Burst pipes caused by freezing water are a higher risk as snow and the cold weather hits. The impact on your home could be devastating.
Last year with some of the coldest temperatures in years there was an increase in claims for water soaked homes, mainly caused by burst pipes or tanks in the loft. Insurers confirmed it was in fact the worst year ever for burst pipe claims.
Just one burst pipe in the loft can mean water gushing through your property ruining furnishings and belongings along the way and in same cases bringing ceilings down. For the homeowner this can mean months of disruption while their house is dried out and repaired.
Rob Townend, director of household claims at Aviva, comments “Despite last year’s icy conditions many homeowners still forget that freezing and burst pipes can be a real problem – in some cases ruining entire floors of your home.
The risk can be worse in traditional properties without modern heating systems or properly insulated pipes.
And when homes are left empty, burst or leaking pipes often aren’t discovered for many days and so damage can get progressively worse.”
Damage caused by freezing water and leaking or “escaping” water from tanks, pipes, or heating systems is covered as standard under most contents and buildings insurance policies.
Water freezing in tanks is also usually covered under buildings insurance.
Be prepared is the key, take precaution to insulate pipes and if your are going away for a few days or longer, leave the heating on a low temperature and remove the hatch to your loft so that warm air can circulate.
This may seem extravagant during these hard economic times or environmentally unfriendly but the potential alternative is a ruined home.
If you are planning a longer holiday over the winter period make sure you tell your insurer. Most standard policies don’t cover you for standard perils like escape of water, burglary and theft if your home is unoccupied or unfurnished for a certain period of time. Aviva for example offers full cover for 60 days away, but you will need to check your own policy as other insurers may have a different period of cover.