Insurance Matters February 2012

The Spring is nearly here, however, it is still cold and wet so all property owners need to keep an eye on their roofs. Loose and missing slates and tiles may mean that water is getting into the roof area. Arranging for a professional to put back any loose or missing slates or tiles is much cheaper than the repairing or replacing of roof timbers! These are simple protective measures which if undertaken regularly, can save a great deal of time and trouble later by avoiding burst pipes, the expensive repairs and also the declination of claims due to failure to maintain your property and or ‘gradual ingress of water’.

Burst pipes are also a problem in the cold weather and the cost and inconvenience immense so follow the following easy steps:

– Make sure that the boiler and heating system is serviced regularly and check that the thermostat is working correctly.
– Make sure you know where and how to turn off the water supply.
– Check the insulation on your water pipes and cold water tank- those in the attic or vulnerable spaces should be lagged or similarly protected.
– Make sure any external taps are turned off and disconnect hoses.

If you discover a frozen pipe, don’t wait for it to burst! Turn off your water supply and slowly thaw the affected pipe by introducing gentle heat to the area, such as using a hairdryer, space heater, hot water bottle! Do not try to thaw the pipe with a blow torch or other flame, as this can lead to disastrous results!

If the pipe does burst, turn off the water supply at the stopcock and but a bucket under the leak, do not use the electrics if you believe them to be affected. There are devices available that do detect excessive water flow and will shut off the supply immediately and automatically.

Is your property unoccupied? If so:
– Keep the property heated to reduce the chance of a pipes freezing
– If the premises will be unoccupied for some time, drain down the water system and shut off the water
– Ask someone to check on the property daily. This may not prevent a loss but early signs of a leak may ultimately help to reduce the cost of the damage.
– Don’t forget to advise your broker if the property is unoccupied for more than 30 day, or any claim may simply not be paid.

If you are in any doubt and need guidance and FREE advice you can contact Highhouse Insurance Services Limited as we would be delighted to help you on 0845 230 1477.