12:38 PM 27th October 2023
Watch Out For Winter Worries!
According to LV= General Insurance (LV= GI), many Brits are set to experience damage in their homes this winter, as on average home insurance claims increase by 30% in the colder months.
The long and cold winter months can be tough on our homes, leading to inconvenient and expensive damage, right in the lead-up to Christmas. LV= reports that the average cost of a claim in winter is around £4,500, which is 25% (£900) more than in warmer months.
Last winter, one of the most common problems Brits faced were frozen burst pipes, leading to escape of water, with an average cost of £38,000 to repair the damage. During the big freeze last December, escape of water claims spiked 79% from the previous month.
LV= has joined forces with celebrity builder and all-round handyman, Tommy Walsh to provide tips on how to stop damage in its tracks this winter.
Tommy Walsh’s guide to protecting your home this winter:
Keep squirrels out:
In 2022, LV= found that squirrels caused more havoc in homes than any other animal, with claims involving the pest rising by 51%. They can chew through all of the things that protect your home from the harsh winter weather, such as beams and guttering. According to LV=, the average squirrel claim costs homeowners £3,000.
LV=’s research also found that people believe moths (6%) and spiders (10%) cause more of a nuisance to homes than squirrels (4%), so don’t underestimate them. To keep them at bay, make sure to check for any holes or entry points in your roof where they might get in and block them up. Pop your head up into the attic every now and then to check for signs of damage.
Frozen & cracked pipes:
According to LV=’s research, around 1 in 10 (11%) have had a burst pipe flood their entire home, so it’s important to spot frozen and cracked pipes quickly. Install a water leak detector - a smart device that uses sensors to detect changes in the water supply, notifying you instantly of any drips or leaks. There are models available that can be easily installed yourself. To reduce the chance of pipes bursting, make sure they’re well-insulated in the loft space.
The last thing you want during the dark, cold winter months is a power failure. Make sure to report any fishy smells - that could be an early indication of problems with your electrical wiring. Also, check for discolouration or scorch marks around your plug sockets. If you spot either of these, call in the experts to take a closer look.
Treat yourself to a new houseplant as an early Christmas present. English Ivy, Peace Lilies and Snake Plants don’t just look beautiful in a room, but they also absorb moisture from the air. To give the plants a helping hand, you could also rent a dehumidifier before deciding on whether to purchase one.
Mould thrives in dark, damp locations, so start searching in places like under the sink, on washing machine seals and under floor mats. Also check areas that are exposed to the cold, such as windows and door frames. To get rid of mould, wipe down your walls with either a mould remover spray, or for an at-home more sustainable solution, use white vinegar - and make sure to wear gloves and a mask to protect yourself. Keep the room ventilated to stop the spores from spreading. If you spot condensation on your windows and doors, make sure to wipe it down otherwise the excess water could warp your window seals and encourage mould.
Tommy Walsh commented:
“Homes are susceptible to all kinds of damage during the winter months – from damp stains and frozen pipes to pesky pests such as squirrels. It’s important to take steps to prevent them and stay on top of these issues this winter before they become a pricey problem and there are some simple and easy things to do around the home.”
Martin Milliner, Claims Director at LV= General Insurance, added:
“We know all too well how stressful dealing and living with common problems around the home can be. So, to save Brits the time, money and worry this winter, we’ve partnered with Tommy Walsh to create this simple guide to looking after your home. Spending a little time now on protecting the things you love will help you in the long run.”
Find out more on how to protect your home from damage this winter here