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Seasonal Tips

Winter Insurance - Property Tips

Property Owner’s Winter Tips

A bad winter can see a dramatic rise in the number of escape of water claims as a result of frozen pipes and tanks.
Following a large escape of water, the damage could take weeks, even months to put right, leaving your property uninhabitable and may even result in you or your tenants having to move out.

The information below provides advice to help protect your properties. Please refer to your insurance policy for the conditions applicable specifically to your policy. In relation to unoccupied properties there may be reduced cover in place and/or requirements to meet in order for cover to be in force. Ensure that your insurance company are aware of any change to the occupancy status of your property.

The below basic steps can reduce the risk of water damage to your property:

  • Insulate all water pipes and tanks in the loft area and anywhere else which could be liable to freezing.
  • Locate your main stop-cock where the water enters the property. Test the stop cock now to ensure it is not seized and in working order.
  • Make sure your tenants know where it is and how to stop the water and what to do in the event of an emergency.
  • Ensure that your tenants are instructed to report any problem as quickly as possible irrespective of how minor.

If the property is likely to be left unoccupied for a short term period but less than 14 consecutive days we recommend the following:

  • Leave the heating on continuously at a minimum temperature of 15°C
  • Leave any loft hatch open so heat reaches pipes in this area.
  • A full drain down of water supply – check the full terms and conditions of your polic
  • Ensure someone checks the property regularly i.e. daily/weekly (ideally daily). Ensure tenants follow the advice above if they plan to leave the property unoccupied (even just overnight)
  • Ensure your policy provides adequate cover and insurers are aware of the occupancy status

Escape of water can be prevented – by following the advice above, you could stop it from happening to you.

Winter Motor Tips

• Ensure you have enough antifreeze in your vehicle and top up if necessary (this includes windscreen wash for the windscreen)
• It is extremely dangerous to drive your vehicle with worn tyres so please ensure you check the condition of your tyres before you drive in icy conditions
• We have noticed in the month of December a lot of cars have been calling for Breakdown Recovery Service as they have not been able to get their car started. The majority of the breakdowns were due to the battery. If your car will not start, we would advise that you check the battery first.
• Plan ahead before travelling – check the weather conditions are safe before you start your journey and give yourself enough time to get to your destination.
• Keep in mind the highway code when driving in snow – i.e. your stopping distance behind another vehicle should be multiplied by 10 when driving in snow. Try not to use your breaks too much to avoid skidding