Winter is on the way! Unfortunately! Yes whether we like it or not the cold weather will soon be with us and this is not only bad news for us but also for your property as winter sees a dramatic increase in property claims in particular water leak claims. But there are some things you can do to reduce the possibility of this happening to your home, rental property or any other property that you own.
When temperatures fall, water in pipes freezes and expands causing damage to the pipe, the water then leaks out of the pipe when it later thaws.
Here are some things you can do to ensure your property and its contents are not damaged due to a water leak:
- Ensure that your pipes and water tanks are well lagged as un-lagged pipes are far more likely to freeze in sub-zero temperatures. Insulation materials and lagging are relatively inexpensive and will frequently cost less than the policy excess charged by your insurer in the event of a claim which can sometimes be as much as £500.
- If the property is unoccupied even a small leak can cause devastating damage if left undetected. If this is the case either the water system can be drained or the heating system should be left to operate at a minimum temperature of 15 degrees Celsius if thermostatically controlled.
- If your water or heating system is gravity fed, one vulnerable area could be the tank in the loft space. This is because the insulation on the loft floor may prevent the warmth of the house from penetrating through increasing the risk of a water leak. In these circumstances it is best to drain the water if the property is unoccupied or alternatively if the heating system is left on the loft hatch should be left open to ensure the warmth circulates in the loft space.
Depending on the cover that you selected or were given at the inception of your policy, a claim for escape of water may not be insured. If your property is vacant there may also be additional conditions stated in your policy that need to be complied with. Therefore make sure you read your policy carefully and call us if you have any doubts as the cover provided by your policy or any action that needs to be taken.
The majority of water leak claims are preventable and taking the above steps before winter will help protect your investment and the inconvenience of an insurance claim.