5 Winter Insurance Tips For Home
As winter closes in over the UK, harbingers of doom predict sleet, snow and endless days of rain… and sometimes it feels like they are right. The UK has had some rotten winters of late with record breaking flooding and extremely cold temperatures. We are a country that is ill equipped for both too hot weather and too cold weather, but there are preventative measures that we can take to make sure that even the harshest of winters don’t treat us too badly. Here are 5 winter insurance tips for home:
Insulate pipes: it sounds like something your dad would tell you to do but he’s right. During a cold snap in 2010 insurers had to deal with over 3500 people calling to complain about damage to due burst water pipes, every day. A burst pipe might not sound like a big deal, particularly if it’s outside, but payouts for water damage due to burst pipes, average about GBP 7000 per claim. Preparing pipes for winter is easy; simply make sure that any leaking pipes are fixed, as this can contribute to freezing pipes, and then make sure any pipes in your loft or exterior are lagged. If you find a pipe frozen then turn off the water and heat up with a hairdryer. In event a pipe does burst you would be wise to have made sure you know where the stopcock is.
Insulate your loft, basement or any crawl spaces. This will prevent heat from escaping and help to keep the house warm but will also prevent ice dams from forming. Ice dams occur when too much heat escapes from the home, the heat causes snow to melt and then later refreeze, which in turn causes damage to your property.
Check any smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors to make sure they work properly and if necessary then replace the batteries. You will be turning the heating up and possibly lighting a fire or stove, so it’s important that if a fire does break out you have the precautions in place.
Prepare your garden for winter. Clean gutters and drains of dead leaves and debris, this helps to prevent them from clogging and trapping water that can turn to ice. Make sure any trees near the property are properly trimmed and don’t present any risk of falling on the house, if they do, prune or fell them. Make sure pathways and steps are cleared of debris and any holes are filled that will collect water and turn to icy patches. Have a look at any handrails and make sure they are sturdy and will hold a person’s weight, if not then fix or replace.
Have your heating system serviced. This means getting your chimney swept and any boilers and furnaces looked at. As well the risk of fires breaking out in faulty heating systems, it’s a horrible experience to run out of heat and hot water during a particularly cold winter spell.
If you are going away over the winter period it can be tempting to turn the heating off to save money, but don’t do this. One of the most important things to remember is to keep your house warm. As soon as you let your home get cold things will start to suffer; think burst pipes, ice dams and structural issues. Keep the heating on and maintain a temperature of no less than 55 degrees. If you can, ask someone come round to check that all is ok, during the time that you are away.
About Author- Vera is a blogger passionate about making the best of your home on a budget. Vera occasionally blogs for A Fancy Home.