Frequently asked questions about drain problems and insurance cover.
To save your time, we’ve answered the most frequently asked questions here. But if you can’t find what you need to know, please call our UK-based call centre on:
9am to 5.30pm, Monday to Friday, or use our Web enquiry form. We’ll be pleased to help.
What kind of drain and sewage problems are likely to be covered by my insurance?
DRAINS and SOAKAWAYS with fractures from tree roots, ground movement, vehicle activity (traffic on a driveway, for example) or other pressure problems that cause ‘bellying’ and cracking of drains. CESSPITS and SEPTIC TANKS that are broken, leaking or collapsed because of tree roots, ground movement and vehicle activity. TOILETS and DRAINS INSIDE THE HOUSE can become blocked because of cracks and fractures caused by ground movement.
What is NOT likely to be covered by my insurer as ‘accidental damage’?
One common cause of blockages is flushing insoluble items like nappies or wipes down the toilet. This is not considered accidental. Other non-accidental problems include those caused by vermin, damage caused by poor workmanship or faulty design, damage caused by wear and tear or gradual deterioration.
Drain CCTV Inspection
Do I pay for the CCTV inspection?
The initial CCTV Inspection, when carried out as part of our Drain Unblock service, is free to the consumer.
What if the CCTV inspection finds nothing really wrong, just a blockage?
You simply pay for the Drain Unblock. There is no fee for a CCTV Inspection carried out at the same time and as part of a Drain Unblock.
Drain CCTV Survey
Can we get started without a survey of my problem?
In an emergency, your first concern is to get your sewage pipes or drains unblocked, and this can be done before the survey. However, if you intend to make an insurance claim, we must carry out a CCTV Survey so that your insurance company knows what the problem is. This is an important safeguard because it makes the position clear for you, for us, and for your insurance company.
What if you carry out a CCTV survey and report to my insurer, but the insurer does not authorise the work and I decide to have nothing done?
We waive the CCTV Survey fee if it was carried out as part of the initial Drain Unblock and your insurance policy covered you for accidental damage to drains.
However, if your insurer does not authorise the work because you were not covered for accidental damage to drains then we reserve the right to charge for the CCTV Survey and Report and forward you a copy for your own use.
Cost and payment
What does it cost for Happy Drains to handle the claim for me?
Nothing. If we believe the problem to be an ‘insured peril’, we manage your claim for you on a no win, no fee, basis.
What if my drain blockage is my own fault?
In our experience, almost all blockages are caused by accidental damage. But in a few cases, householders cause a blockage themselves – for example by flushing nappies, wipes, fat, grease or detergent into the sewage system – and this would not be covered as accidental damage. Our Drain Unblock and CCTV Inspection service will determine the problem, and if it’s not accidental and you cannot make a claim, we can still arrange to get the work done for you by our approved contractors. You pay us for this yourself, but we will tell you the cost before work starts.
If it turns out that my problem is not accidental damage or my policy does not cover accidental damage and I have to pay for the repair, how much will it cost?
From information provided by the CCTV survey and the report to the insurance company, you will already have the quotation. Call us on 0800 849 8099 if you have questions.
I have a £100 excess on my household insurance policy. How does this affect Happy Drains?
Generally the insurer will pay Happy Drains the agreed amount for your claim LESS the excess amount. So we will ask you to pay the excess at the time that the quotation for your work is agreed by the insurance company.
What if the work is urgent but my insurers are dragging their feet?
Using Happy Drains helps to avoid such problems, as we are experienced in dealing with insurance companies. In extreme cases where an insurer is delaying or repudiating a claim, the householder or business can decide to have the work done and pay the charges. If you have to take a complaint to the financial ombudsman, we can give you guidance for this process, and we may make a charge for this.
Who will do the work set out in Happy Drains’s report?
We will call out our approved contractor near to you. They will be one of our network of experienced contractors who have the necessary experience and whom we trust to do the work competently and quickly for you.
The drain causing a problem is a shared drain used by one or more of my neighbours. How do I make a claim?
It’s best to talk this over so that we understand the details: please call us to explain the problem on 0800 849 8099. Please have your insurance policy handy so we can talk about what cover you have.
How long does the claim take to go through my insurance company?
On average, two to three weeks
What guarantee do we get with the repair work?
A minimum of 5 years for lining work, and a 1-year guarantee for dig-up work
What if my insurance company contractors are cheaper than Happy Drains?
We will match their price, provided that the repair work is to the same specification.
I’ve already paid a contractor to do the work – now my insurance company says I can’t claim for it. Can Happy Drains still help me?
If you have accidental damage cover and you can provide us with a copy of the report from your contractor, in most cases we can take on the case for you for a fee (which we agree with you) and work with the insurance company to see that the terms of their policy are fairly met.
Who do I complain to if I am not satisfied with Happy Drainss’ service or the work carried out by the contractor handling the repair work?
In the unlikely event that you are not satisfied with Happy Drains or the work carried out by our approved contractor, you can complain to the Financial Ombudsman.