Independent research for high net worth insurance specialist, Home and Legacy, reveals that many households were ill-prepared for the current cold snap hitting Britain.

Insurance company helplines have seen a significant number of calls from policyholders who have fallen victim to the cold weather with burst water pipes the most common problem.

Perhaps it’s not so surprising that many homes have faced a watery start to the New Year when so many people fail to take adequate steps to protect their properties from severe weather conditions.

An independent survey of 1,000 people commissioned by Home and Legacy revealed:
• 43% said they had no protective lagging around water pipes
• 30% have no protective lagging around their hot water tank
• 16% do not know where the stop cock is in their home
• 13% reported that they took no precautions to protect their home from bad weather if they were going away

Commenting on the research findings, Barry O’Neill, managing director, Home and Legacy, said:
“The recent cold snap has meant misery for many homes across the UK. The survey results strongly suggest that many homes are unprepared to face a severe drop in temperature. The weather is currently the biggest driver of calls to our domestic emergency helpline.”

He added:
“January is generally a busy time for claims teams but the recent cold weather has led to a significant rise in calls. So far this week, 24% of our new household claims have been as a result of water leaks in the home. When pipes are not adequately insulated they can become exposed to the cold which makes them vulnerable to freezing. The damage from burst pipes can be substantial - especially if the burst happens when the house is unoccupied.”

For added peace of mind, Home and Legacy is urging householders to keep the telephone number of their insurer’s claims helpline in a handy place as many policyholders fail to use this valuable service provided by their insurer. The Home and Legacy helpline is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

In an emergency, helpline staff can give immediate advice on how to cope with a problem such as a burst pipe and quickly appoint loss adjusters and suppliers to help assist policyholders.

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