Weather and insurance

Every winter freezing temperatures catch too many people out.

Prevention is better than cure and now is the time to take a few simple steps to reduce the risk of facing the problem of frozen or burst pipes this winter.

Losses resulting from burst / leaking pipes or faults in a property's plumbing system have a significant impact on the insurance industry which pays out around £2.5 million every day to customers in what they term 'escape of water' claims.  A significant proportion of this damage is due to pipes bursting during freezing temperatures in the winter months, but much of this damage can be prevented by taking a few easy preventative measures explained in our protecting your home from cold weather page.

While standard home and business insurance policies will pay for the often considerable damage caused by burst pipes, they cannot compensate for the misery and inconvenience that the damage brings to homes and businesses throughout the UK.  It is important to make sure that both your buildings and contents insurance policies provide your home or your business with sufficient cover should the worst happen this winter.

Should you suffer damage from burst pipes this winter:

  • Keep contact details for your insurance company helpline near your phone. If you have separate buildings and contents insurance with different insurers be sure to have the contact details for both;
  • Contact your insurer as soon as possible if you have suffered damage to your home or its contents.  Most insurers' helplines are open 24 hours a day.
  • If making a claim, your insurer may want to commission a loss adjuster to contact you to assess the damage in detail, and in extreme cases arrange alternative accommodation (buildings and contents policies provide for this) and plan the restoration process. In normal conditions, your loss adjuster will get in contact within 24 hours of you contacting your insurer. However, after a major drop in temperatures, this may take longer due to the volume of claims.
  • Look through the initial assessment that the loss adjuster will give you. They should be able to provide you with an approximate timetable outlining what needs to be done to restore your home, who will do it and how long it will take.

For more info please visit the Association of British Insurers.


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