that have literally `popped’ out of the ground, or appear to have moved. This may only be by a matter of inches, but it can stop the system working properly,… Read more »

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What Is Accidental Damage?

Accidental damage is a section of a buildings insurance policy that covers you for – well – accidental damage to your home! Most people think this would only relate to something like a smashed window or damaged sink, but it is also the section under which you would be covered for damage to your property’s… Read more »