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As the clocks go back on 28 October to herald the start of winter, the ABI is warning homeowners need to act now to avoid the misery of frozen and burst pipes. Two years ago abnormally low temperatures during the winter led to insurers dealing with 3,500 claims a day for damage caused by frozen pipes that had burst.

The risk of expensive, disruptive and distressing damage can easily be reduced by taking a few simple steps now, before the cold weather sets in, such as:

• Make sure that water pipes and water tanks in the loft are insulated with good quality lagging.
• Know where your stopcock that turns of the incoming water supply is, and make sure that it works. One in six people1 admit that they do not know where their stopcock is.
• Repair any dripping taps. This will help prevent water from freezing.

Once the cold weather arrives:
• Leave any loft door open to allow heated air to circulate
• Leave heating on at low setting to help heat pipes, especially if you are away from the home on holiday.

Nick Starling, ABI’s Director of General Insurance and Health, said:

“Every winter freezing temperatures catch people out. Prevention is better than cure and now is the time to take a few simple steps to reduce the risk of facing the trauma of frozen or burst pipes this winter. Home insurance will pay for the often considerable damage caused by burst pipes, but it cannot compensate for the misery and inconvenience that they bring.”

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Last updated 01/07/2016