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Avoid frozen and burst pipe problems this winter warns ABI

The ABI is warning householders to act now to avoid the misery of frozen and burst pipes this winter.

During the abnormally cold winter of 2010, between 24 November and 31 December alone insurers paid out £1 billion to customers who had suffered burst pipe damage.

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.
  • Repair any dripping taps. This will help prevent water from freezing.

If your pipes freeze:

  • Turn water off at the main stopcock and thaw the pipes with a hairdryer or hot water bottle.
  • If a pipe has burst, turn off water at the stopcock. Switch off central heating and any other water heating installations. Open all taps to drain the system.
  • Contact your insurance company helpline for help and advice, including arranging for professional repairs to be carried out.

Aidan Kerr, ABI’s Head of Property, said:

"Every winter freezing temperatures catch many people out. Yet taking a few simple steps now will greatly 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.”

For more information, see our advice on burst and frozen pipes.

Last updated 01/07/2016