Winter 2020: Simple ways to prepare your property

Flooding – are you prepared?
4th October 2019

Read our tips and tricks on how to prepare for the winter weather this year

Winter weather leads to winter claims on household insurance policies and companies often see a rise in problems surrounding burst pipes and boiler breakdowns. There are ways however to be prepared for the colder periods by following tips and tricks to ensure your home is ready to battle the elements.

Check your pipes:

In the colder months according to ‘Which.co.uk’, you should “try and disconnect and drain any hosepipes, sprinkler systems and water features to help stop the water sitting in them from freezing and causing damage to your property”.

If you plan to escape the colder weather, it is important to check your pipes before you travel; by doing this you will be less likely to suffer from problems such as water leaks, flooding and frozen pipes. Septic systems can often be forgotten about but should be checked too. You can do this to ensure that sewage is running smoothly from the property.

Locate your stopcock:

The stopcock is a valve that controls the flow of water in your property. if turned off, it isolates the cold water system and can usually be found in the kitchen under the sink. By Knowing the location of the stopcock, it will help ensure that you can turn it off quickly in an emergency and prevent a potential flood.

When your property is vacant for a period of time, turning off the water supply completely, minimalizes the risk of a water leak in your home whilst you are away. Alternatively, having a relative or friend visit your home when its empty can help eradicate potential claims.

Get your boiler regularly serviced:

Often, homeowners forget to keep an eye on their boiler. By having it regularly serviced, you reduce the risk of a boiler failure in the winter which could lead to no heating or hot water. Customers who opt for ‘home emergency cover’ are sometimes not aware their boiler needs to be regularly serviced when they come to claiming for a failure and can in some cases mean they are unable to claim. Similarly, boilers over the age of 15 years old tend to not be covered so it is important you have a professional ensure your boiler is up and running to ensure you are warm all winter.

Get insulating:

It’s vital to make sure that any exposed pipes in or around your home are well insulated. You’ll often find them in your cellar, attic, loft, garage, in kitchen cabinets or on the outside of your property. Making sure these pipes are insulated or are fitted with heating tape will prevent damage from the cold.

Take out a home emergency policy:

‘Home Emergency cover’- often an additional product with home insurance, can cover your property in a range of emergencies. Call outs for this are often higher in the winter as colder temperatures means you are more likely to require help.

Home emergency can be offered free with certain banks and building societies. When claiming on this policy, you do still have a duty of care to ensure you are avoiding having to claim, however it will often not affect your no claims discount on your building and contents insurance should you need to make a claim on the home emergency.

If you need to make a claim on your Home Emergency cover, depending on your circumstances you will eligible for help with;

  • Your primary heating system
  • Plumbing and drainage
  • Pest infestation
  • Internal electricity
  • Gas supply, the water supply and cooking system
General maintenance of your property:

Winter weather in Britain can involve storms. By ensuring your property is regularly maintained to a good standard – you will reduce the risk of having a problem arise from rain and wind. For example, you should make sure that tiles on your roof are fitted and not at risk of blowing off and that your fence panels are securely fixed to their posts as often this is not covered under home insurance policies.

Similarly, gutters and drains should be looked after regularly to reduce the risk of having to claim and trees in your garden should be maintained to avoid collisions with yours and neighboring properties during stormy weather.

It is common knowledge that your property should be looked after and well maintained throughout the year but by following the above steps during the winter months, you will reduce the risk of having a problem occur when the cold weather hits.

 

Read more: https://www.which.co.uk/news/2019/11/winter-2019-will-your-home-insurance-protect-you/ – Which?

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