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How to get your home winter ready

Matt Fernell photo

Written by Matt Fernell, Financial Content Writer

24 September 2018

As the temperature drops, the risk of damage to your home goes up. Here are the three things you need from your home insurance to stay safe and warm this winter.

Buildings insurance

Winter weather can have a devastating effect on your home, including:

  • Roof tiles falling in a storm

  • Water damage from leaks or flooding

  • Frost damage to brickwork

Buildings insurance can cover the cost of damage to the structure of your home during winter.

It may 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.

You won't 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.

Here's exactly what buildings insurance covers

Home emergency

Home emergency cover can give you immediate help if damage occurs that:

  • Leaves your home unsafe or unsecure

  • Causes a risk to your health

  • Could result in permanent damage to your property

So, if the 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.

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 comparing these before you add it to your home insurance.

Here is how home emergency cover works

Did you know?

If a pipe bursts, up to 30 gallons of water can escape in just two minutes, so you need to act quickly.

Boiler cover

You don't want to be without heating this winter, and a broken down 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. It can also include an annual service by a registered Gas Safe engineer who'll check your boiler is safe and working properly.

It's a good idea to arrange this before the start of winter, so you can make sure your boiler is in good shape before the temperature drops.

Here's everything you need to know about boiler cover

Top tips to get your home winter ready

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 as quickly as possible 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 things like loose guttering, overhanging trees or broken tiles. They can 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.

Protect your home and belongings for less by comparing home insurance policies to cover a range of property types and individual circumstances.

Compare home insurance

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