What does ‘accidental damage’ actually mean?
Accidental damage typically means anything that happens suddenly and which could not be foreseen. This is a bit vague and open to interpretation, all the more so when it comes to drainage systems when the problems have happened underground and out of sight.
Insurance policies will usually provide cover for certain types of septic tank damage including these as examples:
- Splits or fractures within the walls of the tank itself
- Roots from nearby trees or shrubs growing through the walls of the tank or pipework which can often cause soakaway problems
- Damage from vehicles above ground
The problem is that damage to your septic tank (or other drainage system) isn’t always as obvious as this:
Luckily, most people don’t come home to find a cement mixer stuck in their septic tank. Often, the damage will be a little less obvious above ground, but a thorough septic tank inspection will reveal exactly what’s going on.
Here at UKDP, we are experts at investigating problems with septic tanks and other drainage systems, to find out exactly what’s gone wrong. We are also experts at knowing whether or not your existing buildings insurance policy will provide cover. It just so happens that we are also experts at presenting your claim to your insurer, and using all our knowledge and expertise to get the best outcome for you. Ok, so it sounds like we are blowing our own trumpets a little there, but having helped resolve more than 3,000 drainage problems so far, we think that we can indulge in a little trumpet blowing once in a while.
What should you do if you think you have a problem which might be covered by septic tank insurance?
Don’t panic, just follow our 5 point guide of what to do next:
- Get a thorough septic tank inspection carried out – ideally, you will get the tank emptied at the same time, as this will give our (I say `our’ because naturally UKDP are the best people to do this for you!) engineer the best chance to find out exactly what’s gone wrong. It also means that we can get photographs and footage of any damage in order for us to present a report to your insurers.
- Gather together any records you have of the tank being emptied, as it is always helpful to be able to demonstrate to insurers that you have maintained the tank well.
- Get hold of your insurance policy schedule, as a member of our team will be able to check it through for you.
- Call our team on 0800 028 9903 or contact us here to get started. Our team are the only specialists in the UK to manage claims for damaged septic tanks, cesspits, soakaways or sewage treatment plants. We are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority to manage an insurance claim on your behalf. We will deal with everything from start to finish, and the only cost to you is any excess due on your policy.
- Sit back and relax, while we work to get your drainage system working again as soon as possible.
Should I call my insurer and manage my septic tank insurance claim myself?
Although we might sometimes make it look easy, managing claims for damaged septic tanks is not a walk in the park. Unfortunately it isn’t just a matter of letting the insurer know about a damaged septic tank, and them sending you a cheque for a new one. On one hand we wish it were that easy, but on the other hand if it was that straightforward then there would be no need for us to exist!
Indeed, we often get calls from property owners who have already approached their insurer, only to have their claim turned down.
Sometimes, the insurer has turned the claim down correctly. But frequently we see incorrect decisions made to decline a claim, which the property owner finds very difficult to challenge. Most letters from insurers or technical reports from their drainage companies sound very plausible, but when we scratch beneath the surface, the decision might not be the right one.
You see, with drainage systems tucked away underground, if you find yourself having septic tank problems it’s hard to know exactly what’s happened and when. This is all the more tricky when problems underground can take months to bubble up above ground. Firstly, you’ll need to demonstrate that the damage meets with the definition of what’s covered in the policy, and you’ll probably need to explain why it’s not been caused by something which wouldn’t be covered, such as wear and tear. Once that argument’s been had, you’ll need to make sure that any works recommended by your insurer are fully compliant with all the appropriate legislation and regulations. Sounds a bit daunting? Not to us!
Why choose UKDP to manage your insurance claim?
We have helped more than 3,000 customers get their property’s drainage back to full working order, by managing an insurance claim on their behalf. You can read some of our testimonials from our happy customers here. We are experts in everything to do with drainage systems – septic tanks, sewage treatment plants, cesspit and soakaway systems. We know how they work, and more importantly, why they stop working. It is this technical and practical knowledge of these systems that we need to use on each and every claim we manage. Combine that with our in-depth knowledge of insurance policy cover (as you can imagine, our team really are a hit on the dinner party circuit) and there is no one better to have on your side.
Insurers will appoint loss adjusters or their own drainage companies to look at damaged septic tanks. Sometimes this might result in a valid claim being turned down, or an inappropriate repair being offered. Here at UKDP, we are very successful at getting decisions to decline claims reversed – our success rate is 96%. This is because we carry out a number of checks to make sure that any claim is valid, and we only present it to insurers once we are satisfied that it is. If an insurer says no, we can usually be confident that they’ve made the wrong decision, and can use our technical expertise to get it overturned.
We know that your drainage system is just as integral to your property as your foundations or your roof. Your property is the biggest investment you’ll ever make – so we recognise the importance of protecting and enhancing its value. We will never accept (or implement) an offer of a fix from an insurance company that could compromise that. This means that we will work on your behalf until we get the best possible outcome for you, one which is also compliant with all the latest regulations and legislation.
Let us take the stress away from the start, if we believe you have a valid claim, we will do everything on your behalf from start to finish. But if you’ve already spoken to your insurer and run into trouble – don’t worry, we may still be able to help. We can undertake a thorough inspection to find out what’s gone on, and we can quickly let you know if we think an appeal would be successful.
Don’t just take our word for it….
We pride ourselves on the very positive feedback we receive from our customers when we manage a claim on their behalf. We helped this customer who was having septic tank problems at his property, and achieved a successful outcome even though his insurer initially turned the claim down:
`UKDP undertook a survey of the drainage system and septic tank, and followed through the subsequent claim with my insurers, keeping me informed at all times. Despite my insurance company initially repudiating my claim, UKDP persevered to a successful conclusion, even obtaining compensation for me from the insurance company. Had I been dealing with my insurance company direct, without the specialist knowledge of UKDP, I doubt if I would have reached a successful outcome. Thank you UKDP for your first class service and the professionalism and courteousness of all your staff.’
The good news is that some insurers do appreciate the urgency of getting septic tank problems resolved (we know that it can be a thoroughly unpleasant time for our customers), and sometimes we can gently encourage them to get claims settled quickly.
Here, our customer had a pressing timescale not only because of the septic tank problems they were having, but also because they were in the process of selling their house! Our Senior Claims Manager Rob Brindley worked hard on the customer’s behalf, being mindful of the time pressures they were under. We were very pleased to get a great result for them, here’s their feedback:
`Dealing with UKDP has been completely hassle free from start to finish. Not only were we kept informed of progress of our claim at regular intervals, Rob was exceptionally supportive and very effective in settling our claim in a very short space of time prior to completion of our house sale. I couldn’t thank UKDP enough and would not hesitate in recommending their services to any of my friends or colleagues’.
K Howarth, Surrey
So, there really is no need to get specific septic tank insurance in place, you are most likely already covered. With the specialist team at UKDP on your side, we will work to get your property’s septic tank problems resolved as soon as possible, potentially saving you thousands of pounds in the process. It’s all part of what makes us different. Contact our team today to get started.