London is UK’s leakiest city, says Zurich


London has been named the UK’s leakiest city, with the town of Croydon suffering the highest number of escape of water claims in 2017, according to Zurich.

The insurer’s analysis of 2017 data found that Romford took second place, followed by Kingston Upon Thames, Motherwell and Southend-on-Sea.

Belfast, Newcastle, Brighton and Birmingham followed London as the leakiest cities in the UK.

As temperatures drop, homes without adequate insulation are at risk of freezing pipes, which can prove a costly expense for households and businesses. According to Zurich, Bolton topped the list of the most expensive claims, with an average value of £17,138, followed by Torquay (£14,383) and Llandudno (£7,353).

Damage from mains water pipes are by far the costliest with the average claims valued at £5,958. Elsewhere in the home, it’s burst water pipes that cause financial woes with an average claim of £5,637, followed by fixed water tanks (£5,404), leaking pipes (£4,244) and then malfunctioning household appliances (£3,320).

Leaking pipes were responsible for the highest proportion of escape of water claims (13%), followed by leaks from flats above (11%), and burst water pipes (8%).

Phil Ost, home insurance expert at Zurich, said: “The country has experienced its first taste of winter with temperatures dropping well below zero. While we all wrap up against the cold it’s also worth taking a moment to think about our homes. Water damage, commonly arising from cracked or damaged pipes due to freezing, can prove costly; often going unnoticed and spreading though the house. Not only does this cause a dent in finances worth thousands of pounds but can also ruin valued possessions. Small steps such as insulating pipework can help prevent any watery woes.”

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Mark Dugdale is the editor of Claims Media. Mark welcomes articles, letters or feedback from readers and can be reached via