The Christmas season is upon us, but whilst it's a time of fun and frolics it also signals one of the busiest periods in the insurance calendar. Figures released by leading insurers show the true extent of many winter repair bills, which means consumers are being urged to be prepared – by making sure their insurance policies have got them covered.
According to Direct Line, the average repair bill amounted to £1,635 per household last winter, with one in eight homes (or 12%) having been damaged by severe weather in the past five years. With Arctic conditions set to make their way through the UK over the coming weeks experts are predicting that this year's bill could be even bigger, so homeowners are being urged to start getting prepared.
Performing routine maintenance checks is vital – such as making sure roof tiles are stable and getting boilers serviced – as is keeping the heating on at a constant low level to prevent frozen pipes, but double-checking that insurance policies offer sufficient coverage is equally as essential.
This is particularly important given that damage and burglaries over the Christmas week can be even more expensive. According to Aviva, Christmas Day itself is the worst day of the year for fire damage and resulting claims with an increase of 120% compared to other days of the year – those fairy lights, candles and burnt turkey dinners could have a lot to answer for – while New Year's Eve sees burglaries rise by 8% as people head off to parties.
Given that the post-Christmas period could see homes full of expensive gifts and gadgets, it's important to make sure contents cover is up to scratch. Last year the top items stolen included Macbooks, laptops, iPads and iPhones, so always make sure you're properly covered and take extra precautions too – for example, don't make packaging obvious when you throw it out, don't leave presents visible under the tree and always ensure your home security measures are suitable.
Incidentally, some insurance providers will offer additional cover as standard at this time of year, so double-check the small print to see what you're covered for. If you don't think you've got enough then now's the time to contact your insurer to bulk up the level of protection, or if it's time to renew make sure to compare the options (using our handy comparison tool) and see if you can find an even better deal.
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Disclaimer: Information is correct as of the date of publication (shown at the top of this article). Any products featured may be withdrawn by their provider or changed at any time.
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