Prevention is always better than cure and by communicating some of the most common causes of claims; we can help clients sidestep the misery of burst pipes and many other weather related hazards this winter.
Figures from the Association of British Insurers show that during last December alone, there were 103,000 claims for damage caused by burst pipes, generating a total bill of £680 million for the insurance industry.
Over and above the cost, there was then the stress and disruption borne by customers at a time when many were on holiday or trying to play host to family and friends.
If we can eliminate just 10 per cent of these claims by encouraging customers to make some basic checks and take some preventive measures then everybody will be well served by their actions.
Should the UK get hit by the same barrage of ice and snow as it did last year, then burst pipes and escape of water will again be the main problem to look out for.
Here are some simple things that can make a big difference:
- If away from home leave the heating on a low setting to prevent water from freezing in the pipes
- Check that lagging is in place for exposed pipes and put in place where possible
- Put insulating jackets around water tanks and cisterns
- Open the hatch to the loft to allow warm air to circulate
- Repair leaking taps
- Insulate outside taps or turn off their water supply and drain them
If you find a burst pipe that is still frozen opening up other taps will help the water drain away into sinks and drains when it does thaw.
It is also worth making sure you know where the stopcock is to turn off the water to your property and that if you find a burst pipe do this immediately – even if it is still frozen. In many properties there is one underneath the kitchen sink while there will also be one outside the property.
You should inform neighbours if you’re are going away and provide them with emergency contact details, so that in the event of a problem arising, neighbours know what to do and who to contact.
However if you are going to be away for any period of time you should ask people to actively check in on your property periodically. If you are going to be away for more than 60 days, let us know or you could end up invalidating your cover.