There are a number of different types of insurance that you have to consider getting when you own your own property, and the price of these each month can soon begin to add up. It is all to easy to assume that after years of no claiming that the policies are not really that important.
There has been an increase in the amount of insurance everyone tries to sell you now. From mobile phone insurance, camera insurance right through to the more traditional buildings, contents and life insurance etc. When we bought our house it really pushed our budget to the limit once the interest rates increased. A new type of insurance emerged, that was to cover your water main from the street to your stop cock. A whole insurance policy for a piece of pipe, that in many cases is no more than 10 or 20 metres in length. With our budget being so tight, this is one of the insurance policies that we did not get…
To be honest, I always thought that water main policy was a bit of a con. I mean, what next? Insurance to cover the curbside at the front of your house etc? I mean we all pay hefty water bills; surely that should cover the cost of this pipe? We got by just fine for many years, until a few weeks ago we discovered a leak in the kitchen. It looked like it was coming from the old pipe work below the sink. We thought it must have been leaking for a while before being detected because it had damaged the kitchen unit that holds the basin, with the chipboard getting water damaged.
We don’t have any savings so I knew I had to fix it myself. I mean, it was just a bit of pipe right? To get to this pipe I had to destroy one of the kitchen units. The cost was already climbing; a new sink, taps, piping, kitchen unit and worktop. it was quite concerning.
Once we pulled out the basin the extent of the damage became all too clear. The water was much faster than anticipated. We mopped up as best as we could but the water just kept seeping out of the ground. We thought that it might just have built up but it just kept coming. It was then that we realised that the leak was not the sink pipes, but the main feed to the house. We called the water company to be told that it was our problem; they just weren’t interested. We then spent hours trying to find a plumber that could actually assist us. It is surprising how many emergency plumbers can not fit you in for 2 weeks or more!
My partner and I were distraught. The financial impact was becoming all too apparent as the costs started to climb quickly. We found a plumber who had to dig up some of the concrete floor to fix the main feed. We had to tear out the flooring in the kitchen and the adjoining diner. We had to replace all of the kitchen units because the old ones didn’t match anything. We need new tiles, paint, flooring and a whole heap of other things that keep cropping up.
Paying for all of this work has been a nightmare. We had to borrow money, extend our credit card limit. We needed to get a payday loan. We needed to use every spare penny that we had, and we still need more money to finish the job. Five weeks later, we are still trying to completely dry the concrete floor properly as the water gradually evaporates over time. All we can do is take each day as it comes. I have to put all my spare time into the repairs around my day job which is exhausting.
The moral of the story I guess, is that sometimes all of these insurance policies are actually useful. While, like us you may get by without them for years and years. Eventually your luck could turn for the worst, and if you are not insured correctly you could be scrambling around trying to raise money to cover the massive repair bills! Do you want to take that chance?