Some insurance companies are limiting their liability to householders who face big bills from Irish Water as a result of burst pipes.

With the prospect of charges for supply imminent, one company has said it covers €1,000 of lost water as a result of a sudden leak in a property.

Irish Water has said the water charges will be capped for the first nine months after meters are installed.

It has guaranteed to fix the first leak that occurs in an occupier's garden free of charge.

However, leaks in a home or a second one in a garden will be the responsibility of the householder.

This could result in a significant bill for the loss of metered water.

As a result, insurance companies are considering whether they should foot the bill.

Allianz said it has increased its home insurance cover to include the loss of metered water, following the occurrence of an insured cause such as burst pipes or fire.

However, this is limited to €1,000.

The insurer added: "In addition to the above additional benefit, Allianz also confirms that claims for water damage arising from the escape of water will continue to be paid in a fair and timely manner as heretofore, subject to the sums insured on the policy."

Leaks as a result of lack of maintenance will not be covered.

Liberty, Aviva and have said they are considering changing policies and awaiting clarity on charges.

Meanwhile, Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Brendan Howlin has said that people would have clarity on water charges as soon as "all the pieces of the puzzle were in place".

Speaking on his way into this morning's Cabinet meeting, Mr Howlin said senior officials were looking at the issues that had been raised by the public in order to ensure the charging system was fair.

Mr Howlin said the Government needed a comprehensive set of proposals to build confidence in Irish Water.