The Courier-Mail

In­sur­ance pol­icy doesn’t hold wa­ter


A MA­JOR wa­ter re­tailer is of­fer­ing its cus­tomers in­sur­ance against high bills from hid­den wa­ter leaks, de­spite it and other util­i­ties al­ready of­fer­ing con­ces­sions and re­bates.

Uni­ty­wa­ter, which ser­vices Sun­shine Coast, Noosa and More­ton Bay, of­fers the ser­vice, de­spite be­ing re­spon­si­ble for no­ti­fy­ing a cus­tomer of con­cealed leaks and al­ready of­fer­ing a “one-off” re­bate if the prob­lem oc­curs.

Un­der the ser­vice, if a resi- dent has a con­cealed leak that re­sults in a high wa­ter bill, the in­sur­ance will pay for half the bill and the cost of any re­pairs.

But the Cus­tomer Wa­ter and Waste­water Code al­ready re­quires wa­ter re­tail­ers to of­fer a con­ces­sion in the case of leaks, although the util­ity is able to set the dis­count amount and how fre­quently it can be claimed.

Wa­ter re­tail­ers are not re­spon­si­ble for leaks, dam­age or re­pairs to pipes on a res­i­dent’s prop­erty. Uni­ty­wa­ter’s ex­ist­ing re­bate is a 50 per cent dis­count on the wa­ter, which can only be claimed once.

The wa­ter bill con­ces­sion in­cluded in the in­sur­ance is the same as Uni­ty­wa­ter’s ex­ist­ing re­bate, although it can be claimed more than once, and it also pays for any re­pairs.

Uni­ty­wa­ter re­tail ser­vices boss Judy Bai­ley said the in­sur­ance was op­tional: “We do not in­tend to push peo­ple into buy­ing this in­sur­ance.”

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