Insurer highlights Xmas flood risk

Millions of homeowners are taking unnecessary risks with their properties while away over the Christmas holidays, according to Ageas Insurance.

As fuel costs rise, many are failing to keep their homes adequately warm enough to avoid damage caused by frozen pipes.

According to the new research 29% of homeowners are worried about the cost of leaving the heating on to help avoid frozen and burst pipes while away from home.

51% don’t realise that it is more cost effective to leave their home central heating on low, rather than turning it off during cold periods – meaning that they could risk leaving their homes in danger of the freezing winter temperatures.

Pipes can burst if they freeze then thaw rapidly, which can often cause an escape of water from pipes, many of which are in the attic. If severe, the leaks can bring down ceilings, causing massive damage and often completely destroying a home’s contents.

Last winter, burst pipes caused damage worth £680 million across the UK and so Ageas Insurance is urging homeowners to not underestimate the cost of repairing a burst pipe and paying for the disruption or loss of irreplaceable possessions – and to leave their heating on low when they go away this winter.

Mark Cliff, managing director of Ageas Insurance, said: “We regularly see the physical damage that a burst pipe can cause. It is something that is very often underestimated: losing irreplaceable items like photos and family heirlooms can be devastating.