In 2018 insurers dealt with 228,000 escape of water claims, at a cost of £617m - an increasefrom £529m paid out five years previously, according to statistics supplied by ABI. Escape of water affects around 43% of domestic properties in the UK, with an average active leak flowrate of 20.63ml/mm or 30 litres per day.

Escape of water (EoW) events can displace people from their homes, incur great disruption, significant property damage, financial cost and, in some instances even lead to businesses failing. Poorly designed and installed systems can also lead to serious personal injury and death through scalding. Best practice with respect to the design and the installation of various plumbing systems is well established having been developed over the years in consultation with industry and manufacturers through the various iterations of The Building Regulations Approved Document Guidance and the British Standards. Despite the quality and the technical detail within those documents, escape of water events remain the most costly peril faced by insurers in the domestic and residential environment and harm from scalding incidents persist as high risk factors for the very young and old within the home.

Changes in housing construction methods, construction materials, and water system products may also be impacting greatly upon the scale of loss and where additional water-based systems are specified for the purposes of fire suppression or green energy capture, accredited systems ensuring competence and product performance will be required to ensure they do not exacerbate losses in the future.

This first edition of the ‘Approved Document G incorporating insurers’ requirements’ seeks to enhance site practices and reinforces what should already be happening by collating pertinent Regulations and guidance in a single document that is freely available. This document also identifies roles and responsibilities to aid the various project stakeholders understand the delivery components of safe and reliable water delivery systems.

The additional text relating to property protection has been developed through the Risk Insight, Strategy and Control Authority (RISCAuthority), an insurer-funded research initiative, and published by the Fire Protection Association (FPA). The technical expertise for this document has been provided by the Technical Division of the FPA, external consultants and experts from the insurance industry, who together form the various RISCAuthority Steering Groups. Although produced with insurer input, it does not (and is not intended to) represent a pan-insurer perspective. Individual insurance companies will have their own requirements, which may be different from, or not reflected in, the content of this document.

To download Approved Document G, please click here