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How to avoid a home disaster this Christmas

There's not a lot you can do to control the inevitable disasters over Christmas, from unappreciated gifts to up-ended board games and rows about what family movie to watch. But you can make sure you're prepared for this common disaster....

December 5, 2018

The festive season can be incredible, but let’s be honest, there are lots of things that can go wrong too. From family fall outs and overindulgence to Christmas cooking disasters and over-excited kids, the 25th December doesn’t always go to plan. There’s not a lot we can do to help with these kinds of inevitable home-related disasters this Christmas, but we can flag up another common home-owning problem that you’ll want to prepare against.

And that’s burst pipes. We know! It’s not glamorous and it’s not festive, but “escape of water” is the most common claim made to insurance companies, and claims can increase this time of year as the temperature starts to drop and pipes start to freeze.

And the damage can be extensive – according to comparison site Finder, the average claim for a burst water pipe is £25,000. And our partners at APlan Insurance, the insurance industry pays out £2.5m every day to customers as a result of burst pipes.

Remember: When it rains, it pours

Worryingly, however, not everyone has the option of getting an insurance payout to pick up the pieces after a burst pipe. Indeed, Finder recently reported that five million homes in the UK don’t have any form of home insurance while less than a fifth (19%) of home contents insurance policies and only a quarter (25%) of home buildings policies include cover for home emergencies, as standard.

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So what can you do to protect yourself to ensure that when the temperatures drops, a burst pipe doesn’t turn your magical Christmas into a costly nightmare?

Well, firstly, get protected. Our insurance broker partners at APlan insurance have over 50 years of finding the best value home insurance cover. If you haven’t got cover, you might want to speak to them today on 08000 325935

If you already have home contents insurance, give your provider a call and make sure you understand what your policy covers.

Prevention always better than cure

You know it’s true! So, with the help of organisation Water UK, we look at the practical steps you can take now to protect against a burst pipe.

  • Insulate water tanks and lag pipes (you can buy lagging material from most DIY stores).
  • If you have any dripping taps, fix them!
  • Find your property’s stopcock or valve and make sure you can turn it off if necessary. It’s likely to be under the kitchen sink.
  • Make sure your boiler has been serviced.
  • Try to minimise draughts from outside and close doors and windows, particularly in unheated parts of the property.
  • If you have pipes in the roof area, open the loft hatch to allow warm air to circulate.
  • If you’re going away for Christmas leave the heating on low and, if you’re going to be away for a while, turn off the water at the stopcock.

Now, if we can just make sure the kids are calm and the relatives get on, all will be well…


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