3 million homes damaged by winter freeze
ONE in a thousand people have fallen victim to burst pipes during the past two winters.
While the odds of NOT being one of them may seem good, the risk is three times that of being burgled and 13 times greater than the threat of fire.
Nearly one in ten (8%) of affected householders even had to move out of their home
as a result of weather-related damage.
The extreme winter weather caused damage to over three million Brits' homes, according to a study by Churchill Home Insurance.
They saw a 45% increase in the number of claims for escape of water caused by issues such as burst and frozen pipes during winter 2010/2011 compared with the previous winter.
The research warns that not all householders have learned the lessons of the last two winters and many people could see more damage to their properties this year if extreme winter weather hits again.
Four in ten (40%) householders have not taken any action to prepare their home for the onset of freezing conditions this winter.
Martin Scott, head of Churchill Home Insurance, said: "A huge number of people experienced damage to their homes last year, particularly as a result of escape of water caused by frozen and burst pipes. It's essential to plan ahead to avoid potential problems.
Churchill Home Insurance has the following tips to help homeowners ensure their property is not vulnerable to the winter weather this year:
If you have a Surestop waterswitch or Surestop stopcock fitted, you simply need to flick the switch to the ‘off' position.
* Find your main stopcock and make sure that you can turn it on and off;
* If you're away from home for a few days during the cold weather, keep your heating on at a low level – at about 15 degrees – throughout. If you're away for a longer period of time it might be wise and more cost-effective to shut down the system completely, turn off all the mains stopcocks and drain down pipes, toilets and radiators