Nearly two-thirds (65%) of UK homeowners and renters have experienced burst frozen pipes, flood damage or damp during the colder months –

  • com research shows customers were able to claim for more than half the cost of damage from insurers to help towards repairs, on average (1).
  • Almost half (49%) of homeowners and renters are confused about how to prevent frozen pipes, flood damage or damp in their homes(1).
  • How can I winter proof my home? Confused.com’s guide outlines how to avoid disaster.
  • Some of the common winter home mis-haps caused by wind, damaged roof tiles, fallen trees and ice (1).

The winter elements are costing homeowners and renters more than a thousand pounds in home repairs, on average.

And with a cold snap well underway (3), it might be worth battening down the hatches to save paying out later. In fact, more than two-thirds of UK homeowners and renters have been hit with burst frozen pipes, flood damage or damp during the winter months. That’s according to new research carried out by Confused.com.

Customers have been able to claim for more than half (56%) the costs of total damages after excess, from insurers, to help towards repairs, on average.

While most of us in the UK are used to the extreme weather conditions at this time of year, it can be confusing to know how best to prevent damage to our homes. In fact, a quarter (25%) of occupiers said they’re confused about how to prevent damp in their homes, while a further one in seven (14%) are confused about how to stop their pipes from freezing over. Another one in ten (10%) admitted they’re confused about how to prepare against flood damage.

To help avoid a home disaster, Confused.com have created a guide to clear up how you can best prepare your home for winter weather and what to do if the worst has already happened.

Yet, according to Confused.com research, some of the most common winter home mis-haps are caused by the wind and damage to roof tiles, with more than a quarter (26%) saying they’ve experienced these damages in winter. And worryingly, one in eight (12%) homeowners and renters say they’ve experienced damage to their home caused by fallen trees or ice.

It seems that the elements are wreaking havoc on people’s homes, as almost half (46%) of occupants say they needed to make a claim on their home insurance in the winter months, due to burst pipes, while almost two-fifths (38%) of claims were caused by damaged roofs. Another third (33%) had to make a claim on their home insurance because of flood damage and more than a quarter (26%) of homeowners and renters had to file an insurance claim due to damage caused by fallen trees.

And only one in ten (8%) residents have had to make a claim on their home insurance due to damages caused in the winter, that’s not to say prevention is better than cure.  There are lots of hacks that can help stop the elements from destroying the home.

It’s worth keeping in mind while buildings and contents insurance is there to help with repairs to damage caused to properties, residents might well have to pay an excess on any claim they make.

Thankfully, many residents are taking initiative to batten down the hatches ahead of winter, as more than a quarter (27%) of residents admit that they turn off outdoor taps to prevent frozen pipes, while more than one in ten (11%) say that they secure their roof tiles ahead of winter. Almost a third (30%) of homeowners and renters tie or secure any loose garden furniture that good get damaged in winter and more than one in five (22%) people put down salt to prevent ice or ice damage in the colder months.

And more commonly, over half (53%) of occupants get their boilers serviced ahead of cold snaps, while more than two-fifths (42%) of people bleed their radiators in preparation for winter weather. But somewhat surprisingly, more than one in seven (15%) homeowners and renters admit they are confused about what they’re required to do to protect their home for winter in accordance with their insurance policy. Additionally, more than one in twenty (6%) say they are confused about how to make a claim on their home insurance for damages.

With the coldest temperatures of the winter season still to come, people would certainly benefit from making preparations to avoid winter damages to their home and to avoid invalidating their insurance.

Jessica Willock, home insurance expert at Confused.com, says:

“With a cold snap well underway, it’s worth battening down the hatches to prevent against any damages to your home.

“But it can be confusing to know what you’re required to do to protect your home for winter in line with your home insurance policy and even more confusing to know how to make a claim, if the worst was to happen.

“It’s far more common that we might believe, as research shows many of us have experienced damage caused by burst pipes, floods and fallen trees. Our handy guide clears up how to ‘winter-proof’ your home and how to go about claiming on your insurance if necessary