As the temperature drops, the risk of damage to your home goes up. Here, we run through the three things you need from your home insurance to stay safe and warm this winter.
Winter weather can have a devastating effect on your home. It can cause damage such as:
Roof tiles falling in a storm
Water damage from leaks or flooding
Frost damage to brickwork
This makes it essential to have a solid buildings insurance policy in place. Buildings insurance will cover the cost of any damage to the structure of your home, which means you won’t have to worry about paying for expensive repairs during the winter months.
Depending on the level of cover you have, buildings insurance can also cover alternative accommodation for you and your family if your home is unsafe to live in – for example, if your house is flooded during a storm.
However, buildings insurance won’t cover everything, so check carefully for exclusions. For example, you won't usually be covered for any damage that's caused by poor maintenance or wear and tear, so make sure your property is in good shape before winter starts.
Home emergency cover can provide fast assistance if damage occurs in your home that:
Leaves your home unsafe or unsecure
Causes a risk to your health
Could result in permanent damage to your property
This means that if low temperatures cause your pipes to burst, or a window breaks in a storm, you can call a professional to come and sort the problem as soon as possible. This will often be within 24 hours, but can stretch to a couple of days.
Some home insurance policies include home emergency as standard, but most ask you to pay extra to include it.
You can also buy a standalone home emergency policy that could offer the best level of cover, so it's worth looking into this before adding emergency cover to your standard home insurance.
...if a pipe bursts, up to 30 gallons of water can escape in just two minutes? This means you need to act quickly.
You don't want to be without heating this winter, and a broken boiler could cost as much as £4,000 to replace.
Boiler cover can cover the cost of replacing or repairing your boiler, and means you can call out a qualified engineer to fix it if it breaks down.
It can also cover damage to pipes, radiators and central heating. On top of this, most policies include an annual service by a registered Gas Safe engineer who will check if your boiler is safe and working properly.
It's a good idea to arrange your annual service before the start of winter, so you can make sure your boiler is in good shape before the temperature drops.
Try these tips to help keep you safe and warm this winter:
Keep your heating on a timer if you're going away, or leave it on a constant low temperature. This will stop your pipes freezing if the temperature drops below zero.
Find your stopcock and make sure it works. This means you'll be able to turn your water off quickly if you have a burst pipe.
Keep your pipes warm by making sure they're insulated with foam lagging.
Bleed your radiators to release any trapped air. If your radiator isn't warming up properly, use a radiator key to release air and get them running efficiently.
Check your home for loose guttering, overhanging trees or broken roof tiles. These can all cause damage in a storm and might not be covered by your home insurance.
Block any draughts with tape or an excluder. Cold winds will find a way through any gaps, so blocking them will keep you warm and could even cut your heating bills.