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Property maintenance warning as winter nears

Property maintenance warning as winter nears

Category: Home insurance

Updated: 23/11/2011
First Published: 23/11/2011

This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.

Homeowners have been warned to prepare their properties for winter or risk seeing their home insurance claims turned down as being invalid.

As the temperature starts to drop, M&S Money said there has been a 200% rise in the number of home insurance claims caused by wintry weather over the last three years.

The total cost of repairing the damage caused, from both insured and uninsured homes, exceeds £600 million per year.

However, while many homeowners will have sufficient home insurance to cover the cost of damages, around a third of households could find that their policies will not pay out.

The most obvious problem is that there is no home insurance policy in place.

There is, however, also the chance of the claim being classed as invalid as a result of a lack of basic maintenance.

The research revealed that the most common damage during the winter season is caused by wind.

Although the average cost to repair storm damage is nearly £600, some claims run into tens of thousands of pounds.

In the last couple of years, however, snow and heavy rain has also created havoc for homeowners.

Burst pipes have become an increasingly common problem due to the harshness of the last couple of winters, while chimney fires are also a regular occurrence.

"We recommend homeowners make time over the next couple of weeks to check their homes are in a good state of repair and ready for winter," said Fleur Carruthers, home insurance manager at M&S Money.

"Carrying out basic maintenance can prevent damage from occurring, and should the worst happen, ensure a claim is valid."

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