Home insurance Updated:
Against the backdrop of plummeting temperatures, homeowners have been warned to take precautions to prevent burst pipes.
Much of the UK is likely to be hit by freezing conditions in the coming days, with many counties bracing themselves for snow, sleet and gale force winds.
Statistics from AXA show that during the cold snap last year, 'escape of water' claims soared as thousands of homeowners suffered as their personal possessions were damaged.
In fact, as temperatures dipped sharply in December 2009 and January this year, people were three times more likely to make a claim on a burst pipe than a theft claim, and 13 times more likely than a fire claim.
The average contents claim for water damage last year was £6,100, while the average buildings claim was £19,200.
The biggest claims have seen entire properties destroyed, a scenario which would have hugely significant repercussions for the one in five homes that is predicted to have no contents cover.
Those without cover should seriously consider taking out insurance, as just a few pounds a month could potentially save hundreds of thousands in the long run.
Home insurance from Barclays is worth a look. Some 20% can be saved by applying online and cover comes with three months free insurance, equating to around a 45% discount when paired with the online discount.
Amanda Edwards from AXA Insurance says: "People often don't realise the importance of protecting their water systems from freezing conditions.
"Not only does burst pipe damage have financial implications, especially if insurance is not in place, but it can also cause huge emotional trauma from ruined personal belongings."
Homeowners have been given the following advice to help prevent damage to their pipes.
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