Prevent frozen pipes Deal with burst pipes Energy saving tips Home Emergency cover Protect an empty house in winter

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1 Prevent frozen pipes Deal with burst pipes Energy saving tips Home Emergency cover Protect an empty house in winter Underwritten by reputable insurers Excellent levels of cover Highly recommended by customers 88% saved money by switching to us

2 this winter residents are no strangers to the cold. We know how to rock an Arran knit jumper and can make the best of a rainy day! Being prepared is something we re good at, so with that in mind HomeProtect has created this winter guide especially for you. Inside, you ll learn how to prepare for winter with hints, tips and suggestions to help you look after your home. Disclaimer: The information contained within this booklet is not advice or a recommendation from Avantia Insurance Ltd. Trading as HomeProtect, Avantia Insurance Ltd. has collated this information from third parties. Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided herein is accurate, but no legal responsibility is accepted for any errors, omissions or misleading statements. Every health & safety precaution should be taken when making changes to your property. 2 HomeProtect The Ultimate Guide to Winter Home Protection

3 The cold hard facts Reduce the risk of storm damage How to prevent frozen pipes What to do with a frozen pipe What to do if a frozen pipe bursts Energy saving tips Long-term empty homes Upgrade your cover 3 Title of HomeProtect the book The Ultimate Guide to Winter Home Protection

4 30% of people in work over 9 million Brits have had to call in sick, take unplanned holiday or arrive late to deal with winter-related home emergencies. -British Gas The UK gets on average 23.7 days of snow fall or sleet a year, and Met Office statistics for Winter 2014 show that England and Wales had its wettest winter in almost 250 years! -MetOffice If you turn the thermostat down by just one degree you could save 65 a year on heating costs. -MoneySuperMarket An average claim for burst pipe damage is 7,500. -ABI 4 HomeProtect The Ultimate Guide to Winter Home Protection

5 Home insurance isn t designed to fix things which aren t properly maintained. By making repairs now you can reduce the risk of storm damage to your home. Simply securing loose slates and removing dead tree branches can save you cash and hassle later down the line by avoiding unnecessary damage. If a storm is heading your way, take a look at our handy checklist to help ensure your home is protected. Or, for big jobs, consider hiring a professional. 5 HomeProtect The Ultimate Guide to Winter Home Protection

6 Close all windows and doors, especially large doors such as garage or patio doors. Put garden furniture in a garage or shed, or bring it inside the house. Remember your washing line poles too. Check that TV aerials and satellite dishes are securely fastened. Secure any loose cables and electrical wires. Clear gutters of leaves and debris. Take care if you re using a ladder, especially in high winds! Check there are no loose roof slates or loose coverings on sheds and outbuildings. Check chimneys and repair any broken brickwork. Clear ground drains of leaves to make sure that rainwater can flow freely into the drains. Keep an eye on outdoor hose pipes too, to prevent freezing. Secure fences, repair garden walls and fix gates that don't close firmly so they are not damaged by strong winds. Park your cars in a garage or away from trees and fences. Remove dead tree branches so they don t fall. 6 HomeProtect The Ultimate Guide to Winter Home Protection

7 Temperatures can drop quickly in winter, which can cause the pipes in your property to freeze or burst. The ensuing damage can really be a strain on you and your finances. Homeowners should always make sure that this type of home emergency is covered by their home insurance policy for peace of mind. 7 HomeProtect The Ultimate Guide to Winter Home Protection

8 Insufficient insulation Exposure to draughts where the pipe meets the property walls Insufficient circulation of warm air throughout the property When water freezes, it expands inside the pipes. This puts pressure on the metal as well as building up a big ice blockage. The pipe will eventually burst if it is not treated. Prevent frozen pipes at home with this handy checklist! Visit our blog 8 HomeProtect The Ultimate Guide to Winter Home Protection

9 Counterintuitive though it may seem, leaving the tap running very slightly will help to prevent freezing. Prevention is better than cure, so take the time to check and maintain any issues and weatherproof your home before Winter hits: Check and improve the insulation in your loft and beside water tanks. Make sure that pipes are wrapped in pipe lagging, which acts as insulation. Check that everyone in the house knows where the water stopcock is and that they know to turn it off in an emergency. This will stop the flow of water and limit the damage. Leave the heating on a low temperature or set it by a timer to turn on a few times throughout the day, especially if you are going on holiday. Ask a neighbour or a friend to check on the property at least once a week if you are going to be away for more than a few days, and definitely if you are away for over 30 consecutive days. 9 HomeProtect The Ultimate Guide to Winter Home Protection

10 10 HomeProtect The Ultimate Guide to Winter Home Protection

11 If, despite your best efforts, pipes in your property do fall prey to freezing temperatures and become blocked, frozen or burst, then don t panic. You can take these steps to limit the fallout. 11 HomeProtect The Ultimate Guide to Winter Home Protection

12 1. Identify the blockage by feeling the pipe. The root of the problem will be obvious when you reach a section that is colder than the rest. 2. Turn off the stopcock to stop the flow of water. 3. Open the tap closest to the frozen pipe in order to allow the excess water to escape when it melts away. 4. Do some damage control by moving furniture and belongings out of the way. Roll back the carpets, lift the curtains and cover electronic devices in case the pipe bursts. 5. Let your frozen pipe defrost slowly. Do not use a naked flame, hairdryer or the central heating. If this does not work, then you should contact an emergency plumber or your insurer if you have home emergency cover. 6. Assess the pipe for damage before turning the water back on. 12 HomeProtect The Ultimate Guide to Winter Home Protection

13 Hopefully you will have been able to spot a frozen pipe before it bursts in your home. If that s not the case then you will have to manage the mess. First things first, contact your home insurance provider. Depending on the type of cover that you have (and how bad the water damage is) your insurer may cover the costs of sending out a plumber, replacing your possessions as old for new or provide alternative accommodation. 13 HomeProtect The Ultimate Guide to Winter Home Protection

14 Water can leave plenty of issues behind, least of all being the need to soak up all excess leaks and dry out your rooms and belongings. Unfortunately there s no quick fix for this, and you will have to dry out the property by leaving doors and windows open for air flow, turning the heating on or investing in a dehumidifier. Keeping your damaged possessions is worthwhile too, as your insurance provider may ask to see these (or photos) so as to be able to process your claim accurately. I ve had home insurance for many years and last year had two claims one for flood and one for a burst pipe- I know talk about unlucky!! When it came to renewal home protect came up trumps and their online form was easy to understand and felt it covered all I needed. 14 HomeProtect The Ultimate Guide to Winter Home Protection

15 Refer to your Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). This is a requirement for all properties when they are built, sold or let. The EPC provides details on the energy performance of the property so you can take steps to improve it. If you re not sure how to access this information, visit to search for your property. 15 HomeProtect The Ultimate Guide to Winter Home Protection

16 Most homeowners are at home after work in the evenings. To reduce energy costs while you are not at home, lower the heating temperature or set a timer for it to come on for short intervals throughout the day. Seal cracks to reduce draughts around the house. For instance, use weatherstripping around windows and doors. You could also change to heavier lined curtains for the winter months, which will also help to keep draughts at bay. If you use a fireplace over winter, make sure that you have taken the time to clean the flue vent or replace any necessary filters. When the fireplace is not in use, the damper should be closed - otherwise it s just like leaving a window wide open to the elements! Getting your boiler serviced is really important. No one wants to be without heating or hot water when the temperature drops, so it s worth checking whether boiler cover is included in your home insurance policy. 16 HomeProtect The Ultimate Guide to Winter Home Protection

17 17 HomeProtect The Ultimate Guide to Winter Home Protection

18 If you are leaving your home unoccupied for more than 30 consecutive days, make sure that you check your policy details to be certain that your home insurance cover is still in place. Remember to check any endorsements and the terms and conditions. 1. Turn your water supply off at the stopcock, unless the heating system is powered by a condensing boiler that requires constant pressure. 2. If leaving the heating on to prevent pipes freezing, make sure that it is always at a minimum temperature of 15 degrees Celsius. 3. If you are planning to simply turn the heating off while you are away then don t forget to drain the hot water and heating systems so that there is no water left in the pipes to freeze. 4. Make sure your empty property is checked regularly. Ask a family member, friend, neighbour or key holding service to visit the house every few days. 18 HomeProtect The Ultimate Guide to Winter Home Protection

19 19 HomeProtect The Ultimate Guide to Winter Home Protection

20 Upgrade to Full Home Emergency cover and you can call our 24/7 Home Emergency line if you have an emergency situation, with no impact to your No Claims Bonus. This upgrade also includes emergency repairs to your heating system, repairs if you have a burst pipe, your drains get blocked or you require alternative accommodation.* *Terms apply Find out more 20 HomeProtect The Ultimate Guide to Winter Home Protection

21 Insurance refused Insurance cancelled Previous claims Poor credit history Bankruptcy Criminal convictions CCJs IVAs High risk areas Foster carers Childminding Working from home B&B and AirBnB Landlords Tenants Non standard construction Listed properties Timber frame homes Steel frame homes Converted barns Flat roof Heritage homes Subsidence Underpinned Flood risk Renovations Unoccupied Probate Second homes Holiday homes Disclaimer: The information contained within this booklet is not advice or a recommendation from Avantia Insurance Ltd. Trading as HomeProtect, Avantia Insurance Ltd. has collated this information from third parties. Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided herein is accurate, but no legal responsibility is accepted for any errors, omissions or misleading statements. Every health & safety precaution should be taken when making changes to your property.

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