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Cold spell sees 15% rise in burst pipe home insurance claims

07 January 2009 / by Rachael Stiles
Lloyds TSB has reported a 15 per cent rise in house insurance claims from people who have experienced burst pipes in their homes as a result of the recent cold snap which has been taking hold of the UK.

The bank and insurance provider has issued a warning to British homeowners who are unprepared for the icy conditions, leaving themselves exposed to an expensive bill for replacing burst pipes if they do not have adequate home insurance.

This figure is set to rise if the cold spell continues, Lloyds TSB says, and with claims costing an average £1,400, with one claim even topping £40,000, homeowners would do well to take some precautions, investing in sufficient home insurance and also following a few simple steps to safeguard their homes.

Easy precautions include insulating outside pipes and tanks in the loft, keeping drain gratings, gutters and down pipes clear of leaves and other debris, and setting the heating to come on for a short time each day if they go away, to ensure that the pipes do not freeze.

Some other useful steps include locating the property's stopcock, gas valve and ball valves so that their whereabouts is known in case a problem occurs, having heating appliances serviced and chimneys swept regularly, storing a torch with spare batteries in a safe place in case they are needed, and a list of useful telephone numbers for the plumber, electrician, roofing contractor, glazier, and heating engineer.

"After last year's comparatively mild winter, it's no surprise that so many homeowners have been caught unprepared by the cold snap." commented Phil Loney, managing director at Lloyds TSB Insurance. "A little bit of preparation now could save you from having to deal with escaping water from burst pipes or a broken boiler. To give yourself peace of mind, make sure you have adequate insurance which will cover you if the icy conditions take their toll on your home."

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