Only 28% of UK homeowners think their home is “very prepared” for the winter, leaving millions of people vulnerable to home emergencies and boiler breakdowns.
This is according to a survey by Sainsbury’s Bank Home Insurance, which also found that 1% of people think their homes are not prepared for the cold weather at all, while 44% believe their homes are reasonably well-prepared.
However, an analysis of the supermarket bank’s home insurance claims data found that the likelihood of people experiencing home emergencies is significantly elevated over the winter; in the 12 months between March 2013 and February 2014, claims volumes over the winter were almost treble (179% higher) than in the spring, over twice as common (110% higher) than the summer and 59% more common than in autumn.
The most frequent home insurance claim recorded by the company was roof damage and other damage caused by storms and poor weather, representing 31% of all claims. This was followed by burst pipes and other escaped water claims, at 10%.
Sainsbury’s Home Insurance representative Tom Thompson said some of the “key things” people can do to prepare their home for winter include checking boilers, drains, gutters and roofs.
He also advised people to find out where their water valve is located and to learn how to turn it off.
The firm offered homeowners the following ‘winter preparation tips’:
- Clean gutters and drain covers, removing any leaves and debris
- Check that loft insulation is in a good condition and is thick enough
- Get central heating systems and boilers serviced and checked
- Look at the roof, or get a professional to do so, and ensure that the chimney stack is in a good condition, there are no tiles missing, and the roof is strong and sturdy
- Prevent burst and frozen pipes by insulating water tanks and exposed pipes
- Learn how to turn a water valve off when pipes have burst
- To prepare for snow, keep salt or grit on-hand
Complete home emergency cover with 247 Home Rescue
We can cover your boilers, your electrics, your plumbing system, your home security, even your appliances, so you can keep your home safe and secure throughout the winter with no hassle.
As you may know, it can be very difficult for people to access emergency plumbers and engineers over the winter – with boilers breaking down and pipes bursting constantly across the country, these professionals can have no time to respond to one-off repairs.
Call us on 0345 3192 247 and one of our friendly technical team will go through some simple diagnostics to see if your problem can be resolved over the phone. If not, we’ll send an engineer to be with you as soon as possible to ensure you’re back up and running in no time.