<iframe src="https://www.googletagmanager.com/ns.html?id=GTM-WCK3FXN" height="0" width="0" style="display:none;visibility:hidden" title="gtm-frame"></iframe>Is a plumber liable for water damage in the UK? | Trade Direct Insurance
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Is a plumber liable for water damage in the UK?

However careful you are, sometimes things go wrong when you’re working as a plumber. What happens if, as a result of your work, there’s a leak at a client’s house? Are you liable for any water damage?

In this video, part of our Public Liability FAQ series, we answer the question ‘Is a plumber liable for water damage in the UK?’. 

How did the damage happen?

Water damage to a property can be caused in multiple ways, so it will be essential to work out what happened.

If the water damage was caused by poor workmanship or a faulty installation, then the plumber could be liable. Even if damage occurred after an installation, the plumber may still be liable if they were at fault.

If the damage is caused by something else, perhaps another contractor or something the homeowner does, the plumber will probably not be liable.

If the water damage is caused by a leaky pipe, it’s not always clear cut who will be responsible. It could even be the water company’s responsibility.

What is the plumber liable for?

Where the plumber is responsible, they will normally be liable for the cost of repairs. This could be the cost of replacing carpets and flooring, redecoration, and the cost of any repairs to the plumbing installation or equipment.

However, it could also include additional costs incurred because of the damage. For example, the homeowners may need to move into temporary accommodation. They may also have damaged furniture that needs replacing.

There may be damage to other properties as well. For example, water could have seeped through to an adjoining flat below the client’s property.

Finally, there may also be legal costs which the plumber has to pay.

It’s not hard to see how the damages can quickly amount to thousands or even hundreds of thousands of pounds, highlighting the importance of plumbers' public liability insurance.

What happens if you cannot pay the damages?

Your business and assets may be at risk if you cannot pay the damages.

Do I need insurance?

It is not a legal requirement to have insurance for water damage, but it is important to consider some form of protection, in case of the above.

The types of insurance you could look at are:

Depending on the type of work you do, you should consider having insurance cover of between £1 million and £10 million. This will also provide protection against any injuries or harm caused to people, such as the homeowner or visitors to the property.

How much will insurance cost?

This will depend on the type of work you do, how your business is set up and your claims history. However, it is quick and easy to apply for a quote online.

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